Training and Jobs Available for Unemployed

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mgarlow
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Since you folks in Fayetteville seem to be in apoplexy about illegals "taking jobs away" and being a general drain on our society and economy, perhaps the following news should be of comfort to you:

"
UPDATED: Union to Congress, unemployed: Take our jobs

By Tom Karst

(UPDATED COVERAGE, June 25) “Take Our Jobs,” please. That’s the message from the United Farm Workers union, which is turning the tables on Congress after years of inaction on comprehensive immigration reform.

The union launched a campaign called Take Our Jobs, showcased on the website www.takeourjobs.org, to highlight the reality that illegal immigrants in agriculture are not taking jobs away from U.S. citizens and other legal residents.

“We are a nation in denial about our food supply,” said Arturo Rodriguez, president of the Keene, Calif.-based union, in a June 24 teleconference.

Rodriguez outlined the group’s plans: UFW staff members across the country are offering to help unemployed legal residents find jobs at farms and other agricultural operations.

“We will help them replace the undocumented farmworkers everyone believes are such a problem,” he said.

Rodriguez said people visiting the campaign’s website can provide their contact information under the headline “I want to be a farmworker” so they can be connected to employment offices in farming regions across the country.

The campaign also is scheduled to be featured July 8 “Colbert Report” on Comedy Central. The campaign seeks to prod Congress to act on immigration reform and particularly the bipartisan AgJobs legislation backed both by grower and labor leaders.

The campaign is a creative attempt to drive home a worthy point, said Cathy Enright, vice president of government affairs for Irvine, Calif.-based Western Growers’ Washington, D.C., office.

“We see (the campaign) as an additional effort to make the point that proponents of AgJobs have been making for years, that foreign labor is going to harvest your crops, either here in the U.S. or abroad,” she said.

Rodriguez said farmworkers do the work that most Americans are not willing to do.

“Many Americans believe that undocumented people are taking jobs from our citizens and legal residents,” he said. “But missing from the immigration debate is an honest recognition that the food we all eat at homes, in restaurants and in workplace cafeterias comes to us from the labor of undocumented farmworkers.”

With more than half of farm labor illegal immigrants, according to Rodriguez, America’s farm economy would collapse if they left their jobs.

He said the UFW will use the campaign to highlight the need for the AgJobs bill that would give illegal immigrant farmworkers presently in the U.S. the right to legal status by continuing to work in agriculture.

“The U.S. depends on these farmworkers for food, and AgJobs secures America’s food supply and it is the most practical and equitable solution in addressing growers’ concern about labor shortages and the insecurity that makes farm workers so vulnerable to abuse,” Rodriguez said.

Rob Williams, director of the Florida-based Migrant Farmworker Justice Project, said up to 2.5 million people work in agriculture, about 75% of which were born outside of the U.S. Williams said between half and two-thirds of farmworkers don’t have legal authorization to work in the U.S.

The Take Our Jobs campaign comes on the heels of a strict anti-immigration law in Arizona.

Williams said the campaign may illustrate that unemployed Americans are not interested in farm jobs.

“We need these workers,” he said. “There is no replacement work force for the 1.4 million unauthorized famworkers in the U.S.”

The union said it has sent letters to U.S. lawmakers, asking them to urge unemployed constituents to take the UFW up on its offer.

Michael Rubio, Kern County supervisor, said in the teleconference illegal immigrant workers have essential skills needed to maintain the viability of agriculture in California.

He invited politicians to spend one day in the shoes of an immigrant farmworker.

“They should do that before they categorize these hardworking individuals as the problem of our economy.”

The UFW said it will schedule a news conference in about a month about the reaction to the campaign and how many people have inquired about farm labor."

We'll check back in about a month and see if any of you have signed up to work in California's Central Valley this summer, and maybe for the rest of your lives.

mgarlow
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Just as I figured. No one

Just as I figured. No one wants to touch this one. The Truth hurts, and it's best to ignore it and make like an ostrich?

Joe Kawfi
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mgarlow

That's not the point. They need to be here LEGALLY!!

Davids mom
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MGARLOW

Not hiding like an ostrich - just waiting to see what is going to happen in the next week or so when millions will not receive their $300 a week unemployment to feed their families while they are out of work. I don't think there will be a rush to the fields to make lower than minimum wage. . .but I may be wrong.

Davids mom
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Mgarlow

Just as I thought. No rush to the fields - but HOPING when Congress returns, the unemployment checks will be sent out. Why is Congress siding with the employers and letting them get by with less than minimum wage and non-payment of employer tax? Slave-labor/light. Good description. Sad.

NUK_1
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Jobs "Americans won't do"

The argument that "Americans" won't work on farms and clean houses is such a myopic and ignorant viewpoint. This just in: illegals drive DOWN wages. The higher availability of labor(especially the non-skilled) depresses wages. Does the UFW realize that? Of course they do, but don't want to talk about that because they are salivating at the possibility of adding a million or so members to their union and the union leaders cashing-in.

There is a point in labor and pay where people will or will not perform certain work at certain wages. Do you want to go dig ditches on the side of an asphalt highway when it's 95 degrees in the summer for $7/hour? Likely not. Now, if the job pays $17/hour, some may decide that's OK.

You take away illegal labor and suddenly there could in fact be a labor shortage. That would mean wages would be forced to go up, but also means that food prices consumers would pay are naturally going up too. Expecting someone on govt assistance to trade in his/her govt benefits for LESS money to go to work is rarely going to happen, until those govt benefits are no longer available.

So, once American consumers decide that paying higher food prices is better than having depressed wages for certain farmwork and the work performed by illegals, the illegal immigration problem is most of the way solved.

mgarlow
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All of you (Y'all?) are

All of you (Y'all?) are missing the point. Time to cease with the hypothetical arguments. Set up the pick-and-pack training, and see if our unemployed fill the ranks to displace the illegals. After that is done, let's sit down at the bargaining table, with the UFW of any other union, and negotiate terms and conditions to improve upon what is pretty slim right now.

The Wedge
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Why can't you see the point of NUK's argument, mgarlow?

Sans a guest worker program, many of these jobs being filled by illegally present workers will remain unfilled at the wages currently offered. If the wages improve, then these jobs would be filled by legally present people. Yes, prices would go up.
It is time for our country to act like responsible adults. We should not countenance an illegal situation, winking at it and stating "well, we don't have to follow these laws, only these." We seem to do this with lots of things and thus have become bad parents with no firm rule setting. Let's fix it and come up with a happy middle where migrant labor jobs are filled by legally present people making a decent wage.
Your dismay on here is ill-placed, epsecially if you choose not to actually read what people say in response.

mgarlow
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Oh, I hear you. I have heard

Oh, I hear you. I have heard all of those arguments before. Back in 1963 with the California Public Law that was to do the "guest worker program". What you don't get is that the labor you seek to pick the crops cannot be regarded as a public utility that you can turn on and off like water. You want a form of "slave-labor light" without all of the baggage. It just does not work. What is it that you describe as "happy middle"?

The Wedge
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No garlow

you want to form a slave labor (light). You want to have undocumented and furtive illegally present people to do the picking for you. Easy to keep in the shadows, easy to prey against and have predatory labor practices. The wage price point must meet the labor price point in the open and transparent air. Guest worker programs exist in other places. I would rather treat non-citizen workers in the US as guests and not criminals. It is a shame that you would choose to let them be regarded as criminals.

mgarlow
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Wedgie, No, you misread me.

Wedgie,
No, you misread me. I say, remove all illegal workers, and in their place, put the jobless and long-term unemployed in their place. Or, we see how this works. My guess is that our agriculture crops will rot, our hotels, restaurants, landscaping, nursing care homes will all fail. Also, our ongoing failure to replace our offspring by dying in greater numbers than we reproduce will mean that we cannot sustain our system. You figure it out. Guest worker programs create divisive social structures and unintended problems. You might say that slavery in the United States was an unwelcome guest worker program. As a country, we have been there before. We need not go there again. So, what say you for a solution?

The Wedge
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Okay garlow girl

I can use your name in play as well :) Okay, maybe I misunderstood your point: Now I take it as you want to forceably relocate the unemployed and jobless to areas where most illegal immigrants can be found. I struggle to see how that is a more socially acceptable solution than a Guest worker Program. Good gracious, we have a partial program in place now called the green card program. Are you seeing that as a continuation of slavery? A guest worker program would create distinctions in citizenship, but gee whiz-there are distinctions in citizen now! At least a sensible guest worker program can be managed, regulated, and audited. At least there would be a sensible path to citizenship for unskilled workers who desire to work and live in the US.

AtHomeGym
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Guest Worker Program

What I do know is that Germany tried this with mostly Turkish workers--theycalled "Gaestarbiters) and they failed to assimilate culturally, resulting in drunken knifings and other violence. After some yrs of this, the German Govt paid them all some big bucks to to home (and paid for their airfare).

mgarlow
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The guest worker program in

The guest worker program in Germany is an example, and the current program in Dubai is another where unintended consequences arise. However, the expulsion of illegals is not my idea. It is the idea of those in apoplexy over the fact that we have undocumented people running around, taking "our" jobs, and draining our treasury. I do appreciate that Wedge said that we should have a "path to citizenship" along with some program. So, he has started working on a solution. As it is right not, we have illegals in our presence, who are really doing stuff we don't want to do, and yet, we want them out of here. So, let's work out a solution that provides a humane system, by which this country can take in those who want to come here, to do that work which we have no desire to do, and include a defined program for US Citizenship. We have aliens in our uniform in Iraq and Afghanistan. Conferring citizenship on those willing to do the things we do not want to do ourselves is a good way to start immigration reform. We will be a better country for it, now and in the future.

NUK_1
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Garlow...you have zero clue

Try a course in economics. The mantra of "what we don't want to do" sounds really ignorant when the reality is that illegals and their employers are:

a) ignoring minimum wage laws and even minimum wage law exemptions....gee, what a shocker!
b) not worried about the 7.5% FICA tax each would have to pay if they were legal
c) OSHA...civil rights..benefits....? Uh, no

Now, let's see why "we don't want to do these jobs" shall we? How about because employers get to use illegals who don't mind being exploited and the employer gets to pay a puny wage and not worry at all about all those bothersome government requirements.

If there is a lot of people in America who have the same mindset as you on immigration, the problem will never be solved because there is a stunning amount of ignorance that makes a decent solution impossible.

mgarlow
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So, you say the problem is

So, you say the problem is the employers. Yes, that is. It can and should be regulated and dealt with. However, the political will is not there. The political will is not there either to give the workers legal status. Don't blame the problem on the workers here illegally. There is documented proof of messages and flyers created by Iowa meat packers who urged (...."if you can get yourself to Marshalltown, Iowa, .....we have jobs for you") residents of Mexico to do migrate. Yes, that is pure and simple economics. Work on that.

The Wedge
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double post

....

mgarlow
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Applicants Wanted

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Facing growing anti-immigrant rhetoric, the United Farm Workers union is challenging Americans to take their labor-intensive, low-paying farm jobs.

As communities nationwide grapple with tenacious unemployment, migrant workers are often accused of stealing jobs from Americans. The union believes this accusation is without basis, and intends to demonstrate this with a newly-launched campaign called "Take Our Jobs."

"Farm workers do the work that most Americans are not willing to do," said union president Arturo Rodriguez in the announcement of the campaign.

At least half a million applicants are needed to replace the immigrant workforce, so the union has posted an online application for Americans who want to work on a farm.

Through its Web site, at www.takeourjobs.org, the union promises to connect applicants with farm jobs in their area.

Since June 24, at least 4,000 people have responded to the application, said Rodriguez. Some are serious responses and others are hate mail. "Only a few dozen have really followed through with the process," he said.

Most applicants quickly lose interest once the reality sinks in that these are back-breaking jobs in triple-digit temperatures that pay minimum wage, usually without benefits, according to the union. Some small farms are not required to pay minimum wage and in 15 states farms aren't required to offer workers' compensation.

Despite the dismal job market in the U.S., where the unemployment rate is 9.5% and 14.6 million people are out of work, there have been few takers.
0:00 /2:22Can farming save Detroit?

"I think everybody in our society is pretty clear that the least desirable job in the U.S. is being a migrant farm worker," said Rob Williams, director of the Migrant Farm Worker Justice Project. "If someone said to me, 'Here's a hazardous job and there's no worker's compensation,' I'd say, 'No thanks, It's kind of a no-brainer."

The Department of Agriculture counts nearly one million farm workers in the United States. According to the Migrant Farm Worker Justice Project, 85% of farm workers are immigrants -- and up to 70% of them are illegal.

Rodriguez, the union president, said the campaign is meant to draw attention to the need for immigration reform, such as the so-called AgJobs bill currently held up in Congress. The bill would grant temporary legal status to immigrants, which would become permanent if they continue to work on farms for a specific period of time.

"If [members of Congress] can't do their job in passing the bill, then they should come work in the fields," he said.

Illegal workers are rich fodder for anti-immigration leaders such as Gov. Janice Brewer, R-Ariz., who told reporters in June that the "majority" of immigrants crossing the border from Mexico are smuggling drugs for cartels. The governor also signed into law requirements for state police to "determine the immigration status" of anyone under "reasonable suspicion" of being an illegal alien.

The Justice Department on Tuesday sued the state of Arizona to overturn its new immigration law.

The proponents for migrant farm workers insist that they help, not hinder, the U.S.

Williams said that if people who oppose immigration "got their wish and all the unauthorized people went home tomorrow, we would have a crisis. We wouldn't have anyone to pick the crops, milk the cows, or take care of the Christmas trees."

He added, "It may be the least desirable job, but it's the most important job for all of us, because we all eat."

Courthouserules
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Everyone who does this kind of work (including 115 degree roofs

......should make $15 an hour with insurance and workers compensation.
That is what they are saying.
No way they want the jobs anyway at any price.
However companies hiring them or hiring contractors to hire them should spend a little time in the pokey! What you say to that?