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WESTERN GROWERS ASSOCIATION URGES CONGRESS, ADMINISTRATION TO END RAIL STRIKE

 WESTERN GROWERS ASSOCIATION URGES CONGRESS, ADMINISTRATION
 TO END RAIL STRIKE
 IRVINE, Calif., June 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Faced with the potential loss of millions of dollars in fresh fruit and vegetables, Western Growers Association (WGA) today urged Congress and the Bush Administration to take immediate action to end a work stoppage by the nation's rail workers.
 "Fresh fruit and vegetables simply cannot sit by and wait for the rail companies and the unions to resolve their issues. These commodities are extremely perishable and will rot in the fields and the docks if Congress and the Administration don't take immediate action," said David Moore, WGA president.
 California and Arizona fruit and vegetable growers are in peak harvest. Rail transportation is an integral part of the industry's distribution system.
 Moore said if the nation's rail system remains at a standstill, there will be a serious interruption in the availability of fresh fruit and vegetables for consumers across the country, and growers will suffer millions of dollars in crop losses.
 The rail shutdown has worsened an already bleak transportation situation for fruit and vegetable growers on the West Coast, who for weeks have found it very difficult to find available trucks and rail cars to carry their commodities to market. And, when they do find an available truck or rail car, they're very expensive.
 "The price consumers are paying for fruits and vegetables on the East Coast is more a reflection of high transportation costs than high commodity prices," Moore said.
 "A head of lettuce currently sells at the farm gate for approximately 15 cents per head, yet the cost of transporting it to the East Coast is about 26 cents," he said.
 Western Growers Association represents producers of fresh fruit and vegetables in California and Arizona. Its members produce approximately 85 percent of the fresh vegetables grown in the two states, plus a significant amount of the fresh fruit.
 -0- 6/24/92
 /CONTACT: Mike Stuart or Barbara Buck of Western Growers Association, 714-863-1000/ CO: Western Growers Association ST: California IN: SU:


CH-AL -- LA011 -- 3256 06/24/92 11:35 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 24, 1992
Words:347
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