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COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION AND LABOR
CARL D. PERKINS, Kentucky, Chairman
JOHN M. ASHBROOK, Ohio
JOHN N. ERLENBORN, Indiana JAMES G. O'HARA, Michigan
JOHN DELLENBACK, Oregon AUGUSTUS F. HAWKINS, California MARVIN L. ESCH, Michigan WILLIAM D. FORD, Michigan
EDWIN D. ESHLEMAN, Pennsylvania PATSY T. MINK, Hawaii
WILLIAM A. STEIGER, Wisconsin LLOYD MEEDS, Washington
EARL F. LANDGREBE, Indiana PHILLIP BURTON, California
ORVAL HANSEN, Idaho JOSEPH M. GAYDOS, Pennsylvania
EDWIN B. FORSYTHE, New Jersey WILLIAM "BILL" CLAY, Missouri
JACK F. KEMP, New York SHIRLEY CHISHOLM, New York
PETER A. PEYSER, New York MARIO BIAGGI, New York
DAVID TOWELL, Nevada ELLA T. GRASSO, Connecticut
RONALD A. SARASIN, Connecticut ROMANO L. MAZZOLI, Kentucky
ROBERT J. HUBER, Michigan
SUBCOMMITTEE ON AGRICULTURAL LABOR
WILLIAM D. FORD, Michigan, Chairman ELLA T. GRASSO, Connecticut
EARL F. LANDGREBE, Indiana FRANK THOMPSON, JR., New Jersey DAVID TOWELL, Nevada AUGUSTUS F. HAWKINS, California WILLIAM A. STEIGER, Wisconsin WILLIAM LEHMAN, Florida
The problem of potentially widespread unemployment among agricultural workers in Hawaii was first brought to the attention of the Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor on December 6, 1973.
On that date, Representative Patsy T. Mink of Hawaii advised the Subcommittee by letter (see Appendix) that the State of Hawaii would be facing a very critical problem of widespread unemployment of agricultural workers involved in the pineapple industry within the next few years. The unemployment problem was anticipated because of the announced plans of major corporations involved in the pineapple industry to drastically cut back their operations within the State of Hawaii in the near future.
In her letter of December 6, Representative Mink requested the Subcommittee to conduct a hearing in Washington, D.C., to afford her the opportunity to present testimony relating to the growing unemployment problem among agricultural workers in Hawaii.
Representative Mink also urged in her letter the Subcommittee conduct a field investigation in Hawaii at its earliest convenience.
In response to the first request, the Subcommittee conducted a hearing on Unemployment Among Agricultural Workers in Hawaii in Washington, D.C., on December 13, 1973. At this hearing, Representative Mink explained the problem to the Subcommittee and once again urged that the Subcommittee conduct a field investigation in Hawaii at its earliest convenience.
Subsequently, the Subcommittee on Agricultural Labor conducted a full and complete investigation of potentially massive unemployment problems involving agricultural workers employed in the pineapple industry in the State of Hawaii. The investigation was conducted during the period of January 1 through January 8, 1974, on the Islands of Molokai and Maui in Maui County, on the Island of Oahu in Honolulu County and on the Island of Kauai in Kauai County.
During this period the Subcommittee visited various facilities of the pineapple industry, including canneries, plantations, field offices and shipping and receiving docks. The Subcommittee also met with various persons involved directly in the pineapple industry, representing both management and labor, and met with government officials, local chambers of commerce and businessmen connected with other establishments which would suffer economic hardships as a result of the cutback in pineapple operations.
The Subcommittee commenced travel on January 1, 1974, and the investigation was concluded on January 8, 1974. Six days were devoted to the investigation, including on-site visits and studies at the following locations. Oahu
On January 3, the Subcommittee toured the Del Monte Cannery in Honolulu, a plant built in 1927 covering approximately ten acres and
employing approximately 2,400 persons at the peak of the canning season in the summer months. During the Subcommittee's visit, there were between 400 and 500 workers employed. The Subcommittee was told that operations were normally shut down completely between October and December during which time mechanical and other repairs were made. The pineapple processed at this facility came from Oahu and other islands such as Molokai.
The Subcommittee met with John McCarthy and Burke Jones of Del Monte management and Clifford Oda, International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union.
The Subcommittee visited a Del Monte shipping and receiving pier in Honolulu which was receiving pineapples by barge for immediate processing at the cannery.
Minoru Hirabara, director of field operations at the Del Monte plantation in Kunia, conducted a tour of the plantation. Both harvesting and planting operations were observed. Both operations are almost totally manual contributing to the labor intensity of the pineapple industry.
During the period of the Subcommittee's visit, 54 pickers were involved in the harvest of fruit for fresh shipment and sale. Ten planters, who can plant 612 acres with 25,900 plants, were working.
Additionally, the Subcommittee met with members of the Wahiawa Community and Businessmen's Association including Leo Rodby, Kenneth Masuoka, Ed Tonaki and Walter Kirimitsu and with State Representative Howard Oda. Molokai
On January 4, the Subcommittee visited the island of Molokai where the greatest impact of the industry cutback is expected.
The Dole Company has a plantation of some 10,000 acres (with some additional 2,500 acres already phased out) and a “company town" type of operation at Maunaloa. The village was acquired from the Libby Corporation which had operated it from 1927 until three years ago. Dole leases the houses in the village to its employees and operates a community hall out of a plantation building which is visited by a public nurse (when the Dole operation ceases on Molokai, the community hall will lose its sponsor and probably cease to exist).
The Subcommittee, accompanied by Representative Mink; Howard Nakamura, Director of the Maui County Planning Department and Co-Chairman of the Molokai Task Force; Daniel Shigeta, Chairman of the Molokai Task Force's Subcommittee on Agriculture Mrs. Pearl Petro, Manager of the Kaunakakai Branch of the Bank of Hawaii, and Stephen Petro of Representative Mink's district office, held an informal meeting with residents of Maunaloa in the community hall.
The Subcommittee learned at this meeting that the pineapple is largely grown on land leased, not owned, by the companies. Hawaiian Homesteads leases land to qualified homesteaders (those who are at least 50 per cent Hawaiian) for $1 a year leasehold for 99 years. Some homesteaders then rent the land to the pineapple companies for $90 a month. The loss of these rentals will intensify the impact of the phaseout.
The representatives of the Molokai Task Force explained that crop alternatives under consideration (alfalfa, soy beans, tomatoes) would employ only about 20 per cent of the people employed in labor-inten