Dairy worker turnover rates are on the decrease

Excessive employee turnover in dairies can be expensive and upset routines—which in turn can affect animal health and dairy productivity. While a replacement is being hired, a substitute has to do the work. Employee turnover may also be a symptom of other labor management challenges at the dairy.

Data collected in 2009 indicated the average length of employment (LOE) for 209 dairy workers (interviewed in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties) was 6.6 years (ranged from 2 weeks to 40 years). On the average, these subjects had held three dairy positions, that is, their present job plus two more. In 1984 the LOE was about 4 years and in 1953, about 1 year (Fuller and Viles).

Most workers had a single, prominent reason for leaving their dairy jobs. In order of importance, the reasons for leaving were compensation and benefits, dairy economic problems, personal or family reasons, working schedules and time off, housing and transportation, relations with management, job duties, laid off or discharged, relations with other employees, job injuries, and started their own dairy.

In recent years employees have reported improved relations with management and supervisors. Perhaps this is due to better management practices as well as employment laws that protect workers from more arbitrary treatment. There is, however, a substantially greater turnover among Hispanic than non-Hispanic employees. For the complete report, please visit http://www.cnr.berkeley.edu/ucce50/ag-labor/7research/7rsearch.htm

Source: California Dairy Newsletter, University of California


Gregorio Billikopf

Gregorio Billikopf
10 articles

Gregorio Billikopf is a Labor Management Farm Advisor with the University of California and Visiting Professor of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Chile.

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University of California

University of California