- Associated Press - Friday, January 8, 2016

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) - Attorney General Bob Ferguson has launched an investigation into whether a business group improperly influenced answers to a state survey of wages and working conditions for farmworkers.

Ferguson’s office this week asked the Washington Farm Labor Association to produce documents related to the survey. The association said Friday it is cooperating with the investigation and is confident that it followed all laws.

The investigation was requested by the Washington State Labor Council, the AFL-CIO, Columbia Legal Services and others. They contend the association coached farmers on their answers to produce desired results.

The voluntary survey asked growers how much they pay workers for different tasks and different crops, such as hourly wages for pruning and piece-rate pay for harvest. The data is used to set wages for employment contracts.

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