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Hospitality industry losing guest workers

June 14, 2013

OGUNQUIT, ME — For the past decade, the owners of The Beachmere Inn have relied on a handful of foreign workers to change linens, vacuum carpets and tidy up the rooms in their waterfront hotel when the summer tourist season hits, according to the Portland Press Herald.

Owner Sarah Diment said she tries each year to fill the spots with American workers, but because of the seasonal nature of the jobs she inevitably looks abroad to fill three or four spots in her 17-person housekeeping crew, the article stated.

According to the article, The Beachmere Inn is going into this summer season shorthanded because federal agencies have temporarily stopped processing for H-2B temporary guest workers.

As Congress considers sweeping changes to the nation's immigration laws, members of the hospitality industry are urging members of Congress to provide more certainty to businesses that use the guest worker visa program, the article noted.

"H-2B workers are essential to our operation and they are seen by our employees as critical backup they need during the summer and fall months," Diment told members of a congressional subcommittee Wednesday.

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