Immigration reform making for strange bedfellows

Jan 29, 2013 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: WTAE-TV Pittsburgh

CIO President Richard Trumka and Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Tom Donohue are working together to reach an understanding about a guest worker program.

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101 - 120 of 180 Comments Last updated Feb 13, 2013

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#105
Feb 7, 2013
 

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Dee Dee Dee wrote:
$9.50/hr for farm labor in Georgia and they cannot understand why people are not rushing for jobs that would put a family of 4 living in Georgia under the poverty level by about $4,000.00 a year.
Naturally tax payers would have to subsidize anybody who works on a farm and has a family. I would rather pay more at the store so that the farm worker does not need to collect entitlements which increase taxes. Of course those who do not pay taxes would rather cheaper food prices.
Try thinking this through - your plan is one-sided. You have no contigency plan once the immigrant farmworkers are taken out of the picture. Simply eliminating them is the easy step - figuring out a way of replacing them is a whole different set of problems. Simply saying, "Oh, local farmhands will do the job," or "Just pay locals more money," are not realistic solutions, IMO.

You need to "touch all the bases."

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#106
Feb 7, 2013
 
So do it!!!
What would 'you' do?
If we're still speaking to-each-other answer the questions 'you' pose*
What is the solution?
'you' 1st since 'i' asked the question,
and 'i' promise I'll give IMO without using
your answer as a reference.
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#107
Feb 7, 2013
 

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milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
Try thinking this through - your plan is one-sided. You have no contigency plan once the immigrant farmworkers are taken out of the picture. Simply eliminating them is the easy step - figuring out a way of replacing them is a whole different set of problems. Simply saying, "Oh, local farmhands will do the job," or "Just pay locals more money," are not realistic solutions, IMO.
You need to "touch all the bases."
There is plenty of availible labor but those that need labor have to be willing to pay the cost and follow labor laws that every honest business follows. Face it, nobody is going to take a job that does not pay enough to live on. Even if they do work for $9.50 an hour the taxpayer will have to subsidize the difference between what they are paid and what they need to survive. Agriculture in Georgia is a $12,000,000,000 a year industry. There is room to pay a living wage.
I just read an article that said a good picker can pick 50 buckets of cucumbers and hour. That is $0.19 per bucket. I am not sure how many each bucket holds but even at twice the pay rate the cost of cucumbers would increase by a penney or two at most. That translates in to $20.00/hr for the best and fastest pickers. How many people would not pick cucumbers if they could earn up to $40.00/hr?
Dee Dee Dee

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#108
Feb 7, 2013
 
I should say how many unemployed people would not take a job that could pay up to $40.00/hr.? I have a job that pays better than that and I have medical issues that would also prevent me doing that kind of work but when I was in my teens I did farm work but for less than 1/20th of that pay.

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#109
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
There is plenty of availible labor but those that need labor have to be willing to pay the cost and follow labor laws that every honest business follows. Face it, nobody is going to take a job that does not pay enough to live on. Even if they do work for $9.50 an hour the taxpayer will have to subsidize the difference between what they are paid and what they need to survive. Agriculture in Georgia is a $12,000,000,000 a year industry. There is room to pay a living wage.
I just read an article that said a good picker can pick 50 buckets of cucumbers and hour. That is $0.19 per bucket. I am not sure how many each bucket holds but even at twice the pay rate the cost of cucumbers would increase by a penney or two at most. That translates in to $20.00/hr for the best and fastest pickers. How many people would not pick cucumbers if they could earn up to $40.00/hr?
You need to read the rest of the story - those "good pickers" ARE immigrant workers, not local "good ol' boys." Immigrant labor is the standard by which those figures are created. Face it - immigrant labor is a tireless, consistant, cheaper and better labor alternative to American labor in a lot of what I suppose we can call "meanial" jobs. I don't agree with putting them to work on contract jobs and sites - like masons, carpenters and such. Farm labor is not a job, regardless of what it pays, that the vast majority of Americans want. We already have a job surplus of over 3.2 million jobs in the United States - if you create another 1.3 million farm labor jobs, guess where those jobs are going to land on the list? That's right - right below food industry openings (aka: McDonald's, Taco Bell, etc.).

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#110
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
I should say how many unemployed people would not take a job that could pay up to $40.00/hr.? I have a job that pays better than that and I have medical issues that would also prevent me doing that kind of work but when I was in my teens I did farm work but for less than 1/20th of that pay.
I got news for you on that front too - 70% of all Americans have some sort of health issues - anything from high blood pressure to heart desease to over-weight. Farmers live on the very ragged edge of existence now, what makes you believe they could simply afford to pay their pickers twice as much tomorrow? And if they could, why wouldn't they have already tried that in states with immigration laws instead of rolling the dice and gambling on illegal immigrant labor?

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#111
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
$9.50/hr for farm labor in Georgia and they cannot understand why people are not rushing for jobs that would put a family of 4 living in Georgia under the poverty level by about $4,000.00 a year.
Naturally tax payers would have to subsidize anybody who works on a farm and has a family. I would rather pay more at the store so that the farm worker does not need to collect entitlements which increase taxes. Of course those who do not pay taxes would rather cheaper food prices.
Try thinking this through - your plan is one-sided. You have no contigency plan once the immigrant farmworkers are taken out of the picture. Simply eliminating them is the easy step - figuring out a way of replacing them is a whole different set of problems. Simply saying, "Oh, local farmhands will do the job," or "Just pay locals more money," are not realistic solutions, IMO.
You need to "touch all the bases."
To M69:
"Hoosier Hillbilly"]So do it!!!
What would 'you' do?
If we're still speaking to-each-other answer the questions 'you' pose*
What is the solution?
'you' 1st since 'i' asked the question,
and 'i' promise I'll give IMO without using
your answer as a reference.
OK?
M69 I'm waiting on an answer.

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#112
Feb 7, 2013
 

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Could workfare be better than welfare? Maybe. We have a bunch of unemployed. I'd rather subsidize someone to work than to subsidize someone to not work. Just sayin'
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#113
Feb 7, 2013
 

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milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
I got news for you on that front too - 70% of all Americans have some sort of health issues - anything from high blood pressure to heart desease to over-weight. Farmers live on the very ragged edge of existence now, what makes you believe they could simply afford to pay their pickers twice as much tomorrow? And if they could, why wouldn't they have already tried that in states with immigration laws instead of rolling the dice and gambling on illegal immigrant labor?
Not sure exactly what the number of Americans with health issues has to do with anything. The fact that illegal immigration increases health costs for Americans and granting them amnesty will only make it worse for those Americans with health issues is not part of our current discussion but we can go there.
I agree that farmers live on the ragged edge of existence now. An honest hard working family farmer has a tough time competing with large corporate farms that use illegal workers, government subsidies and favorable laws wrangled by lobbying at the local, state and federal level to gain a compeditive edge. Large factory farms have lowered food prices but they have also made family farming more difficult than it already was. Why should cut rate labor for these large companies be allowed to make it even more difficult for the small operator? Most small farms do not hire illegal labor. They may contract for seasonal labor which may bring in illegals like the bigger farms do but for the day to day labor they hire local and pay the going wages.

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#114
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
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Not sure exactly what the number of Americans with health issues has to do with anything.
"I have medical issues that would also prevent me doing that kind of work..."

I was implying that you're not alone. Not in anyway the same, but "everyone's got problems."

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#115
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
Not sure exactly what the number of Americans with health issues has to do with anything. The fact that illegal immigration increases health costs for Americans and granting them amnesty will only make it worse for those Americans with health issues is not part of our current discussion but we can go there.
I agree that farmers live on the ragged edge of existence now. An honest hard working family farmer has a tough time competing with large corporate farms that use illegal workers, government subsidies and favorable laws wrangled by lobbying at the local, state and federal level to gain a compeditive edge. Large factory farms have lowered food prices but they have also made family farming more difficult than it already was. Why should cut rate labor for these large companies be allowed to make it even more difficult for the small operator? Most small farms do not hire illegal labor. They may contract for seasonal labor which may bring in illegals like the bigger farms do but for the day to day labor they hire local and pay the going wages.
I found this about a year ago online. It's a bit abstract and winded, but it does outline some of the concerns growers have nowadays.

"Whether there would be an adequate supply of authorized U.S. farm workers if new technologies were developed or different labor-management practices were implemented continues to be an unanswered question. Whether more U.S. workers would be willing to become farm workers if wages were raised and whether the size of the wage increase would make the industry uncompetitive in the world marketplace also remain open issues. These matters remain
unresolved because perishable crop growers have rarely, if ever, had to operate without unauthorized aliens being present in the domestic farm workforce."

http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs...

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#116
Feb 7, 2013
 
Naughtyrobot wrote:
Could workfare be better than welfare? Maybe. We have a bunch of unemployed. I'd rather subsidize someone to work than to subsidize someone to not work. Just sayin'
I agree....and hate talk of , the taxpayer's would have to subsidize..........
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#117
Feb 7, 2013
 
Hoosier Hillbilly wrote:
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
$9.50/hr for farm labor in Georgia and they cannot understand why people are not rushing for jobs that would put a family of 4 living in Georgia under the poverty level by about $4,000.00 a year.
Naturally tax payers would have to subsidize anybody who works on a farm and has a family. I would rather pay more at the store so that the farm worker does not need to collect entitlements which increase taxes. Of course those who do not pay taxes would rather cheaper food prices.
Try thinking this through - your plan is one-sided. You have no contigency plan once the immigrant farmworkers are taken out of the picture. Simply eliminating them is the easy step - figuring out a way of replacing them is a whole different set of problems. Simply saying, "Oh, local farmhands will do the job," or "Just pay locals more money," are not realistic solutions, IMO.
You need to "touch all the bases."
To M69:
"Hoosier Hillbilly"]So do it!!!
What would 'you' do?
If we're still speaking to-each-other answer the questions 'you' pose*
What is the solution?
'you' 1st since 'i' asked the question,
and 'i' promise I'll give IMO without using
your answer as a reference.
OK?
M69 I'm waiting on an answer.
If you pay the money that the work demands and do all you can to make the work environment as comfortable and safe as it can be there will be labor available. The biggest problem is that we do not have a pool of experienced domestic field labor because illegal aliens have done the work for so long. While many think that a person can just start working in the fields, like any other job it has to be learned. You are not going to take a drug addict out of prison, throw him in to a field, pay him next to nothing and expect him to work like a person who has been doing it for a living for years. The people that tried that program did so with the intention of failure.
The agriculture industry created the problem and they should have to fix it. They resist change because they are comfortable with they way they are operating but like the auto industry , electric producers, and oil companies that had to reduce pollution and every other industry that has changed to increase safety, reduce pollution or become more socially responsible they must change the way they are operating because their practices are causing harm. I do have opinions on what should be done but I am not going to type it all out. I just don't have the time. The agriculture industry has been confronted with an issue of their own making and they need to solve it. Those that are smart and adaptable will survive and those that are not will fail and be taken over by those that succeed.

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#118
Feb 7, 2013
 
I like to see the number of Immigrants who came to America.. and became citizens... opened up a business. Which in turn, they pay taxes and voice their opinions within their communities.. perhaps making a difference for betterment of issues at hand.. WHEREAS, American citizens bred here from their Colonial ancestors lineage.. ARE doing NOTHING..to better their communities, rather believe in the Robin Hood Theory...and sacrifice NOTHING..except a few peanuts to quiet the squirrel chatter.. so they can listen to their television ramblings.. Brain Washing 101..
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Feb 7, 2013
 

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milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
I found this about a year ago online. It's a bit abstract and winded, but it does outline some of the concerns growers have nowadays.
"Whether there would be an adequate supply of authorized U.S. farm workers if new technologies were developed or different labor-management practices were implemented continues to be an unanswered question. Whether more U.S. workers would be willing to become farm workers if wages were raised and whether the size of the wage increase would make the industry uncompetitive in the world marketplace also remain open issues. These matters remain
unresolved because perishable crop growers have rarely, if ever, had to operate without unauthorized aliens being present in the domestic farm workforce."
http://www.nationalaglawcenter.org/assets/crs...
Looks like a good read. I will check it out. I get tired of hearing how lettuce will be %10.00 a head if we enforce immigration laws and labor laws in the agricultural industry. The fact is nobody can say exactly what the implications of any change will be but I do know that we will not starve because agricultural wages increase a bit.

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#120
Feb 7, 2013
 

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Attica prison has a farm that is worked by prisoners, they learn hard work, responsibility and skills. Just sayin'

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#122
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
Looks like a good read. I will check it out. I get tired of hearing how lettuce will be %10.00 a head if we enforce immigration laws and labor laws in the agricultural industry. The fact is nobody can say exactly what the implications of any change will be but I do know that we will not starve because agricultural wages increase a bit.
Heck no, not unless you're a vegitarian, then my food pees on your food. lol

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#123
Feb 7, 2013
 
Sublime1 wrote:
<quoted text>
I actually haven’t heard much about this so called disaster, you speak of. I know a big deal was initially made of it, and from what I have read, some crops did not get picked, but I don’t think it was nearly the disaster you think it is.
These immense dust storms—given names such as "black blizzards" and "black rollers"—often reduced visibility to a few feet (a meter) or less. The Dust Bowl affected 100,000,000 acres (400,000 km2), centered on the panhandles of Texas and Oklahoma, and adjacent parts of New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dust_Bowl
Dee Dee Dee

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#124
Feb 7, 2013
 
milwaukee69 wrote:
<quoted text>
You need to read the rest of the story - those "good pickers" ARE immigrant workers, not local "good ol' boys." Immigrant labor is the standard by which those figures are created. Face it - immigrant labor is a tireless, consistant, cheaper and better labor alternative to American labor in a lot of what I suppose we can call "meanial" jobs. I don't agree with putting them to work on contract jobs and sites - like masons, carpenters and such. Farm labor is not a job, regardless of what it pays, that the vast majority of Americans want. We already have a job surplus of over 3.2 million jobs in the United States - if you create another 1.3 million farm labor jobs, guess where those jobs are going to land on the list? That's right - right below food industry openings (aka: McDonald's, Taco Bell, etc.).
I have no problem with temporary immigrant workers where actually needed but the subject is illegal aliens and about 50% of farm workers are illegal. The only reason for that is because that is the way the industry wants it. It allows them to keep wages low. There is no other reason. Illegal aliens are not genetically better pickers than Americans and immigrants. They are not gifted by God with the ability to pick better, fast or longer. They simply work cheaper and cannot complain about being exploited. For some reason people who claim to be compassionate liberals support this.

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#125
Feb 7, 2013
 
Dee Dee Dee wrote:
<quoted text>
I have no problem with temporary immigrant workers where actually needed but the subject is illegal aliens and about 50% of farm workers are illegal. The only reason for that is because that is the way the industry wants it. It allows them to keep wages low. There is no other reason. Illegal aliens are not genetically better pickers than Americans and immigrants. They are not gifted by God with the ability to pick better, fast or longer. They simply work cheaper and cannot complain about being exploited. For some reason people who claim to be compassionate liberals support this.
What source are you using to get you information from? Or is that your guesstimate?

**********

Georgia Sees Immigrant Farm Workers Aren’t So Replaceable

June 23, 2011

The state-run program in Georgia that puts the probation population to work in farms to make up for the shortage of farm laborers in the wake of an anti-immigrant law passed by the state is not yielding the results hoped for.

The program was started by Republican Gov. Nathan Deal after farmers complained that the anti-immigrant law he recently signed had resulted in an exodus of Latino farm workers leaving them with a shortage of labor that seriously jeopardizes their farming operations.

“It’s not going to work,” Benito Mendez, a crew leader at one Georgia farm, said.“No way. If I’m going to depend on the probation people, I’m never going to get the crops up.”

For the last week, Mendez has supervised several probationers but he says most call it quits early and don’t produce the same results as their Latino counterparts.

“Tired. The heat,” Tavares Jones, a 33-year-old worker said as he left early for the day at the farm Mendez works.“It’s hard work out here.”

Farmers have calculated that there are currently about 11,000 vacant positions at their farms. Crops that aren’t harvested soon could result in significant losses across the state if the matter isn’t resolved quickly.

So far the program is only in effect at one farm, but could expand to more in the next few days.

“Those guys out here weren’t out there 30 minutes and they got the bucket and just threw them in the air and say,‘Bonk this, I ain’t with this, I can’t do this,’” Jermond Powell, a 33-year-old probationer working at the farm, said.“They just left, took off across the field walking.”

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