Help wanted for seasonal work

Help wanted for seasonal work

There are 37 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from May 11, 2008, titled Help wanted for seasonal work. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Forced to replace 130 seasonal workers who could not get visas, Frank Mariani has held weekly job fairs this spring to try to find new hires for his Lake Bluff landscaping business.

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bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#22 May 12, 2008
If only it were that simple, cynical. It's not just landscaping, it's EVERYTHING. We demand cheap goods and services so the average joe can live a lifesytle that only royalty or the ultra wealthy can attain in most places.

If you want that lifestyle, somewhere along the line there HAS TO be someone out there working for next to nothing. This comes either in the form of illegal immigrant labor, or foreign labor. While in a perfect world we could pay everyone a living wage and only hire American workers making American products in American factories, the priced we'd have to charge for those products combined with the amount of people who could actually afford them would put those companies right out of business.

You're going to pay one way or the other, Cynical. You can support them in all the ways we support them in exchange for what amounts to slave labor, or you can pay many times more for everything and not be able to afford as much.

You can pay the labor pool sub-par wages and make a profit, or you can pay them a lot more and pay the whole company less money and make less profit. Or no profit...
Illinois Resident

Union, IL

#23 May 12, 2008
Make their money in America, from Americans. Then move back to Mexico, to spend it. Yeah! Right!
abc

Chicago, IL

#24 May 12, 2008
well said.
Not buying it wrote:
<quoted text>
Actually, "reaper" most people LIKE immigrants - the ones who come here w/ visas and all. The "anti-immigrant" crowd is actualy "anti - ILLEGAL immigrant". Somehow the illegal part gets lost in the Tribune... maybe it's a space issue, or a shortage of ink.
Johnny

Lockport, IL

#25 May 12, 2008
Yet another liberal story on immigration from the Tribune. For some reason the reporter left out the salary these immigrants are being paid? Where do they live? Like our country is desperate for someone to cut the lawn and collect a ticket at a carnival? Like these people would have cash in on a 401K?
I would like to know just how many of the 65K annual visa visitors find a job, or even return to their country on time? My guess is most never go back to their old country.
This story also lacked the number of Illegals doing the jobs for cash money. Under the table no tax payment.
In the end, the Tribune produces another "feel sorry for the poor immigrants" they have rights you know. We don't need a guest worker program. We have 14 various visa programs. What the open border folks want is....open borders. Bring your relatives too! There is plenty of freebies in America.
Mike

Meriden, CT

#26 May 12, 2008
If these employers want to fill those positions, pay higher salaries. It really is that simple.
mike wendell

Buena Park, CA

#27 May 12, 2008
quit wining,school is almost out. hire high school and collage kids. problem solved.
bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#28 May 12, 2008
Mike, it's not "that simple" at all. If you have to pay higher salaries, that money has to come from somewhere. Even $1/hour per employee in a small firm with 20 employees winds up costing you $3200/month. Where does that come from? Your mortgage payment? I don't think so.
North shore landscaper

Batavia, IL

#29 May 13, 2008
What boneheads you all are.
New Labor is starting at $9.00/hr. Our foreman Start at $12.00/hr.

The industry is not what it was when I started. The crews were local young men working their way through college, at Harper community college. As the years past the local kids stopped applying those that did left shortly after starting the hours are to long the job is to physically demanding.

In short you want a job. Are willing to work 50 plus hours 6 days a week come on by we would rather hire locally.

However i'm not going to hold my breath waiting for you to show up. because you've all forgotten how to work!
bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#30 May 13, 2008
Landscaper, that's the problem right there. You pay $9/hour, which isn't bad for a part time job/college kid. But now you're talking 50 hours a week or more, 6 days a week? What kid wants to spend the entire summer working those kind of hours? They're working for spending money so they can have fun, go out and party until 3:00 am. With a job like that? Well, so much for fun. Those hours are the kind of hours you work to provide for a family, pay a mortgage, hours that you had better be paid very well for, or it's not worth the time and effort you put into it. The reason you can't find American workers to do that job is because you don't pay enough to make it worth doing. The immigrant labor? Well, that's more money in an hour than they'd make in a day at home. If you paid $17/hour you'd have local citizens lined up down the street for that job.
Santiago

New Buffalo, MI

#31 May 13, 2008
bus only lanes wrote:
Landscaper, that's the problem right there. You pay $9/hour, which isn't bad for a part time job/college kid. But now you're talking 50 hours a week or more, 6 days a week? What kid wants to spend the entire summer working those kind of hours? They're working for spending money so they can have fun, go out and party until 3:00 am. With a job like that? Well, so much for fun. Those hours are the kind of hours you work to provide for a family, pay a mortgage, hours that you had better be paid very well for, or it's not worth the time and effort you put into it. The reason you can't find American workers to do that job is because you don't pay enough to make it worth doing. The immigrant labor? Well, that's more money in an hour than they'd make in a day at home. If you paid $17/hour you'd have local citizens lined up down the street for that job.
"The reason you can't find American workers to do that job is because you don't pay enough to make it worth doing."

Collecting Unemployment is the best choice for a lot of people.
bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#32 May 13, 2008
Santiago, think about it -- max unemployment benefit is $369/week.

$9/hour is $320/week.

Would you rather do hard labor in all sorts of weather, or make more money "looking for a job"?
Santiago

New Buffalo, MI

#33 May 13, 2008
bus only lanes wrote:
Santiago, think about it -- max unemployment benefit is $369/week.
$9/hour is $320/week.
Would you rather do hard labor in all sorts of weather, or make more money "looking for a job"?
Believe me , I understand your point, I guess it's the reason why is hard for the owners of Landscaping companies to get enough workers, on one hand wages are low but on the other hand really only they know how much more they can pay the workers. I can tell you by my own experience being on the other side of the coin , I own a company where I had to terminate 4 employees recently to maintain decent wages to the remain employees but that has caused a lot of stress and tons of more work for me to the point of almost decide to sell my company , it is hell out there.
saddam

Orlando, FL

#34 May 13, 2008
I bet a neos' ass that Frank ain't going to find workers among the fat, white people living in Lake Bluff!
Cynical

Kingsbury, IN

#35 May 14, 2008
bus only lanes wrote:
Santiago, think about it -- max unemployment benefit is $369/week.
$9/hour is $320/week.
Would you rather do hard labor in all sorts of weather, or make more money "looking for a job"?
Bus, try the math again.$9/hr x 40 Hrs =$360.
For 50 hrs it's (assuming overtime pay)$495 per week.
bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#36 May 14, 2008
That's true cyn, but I don't believe you are required to pay an illegal immigrant overtime. Even if you do, the bottom line is its less than $500/week for what amounts to a lot of work and a lot of hours, for very little money.
Cynical

Kingsbury, IN

#37 May 15, 2008
bus only lanes wrote:
That's true cyn, but I don't believe you are required to pay an illegal immigrant overtime. Even if you do, the bottom line is its less than $500/week for what amounts to a lot of work and a lot of hours, for very little money.
Bus, it is no longer the 1920's version of lawn service. All the work they do is with "self propelled" power equipment...watch them sometime. For the larger jobs they use a mower that they can stand on...don't even have to walk. Edging is not done by hand..it's done with a power edger. They do not rake or sweep, they "vacuum" or "blow" again with a power tool. Redoing a lawn...they use a rototiller, not shovels. To aerate a lawn, they use a power aerator. To dethatch..a power dethatcher. It's not quite the "muscle" job that it once was.

Building retaining walls or putting in a brick/stone patio seem to be the only tasks requiring a little...not even a lot...of muscle (I'm doing my own and it's time consuming but not difficult). So they are making between $23K and $25K a year (equivalent) for this unskilled job.(There are entry level office workers and some non-union factory workers that make that much.) Add to the fact that there are "multiple" people living together, their expenses are diminimous. Their "discretionary" income is probably more than the office worker's.
bus only lanes

Chesterfield, MO

#38 May 15, 2008
I'll give you that, and you bring up a good point about the discretionary income. So what do we do? No American wants to do that job for what amounts to a wage you can't live on,(unless you live like many of the illegal immigrants do) so the people hiring them keep on hiring them, and it just perpetuates the problem. I see some states are punsihing the employers for hiring the undocumented workers. That's a good start.

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