13
   

Decent jobs but no takers......

 
 
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 08:54 am
Washington state has a crisis -- there isn't anyone to pick apples. Farmers are offering up to $150 per day, they're advertising for help, and they aren't getting any takers. There is a lot of talk about how this not only affects farmers but truck drivers, dock workers, shipping companies, etc.

Not only this but also this:

Quote:
• In Alabama, where a new state law is aimed at cracking down on illegal immigrants, the construction, agriculture and poultry industries all report huge shortages of labor.

• A study by the University of Georgia this year found that the state had a shortage of 5,244 workers in the fields.

• In California, farmers have complained of too few workers to pick the avocados.

• In Texas, growers have appealed for more employees to help pick their organic crops and vegetables, with little luck.

http://www.thenewstribune.com/2011/10/15/1865615/heat-on-immigrants-makes-harvest.html


Then, just this morning I was listening to some clips from the Republican debates and there was tons of anti-immigrant rhetoric.

I've also been thinking about how just about everyone you meet over the age of about 35 who grew up in the Pacific Northwest gets very nostalgic over their childhood days spent working on farms and in orchards to earn money. They wish their kids had the same opportunity.

When you couple this with the "college for all" chanters and the seemingly deep disrespect for anyone who preforms physical work you have to wonder where we'll be in another 10 years. Will the fruit pickers earn more than the computer programers and office workers?

Twined in with all of this is the glut of articles on young people being absolutely crushed by student debt while not being able to get a job.

I know this is all kind of random but I'm really wondering where it will all lead.

What is your take on it?


 
tsarstepan
 
  3  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:28 am
@boomerang,
I'm feeling wildly cynical today. Why don't I believe this alleged $150 per day "offering." If this is an 8 hour day then that would be an $18.75 hourly wage.

Something tells me it isn't a regular 8 hour day shift. Why am I thinking this is an insanely 60 to 70 hour+ work week with absolutely no chance at overtime?
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:32 am
@boomerang,
Farm and orchard work in Washington State must be a lot less physically demanding than it is elsewhere. I've never met anyone with positive memories of summer farm work - they worked hard so their kids and grandkids wouldn't ever have to strip tobacco or pick corn.
boomerang
 
  3  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:38 am
@tsarstepan,
I don't really know what the conditions are but a quick search came up with this from 1997:

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=working%20conditions%20apple%20orchards%20washington&source=web&cd=5&ved=0CD4QFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fagecon.uwyo.edu%2Friskmgt%2Fhumanrisk%2FPositiveLaborRelationforAppleProduct.pdf&ei=_D6gTpLpA_HZiQLamt10&usg=AFQjCNF36PDxjK_TVCQ3trykf0muu-REVA&cad=rja

Quote:
Tree fruit packing jobs in Central Washington are among the most highly sought in the area. Many
packers work year-round or nearly so, and receive employer-supported health insurance benefits. Wages
in the industry average $7.50 per hour, which is 45 percent above the new federal minimum wage ($5.15)
and 53 percent above the state's ($4.90). Several leading packing houses, including those targeted by the
union, pay wages averaging as high as $8.45 per hour.


So they were paying almost double minimum wage. Starting next January, minimum wage will be 9.04 per hour -- so again they're paying about double.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:45 am
@ehBeth,
I'm just reporting what I've heard over and over again. Most of them started working when they were about 12.

A lot of the late teens/early 20s kids here used to head to Alaska to work in the fish processing plants in the summer. It's hard, unglamorous work but they got paid very well to do it. I don't think it's really a popular option any more.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:46 am
@boomerang,
During World War 2, when there was a shortage of people to work in the fields, I was part of a group of California school children who helped the farmers several times. It was hard work in the heat. I picked apples, tomatoes and walnuts. The walnuts stained our hands so much it took weeks for it to disappear.

BBB

boomerang
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:50 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Did you get paid?

I'm sure it's terribly hard work.
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 09:58 am
@boomerang,
We were not paid. We were helping the war efforts. It was hard work, and our backs and knees got sore and we got sunburn, but being in a group of silly school children made it bearable. I wonder if this type of program could be repeated these days?

BBB
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:08 am
@boomerang,
Alabama's Skilled Labor Shortage

Quote:
Academics and experts argue about the economy bouncing back, but Rowe is confident the need is there.

"I'm not an economist. But there doesn't seem to be any disagreement on the rate of which skilled workers are retiring," says Rowe. "Long term, I'm comfortable saying construction can't stop. Farming can't stop."

According to the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute (ACRI), the organization behind "Go Build Alabama," for every person who becomes a trade worker, three or four are retiring. The root of the problem is public relations.

"We found there are so many misconceptions about these jobs. We found 'they're all minimum wage, seasonal, no career ladder, or are dangerous' and nothing could be further from the truth," says Tim Alford, ACRI Executive Director. "These jobs we're talking about pay higher salaries than four-year-degree people make, and have even better benefits. We've got to get that word out."
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:42 am
@boomerang,
The part I don't understand is so what if you are college educated just out of school - this is not going to be your full time career? You are just doing to pay your bills in the mean time.

I remember I was willing to do any (legal/moral) work until I found a professional permernant job. I worked temp and took anything offerred to me until I got my college degree related job.

And in summers and during college - similar so I could help pay for college.

DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:43 am
@Linkat,
Yeah. Temp work can also land you health care.
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:50 am
@DrewDad,
That's exactly what I'm talking about DrewDad!

My eye opening moment about this stuff was learning that my garbage man had a master's degree in microbiology. He liked being a garbage man better -- he made more money, had better benefits and got to spend more time with his family.

I'll wager that my plumber makes more money than my accountant -- at least off me he does!
0 Replies
 
boomerang
 
  2  
Reply Thu 20 Oct, 2011 10:54 am
@Linkat,
Exactly!

I remember some of my first paid photo jobs.... taking photos for a lawyers of abuse victims and car crashes and tenement buildings and other awful things. Certainly not the things I hoped to be taking pictures of but it helped pay the bills.
0 Replies
 
wayne
 
  4  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 08:55 am
I believe a lot of the problem can be summed up with the old adage "Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians"
I'm sure most of us recognize those persons who possess leadership skills, it seems apparent that it is something certain people are born with.
Our present course of education is that these qualities can be educated into people, I don't believe that's true. Education is best served in enhancing the innate qualities of the individual.
There are far too many people out there who are educated beyond their abilities, that are unwilling to do any manual labor, which they believe is beneath their status. The funny thing about that is that those natural leaders are quite willing to perform labor, when the need arises.
The concept of working harder so our children don't have to sounds nice superficially, but it doesn't stand up in the real world, where mother nature calls the shots. Someone still needs to pick the apples and mend the fences.

There was a time when people worked their way up through the ranks, such an arrangement allows the natural leader to move forward, while gathering invaluable knowledge from the ground up.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:57 am
@wayne,
I'm not disagreeing (more curious as to the why)- but why do you think this is so?

Quote:
There are far too many people out there who are educated beyond their abilities, that are unwilling to do any manual labor, which they believe is beneath their status.


I mean I came from a blue collar family that encouraged me to go to college. I did well in school - not brilliant, but in the top 10% of the class. I came out and did not get a job immediately, but worked in any way that I could until I found a job that I felt would utilize my education. Since then, even with a college degree (and then an advanced degree obtained part time), I worked my way up. I am not what I would call any where near top management, but a decent enough job.

Even if you have a degree - you still start at the bottom in a sense - you must still prove yourself in your job....what do you think is different currently vs. say 20 year ago?
wayne
 
  3  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:36 pm
@Linkat,
Finishing in the top 10% of your class indicates you possess those qualities necessary to success as a manager.
Consider the bottom 50% or so of college grads, the ratio of those who are lacking in ability goes up.
I think the point I'm trying to make is that we sell education in this country, just like everything else. I think there is a huge difference between higher education for the purpose of developing ones ability, and education for the purpose of avoiding manual labor and an increase in income.
Education is a great thing, don't get me wrong, but what would happen if we somehow achieved 100% education rates, who would dig the ditches?
It wouldn't be the ones who sought education for the sake of an easier life, that's for sure.

I'm rambling a bit, but I deal with far too many people who apparently think being productive means bringing home a paycheck. I worked with an 82 year old man, this week, who could work 80% of the 20 somethings I know into the ground, and that's simply because of attitude.
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 09:45 pm
@wayne,
walmart announced today that they are raising their insurance costs, and not providing it to part timers.

blue collar means no health insurance mostly now, as it is...
Pemerson
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Oct, 2011 10:08 pm
This reminds me of what sad times we are in now. But, my plumber charged $357 for 4 hours work installing a new toilet, two new sinks & faucets, and new kitchen faucet. That's pretty decent pay, $89.25/hour.

People in America are accustomed to thinking bigger, better, get ahead, run a company, be president. What would it take to get them to pick apples? Growing up I used to pick cotton for 5 cents a pound. All I needed was $5 for rides at the Dallas State Fair. We had a lot of fun, us crazy kids, picking cotton. Aching backs, too.

0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 07:42 am
@wayne,
Yeah - but i went to a high school within a city that wasn't considered the brightest bulbs in the world. I think it may have been different if I attended a high school in a highly rated district. Not that I wasn't a good student and had some smarts - but I did work for my grades.

In college, I was more an average student rather than one of the very top students. I ended up with a decent GPA - if I remember correctly it was high B, but in high school I had a very high average.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
  2  
Reply Mon 24 Oct, 2011 07:44 am
@Rockhead,
In the white collar crowd though - it is typical for part timers not to get any health insurance coverage or significantly less covered by the employer. When I heard about what Walmart was doing - I was shocked they had even covered part-time workers previously.
 

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