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South Florida Tomato Farmers


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#1 dalilavender

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 10:17 AM

From the AFL/CIO


Quote

Farm workers who pick tomatoes for the fast-food industry are among this country’s most exploited workers.

In the tomato fields of south Florida, modern-day servitude still thrives.

Farm workers who pick tomatoes for the fast-food industry are among this country’s most exploited workers. They sometimes are held against their will, beaten and forced to work for little or no pay. Thousands more are trying to survive with poverty wages, no overtime pay, no sick leave and no freedom to join unions for a better life.

The tomato workers are demanding that Burger King and food industry leaders work with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to improve the wages and conditions for the workers who pick tomatoes and join an industry-wide effort to eliminate human rights abuses from Florida’s fields.

Last April, the CIW won a groundbreaking agreement with McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain. The fast-food giant agreed to pay a penny more per pound to workers harvesting tomatoes, which means the workers get 72 cents to 77 cents for every 32-pound bucket of tomatoes they pick, up from 40 cents to 45 cents.

But Burger King, the world’s second-largest hamburger chain, has rejected working with the CIW to improve farm workers’ wages and conditions.

Instead, it has joined with extreme conservatives and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange to fight the agreements. In fact, to discourage the growers from paying a mere penny more per pound, the growers exchange has threatened to impose a $100,000 fine on any grower who participates in the agreements.

AFL-CIO President John Sweeney, told a Capitol Hill rally:

I come here with a message for every woman and man who picks tomatoes: You are not alone. We know about your courage, we’re proud of you for standing up for what’s right. Your struggle is our struggle. Your dream is our dream. Your goal is our goal. And we’re going to be right beside you until the morning arrives when you win what you deserve, when you have better pay and decent conditions, when you and your hard work are respected and honored, when justice is finally done!

Members of Congress, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), also have signed the petition.

You can sign the petition by clicking here.
In January, federal officials in south Florida arrested six people, charging them with conspiring to make money off workers from Mexico and Guatemala, forging documents and committing identity theft. The six are connected to a business operation in Immokalee, Fla., allegedly created to hold workers in involuntary servitude and peonage.

The campaign is entering its final month. We need your support to make it a success now more than ever.

Take a moment today to add your name to the growing list of petition signers, and forward the petition on to your family, friends and co-workers so that they may sign it as well.

With each signature, our message to Burger King and other food industry leaders that they must take responsibility for the human rights crisis in America’s fields grows even stronger.

To learn more, please read the Ft. Myers News-Press article, “Group Accused of Keeping, Beating, Stealing from Immokalee Laborers” (1/18/08), or the Miami Herald piece, “How About a Side Order of Human Rights?” (12/16/07).

In solidarity,

Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO

P.S. The more signatures we get, the stronger the voice we give to the tomato workers suffering in horrifying conditions.

"If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding."
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#2 soapaddict

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:02 PM

I hate to say this, but this is just a way to increase the price of our food, driving US farmers out of business, and exporting our produce business and jobs to Canada and South America.

I live in Florida, and for years, I owned an orchid nursery, so I'm pretty familiar with how the plant industry works. Whether it's tropical foliage or tomatoes and avacados, most nurseries and farms do the same thing... hire migrant workers.

Slaves? The migrants do work like slaves, I guess, but that means they work hard. Pay is usually tied to per piece/lb/bushel. That is, if you are slow and lazy, you make squat. If you are fast and productive, you can make a decent living. A VERY decent living. The best orange pickers, transplanters can make OVER $100K a year because they are so good. The lazy americans that take the jobs generally make below minimum wage because they stink at it. Perhaps they should stop doing so many drugs and alcohol off hours and spend their money on more food, you aren't getting the young and strong kids out there picking tomatoes, you are getting the unemployable drunks. No wonder the AFL-CIO consider it abuse. Anything those guys did for a job would be abusive, it's hard for them to work.

The question is... who wants these jobs? This goes back to illegal immigration. For every American howling about illegal immigration, the vast majority do not realize that if we eliminate these migrant workers, OUR food prices will double, then quadruple, then quintuple. Gas is causing food prices to go up NOW.

So lets double wammy ourselves by increasing the price of production and labor for FOOD. DOH DOH DOH. I don't know about you, but I can't afford $5 for ONE tomato, and we're getting there. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot. Our agriculture industry has been STINGING. Slaughterhouses are in the same situation... next we'll be importing our meats, as they too rely on migrant workers.

I've watched miles of farms turned into housing developments over the last decade... and watched local produce disappear from grocer shelves in favor of imports. Go see where your produce comes from NOW, check your labels... and we want to kill our fewer remaining farms, and the businesses depending on them?

Will YOUR kids go pick oranges or tomatoes all day long? No? Your neighbor's kids won't either. So what do farmers do? Rot their crops in the field, then sell their farms for development land. Then we can buy all our produce from Canadian hydroponic farms and Costa Rican and Mexico farms... often owned by American farmers who now no longer need to pay income tax, but can enjoy their American citizenship there for cheap. And hire the SAME WORKERS they used to hire on their now subdivision farms in the US.

NO! They don't need to be unionized. The system WORKS. Everyone is happy, hiring is VOLUNTARY. The only unhappy people are those people who like to mind everyone else's business and make our cost of living skyrocket.

I swear to god that it's Al Qaeda's new attack on the US... hire top dollar lobbyists to trick the press and force the US people into passing laws that will DISTROY our way of life, and our costs of living. We are going to see the END of the middle class if we let these lunatic people trick us into passing laws that cut out own throats and send us into unemployment and then the poorhouse.

If I wanted to see the death of the USA, what would be THE best way to do it? Not bombing Trade Centers. Cut the legs out of the middle class by making the costs for everything so high, we can no longer prop up our economy. You will notice a DIRECT timing correlation between the beginning of the 'get rid of illegal immigrants' movement in 2005, to the cost of EVERYTHING we use today. Consider: our oil refineries, our farms, our construction industry, our meat processing are the industries that DEPEND on the illegal migrant immigrants that come to the US. How easy to drop us low with ONE set of laws that create fear and distrust in employers... with financial disability across the board as the result for ALL Americans. People are so damned stupid it makes me want to cry, as we all get poorer by the day.

#3 mixingitup

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:42 PM

Oh Jeez, one of my favorite rants.

Helen... In all my research, I have never found proof that *all those savings* are being passed on to the consumer. I believe the ceo's are pocketing huge sums of money and maybe passing a little on to the consumers.

I don't think anyone really minded the migrant workers coming to do a job and then going home at the end of the season. It has only become a problem since it literally became a problem due to the high numbers. Now I realize every area is different; but here, they take our good paying jobs. They are here to make money; not piss away their time picking veggies. Here, in my county right now, jobs are difficult to find.

Our welfare system really grabs my butt; I was just told today that one of my tenants got a big chunk of money plus a monthly check. Seems he started pulling his hair out and screaming he was crazy and someone apparently believed him. Now, as an ex-felon, he can sit home all day while my tax dollars support him. Put some of these welfare recipients to work... even part time if they can't handle a whole day. Prisoners, too; I suspect some of them would even enjoy a chance to breathe some fresh air. And here, high school and college kids de-tassel corn every summer.

As far as paying $5 for a tomato, grow your own. It's no big deal to put a few in pots or to dig up a little corner of the yard or even plant them in between flowers. Home grown veggies are a lot safer than the farmed ones, anyway.

I've shown you how illegal immigration affects us cost-wise on a state level; apparently not in your state but it's a huge problem here. We are being taxed to death in order to pay for state services and our schools are suffering.

We've never talked about the diseases brought across our borders by those who don't get their check-ups.

Immigration is fine as long as it's legal and controlled, imo :D
Mixin'

#4 soapaddict

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:47 PM

What CEO's? Most of the tomato and avacado AND orange groves are owned by small farmers in Florida. They are often families with 5 - 10 acres of land that grow orchards and small plots... and they cannot afford to hire full time help... only during harvests and planting season, which is why they hire MIGRANT workers.

The savings aren't passed on? What savings? What do you think it took to grow one tomato? You ever grow a tomato in your yard? When you buy a LB of tomatoes at the grocery store, and know that that grocery store makes AT LEAST a 50% markup, and has to THROW AWAY rotted unsold produce?

Someone had to pay the trucking company to bring those tomatoes to the store from the distributor's.

The distributor got his cut or he wouldn't be able to pay for his refrigerated warehouse or his help to fill orders.

Another trucking company had to bring that tomato from the farm.

Someone had to pick that tomato.

Someone had to water that tomato.

Someone had to weed that tomato.

Someone had to fertilize that tomato.

Someone had to plant that tomato.

Someone had to turn that soil to get the tomato to grow.

Tell me, what do you think the farmer sold that tomato for? $.05?

WHAT profits? You know how I know there are NO profits NOW? Because more than 1/2 the farm lands when I moved to Florida that grew the US's orange juice are now housing subdivisions.

If there were PROFITS, the land would never ever have been sold. It's going bye bye. South Florida tomatoes? If there are 100 acres under cultivation today in South Florida, I will fall over in shock. Where are the farm? Oh yah... housing subdivisions... you know, the ones that contributed to the destruction of our real estate industry, and by domino effect, banking.

You burn the entire forest because you don't like one tree, Mixin. THINK about this for a minute.

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction... Newton's 3rd Law. This is as solid a scientific fact as knowing we exist.

Was our prosperity such a terrible thing? Because guess what? We've had migrant 'illegal' immigrants to the US picking our produce, manning our slaughterhouses and ranches, working in our oil drilling platforms and refineries, and yes, building our railroads, for the last 150 years. Before that, we had slavery. Sucks to think of it that way, but without the farm migrants, our economy may as well be Britain's, that is, rampant unemployment, inflation, and then, the HUGE influx of brought in immigrants bringing chaos and bombings (their current muslim/pakastani problem) in order to solve their shortage of low level labor... something they didn't realize when times were better.

Now times suck for them, even worse than before. And the US is soon to follow because of people who want to burn our forest because they don't like ONE tree in it. The costs of immigration? You haven't even begun to consider it. If the last 3 years of 'no more immigration' movement hasn't hurt your wallet yet, keep on agitating and see how well off we all are in another 2-3 years. Maybe they'll get rid of the farms, and the price for one tomato will reach $10.

I remember going to japan 20 years ago... and because they are so anti-immigration, the average japanese spent 25% of their income on food, and 50% on housing. That's right, transportation, utilities, clothing, you name it, were luxuries they spent their last 25% income on. It may be one reason suicide was such a high rate for the last 20 years there.

Today, a lot of 3rd world countries are beginning to produce food... it may be a bit better now for the Japanese consumer. We are yet to feel the pain. When our 'illegal' immigrants are gone, it will be you and me eating what we grow in our plot in the backyard, because a $50 hamburger at McDonalds would be a luxury.

And for an example closer to home... when did the 'get rid of illegal immigration" movement begin? 2005.

Tell me Mixin, has your life been getting better, your personal/household economic situation getting better, or are they getting worse since 2005? What about the other Americans you know? Hrm... how could it be related? Could your actions, and those of other anti-illegal immigrants actions have an impact on the dumping of farmland, the dumping of homes, the worsening economics of many towns and communities... could it have SOMETHING to do with getting rid of those who spent money earned here buying essentials and supporting our economy? Yes.

Our orchid nursery workers, the illegal ones, bought homes in the USA. We only hired about 5 at any given time, as we needed them, but ALL of them owned homes. And ALL of them were illegal. We didn't care, they WORKED. We tried to hire Americans. The only ones willing to do manual labor (in a society where air conditioned Mcdonalds is considered brutal manual labor) were otherwise unemployable... for good reason.

Farming in Florida = working 8-16 hour days in 95 degrees, boiling tropical sun, swarms of gnats and insects buzzing around your face all day, 100% humidity. Slaughterhouse work in Texas and Florida = slip sliding in disease laden blood all day, up to elbows in guts, in that 95 degree stifling heat. Least those guys get to work in shade.

It would KILL me in 1 hour, as well as most americans who would die of dehydration unless they stopped working altogether (which ALL hired Americans did). We won't even talk about how they watched what they could steal from us, or did steal from us to pawn by way of tools. Mexicans and migrants NEVER did that, they were as professional in every way as a military platoon. They knew their jobs, and did not need to be told anything, and their honesty was unimpeachable. Yah. We need drunken american labor thieves unionized, so we could never fire them and go bankrupt ourselves.

Guess what? We went under anyway. We sold the nursery... and we were doing WELL when we sold it by most agricultural standards. Which by any other business standard is pathetic.

So should we just import all our FOOD too, at a time when the dollar is falling apart against every currency in the world? That's even smarter. Farmers are clinging on to their land by their toenails, lets pull em 6 feet under NOW. Lets wipe out their labor force. Oh yah... we already are. Since 2005.

Al Qaeda IS winning, we won't even know it til you and I are living in poverty, because of some people's propaganda against our most necessary and required workforce... the one which controls and prices our PRODUCE and GAS and MEAT and CONSTRUCTION. I dread the next hurricane, when there are no roofers who can fix blown away roofs... because all the mexicans were sent home. After Hurricane Charlie around here, 2 roofing companies were FINED and shut down because they had hidden inspections done... and 1/2 their labor were illegals. The newspaper proudly reported how this terrible roofing company were confronted by an INS agent on the roof of someone's home, and immediately the entire crew and job was shut down, and the illegals detained for deportation. We were sooo proud of that. Doh. Except for the poor homeowner who paid the now nonexistant company and still had a hole in their roof for the next rain. Not to mention the probably many many other homeowners who gave those 2 companies deposits due to hurricane damage. Bankrupt construction repair companies during hurricane repair. Boy are we smart. We sure are tunnel vision in our effort to distroy our own economy, oops. I mean get rid of those money sucking illegals doing the jobs we won't and can't do.

Hrm.. let me think... wonder why it took so long to fix KATRINA damage. Let me think.. oh yah... 1/2 of construction workers are illegals. When was Katrina? OH YAH! 2005, you know, the year everyone began SCREAMING about enforcement against illegals... there went the roofers and construction workers... and the oil refinery repair guys... doh doh doh. New Orleans is STILL a mess... where are the construction workers? Hrm... let me think.

Wonder if the migrant workers homes are sitting on the market empty because they could no longer work in the USA? Hrm. Let me think about this. Yes.

Oh yah.. lets build a wall. The laborers we hire to build it won't have to walk far to a farm in Florida to get a job. $10 tomatoes? Hrm... maybe $20 per tomato. DOH DOH DOH.

And Mixin.. forgive me, the rant isn't against YOU. It's against the Al Qaeda backed deep pocketed anti-illegal immigration movement that has our entire nation snowed until the situation is unsalvageable.

Let me give you an example... what if tomorrow, all garbage collection men were fired. And no one wanted to replace them, because they didn't earn enough to do the job. As your garbage piled up in your home, garage, driveway, and all your neighbors did too, and began to STINK... what would you say those garbagemen were worth? You would pay a lot eventually to have your garbage removed. We do not appreciate what we have til it is gone, or priced beyond reasonability. We will pay a lot eventually to buy food, more for gas, more for home repairs.

WHY THE HECK WOULD WE WANT TO CHANGE OUR PROSPERITY NOW? WHY would we want to do this? WHY WHY WHY? WHY do we want to be rid of the backbone labor of our economy? The ones that are underlying our entire ability to live well? Food, Gas, Construction. THAT's what's going to go on strike and prices go crazy when we get rid of the labor that fill those industries... ILLEGAL MIGRANT labor. GOD SAVE US FROM OURSELVES.

#5 soapaddict

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 02:16 AM

Ok, I was in an argumentative mood:P.

I meant every word I said, but I didn't have to say it so obnoxiously. I'm not going to edit, I hope people read and think about it anyway. It impacts every american more than they know.

Mixin, I know in your area you have a particular problem with hispanics... but how many of them are 'illegal' vs simply hispanics? I had an argument with a woman who told me that she thought illegal immigration MUST be stopped because her grandson was mugged in his HS hallway by a Puerto Rican.

Puerto Rico is a US Protectorate, with the exact same citizenship status as any state. Sending hard working mexicans home will not do anything to Puerto Rican rights to come and go anywhere in the US they please.

However, I have heard of Mexican gang activity in parts of the US, and it's very unfortunate that they give all mexicans a bad name. However, it's never wise to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

We have serial killers in the US that profile middle class and white. So shall we prejudge all white males in their 30s and lock them up so we can be sure we have no more serial killers?

Stereotyping is illogical under any circumstances. Especially when it means my food, gas, and repair costs go up. How selfish is that? Not very when we are talking about everyone in the US who will be impacted and be driven to the poorhouse by dumb laws that can only hurt us all, not just me.

#6 mixingitup

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 06:34 AM

Ah, where to start. And yes, you were yelling at me :D

I didn't realize there were that many small farms that were having trouble down there. I live an Amish country and see farmers doing their thing *every* year. Yes, they work hard during planting time and they do it themselves. All family members help; they don't hire cheap illegal labor.

I have 4 acres of land here and used to have a garden each year. Tomatos are my favorite thing to raise; they are easy and very little work. Anyone can grow them in containers on their back porch if they have sunlight.

Between those who apply for citizenship, those here on temporary worker permits and those here illegally, certainly the immigration isssue is large and complicated.

I don't know the exact number of illegal versus legal for my area but I believe it's large. We have an estimated 25% Hispanic population in the next town over that just exploded over the last 10 years or so. One town to the south is almost entirely Hispanic now. Considering the number of work permits, etc allotted each year, either we have a disproportionately high number of legals or we have a big bunch of illegals. It is estimated by those familiar with the Hispanic community that the second choice is the more likely one.

I try not to stereotype but I probably do that sometimes. I believe those who choose to come here legally are generally not the problem as far as crime. Otoh, I'm of the opinion that those who break the law in their first act of crossing the border are more apt to disregard other laws, too. I could be wrong; I know some of the business owners here have been caught trafficing large amounts of drugs through their businesses (I assume they are here legally; but again, I could be wrong).

Gangs are a big issue. I find it hard to believe you have no problems of that kind down in Florida. I guarantee if someone came up and spray painted your beautiful home with grafitti, you would be on a real rant. I see whole alleys, buildings, homes; hell, they were caught in downtown standing up on an awning spraypainting the theater. And since the city has to remove all grafitti, it's my tax dollars that are doing it (Did I tell you we are being taxed to death here?). Do you have any idea how hard it is to get paint off the side of a building? AND if they don't remove it, another gang comes by and paints over it. When the Hispanic community was smaller, we didn't have these problems. This may not have anything to do with their immigration status.

As a landlord, Hispanics in general give me problems...and that's where I have to watch stereotyping. The legal ones come and pave the way for others; all of a sudden you have 5 families living in a single family home. Does your subdivision allow that? How about parking for all those cars? I've had people come to look at my houses and ask me right out of those are Mexicans living next door; which is usually followed with: "We like Mexicans but we don't want to live by them." And proceed to tell me things I already know. So I have to seperate in my mind illegal versus lifestyle. (Can I tell you how much it irritates me when I see the ones next door to one of my rentals displaying a huge Mexican flag in their window?)

I believe most of those who come here illegally really have no desire to assimilate; maybe those with temp permits don't either. Their prime goal is to make money and send it back home until they have enough accumulated to go back and live in style. That does not make for a cohesive community; what it does do is add resentment; especially when jobs are hard to find.

I think it would be fine to increase the migrant worker permits; let them come if they want and return when they are done. Someone did all these supposedly unwanted jobs before the waves of illegal immigration and I suspect they will do them again. You didn't address my suggestion of using welfare receipients and prisoners?

Maybe you don't have the problems in Florida that other places do; but you need to acknowledge that there are some real issues here and not just a buch of racists complaining (see, I hear that every time someone says anything about illegal immigration). Our schools have not been set up to deal with all the Hispanic kids and it's causing our SAT scores to be very low. They have been able, in the past, to accomodate a few but when half the class can't speak English, that's a major problem for the teachers and unfair to the other kids. As a side note about schools in general, the elementary school across from one of my rentals has had over 400 kids in and out from the first of this year; that's in essence the enrollment of the whole shcool.
Mixin'

#7 soapaddict

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:29 PM

I love talking to you Mixin, you are intelligent and passionate in your beliefs. I have to run to take my son out, today's his 16th birthday (where did time go??)... but hold the thoughts, because if no one else here will talk, then we can:). I know you know how I am, and that I would NEVER intentionally insult you personally, I like you too much! But this issue is a huge boiling point for me, as our economy falls to pieces and our lives are going to undergo change. I strongly believe this is a huge part of it.

Consider one thing. The gangs have been with us for over a century. From the Irish gangs at the turn of the century to the Italian Mafia in the 70s to the Russian Mafia in the 90s to the hispanic graffiti gangs in 2008.

Yet we managed tremendous prosperity anyway. We begin to throw our low pay labor workforce out in 2005 in response to a few gangs, and all of a sudden our lives are worse. There is no relationship?

#8 soapaddict

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 05:51 PM

Wow. I just slept 16 hours and woke up at 6pm! I think I have some kind of bug. I feel awful.

Back to the subject. Mixin, how many of these irritating people are illegal and how many are legal? Because if they are illegal, by current laws, they can and will be deported.

However, there's nothing we can do, regardless of illegal immigration acts passed throwing out hard workers, to people who are legally here or citizens of the US already. I suspect most of the problem people, the gangs, the school system abusers, are US citizens or green card holders.

"Temporary" workers, aka the hard working migrant farmers, construction workers, etc, in Florida, the ones impacted by anti-immigration laws, generally do not bring their families. There is no one to put in the schools, no kids.

If they have their families kids and wives here, the odds are very slim they are illegal. Most of them are likely here very legally. and by getting rid of our hardest workers, we will still have the people you describe.

Oh... and for the record, I believe Florida is still listed as the 2nd highest producing farm state out of our 50... behind Texas (maybe that's just for meat, not sure). So yes, distroying our agriculture by removing most of our labor is going to DEFINITELY hurt the entire rest of the country.

Mixin, you can grow tomatoes.... there are how many urban cities in the USA where there isn't even 6 square inches of land for each occupant of them?

You and I can eat tomatoes, what will they eat when the 2nd biggest farming state in the USA becomes one big subdivision because we broke the very last farmer (and hurricane repair crew) with poorly thought out laws?

My husband is in the construction business. He says, on good authority, that 1/2 the construction labor crews in the state are illegal. So, are YOU prepared to pay the increases for insurance premiums because the entire nation has to carry the increased costs of construction for repairs for hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters when our construction repair people vanish, and the few remaining must be paid 2-4x the money? During Hurricane Ivan, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Charlie, and Hurricane Frances...Florida Insurance companies went wholesale bankrupt due to the cost of repairs, and in many cases, hurricane damage have still not been repaired... for 4 years now, partly from the removal of illegal immigrant labor actions starting from 2005?

So the gangs are a problem. Tell me, is your food quadrupling, your insurances quadrupling, your gas quadrupling a lesser problem?

#9 dalilavender

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 09:58 PM

Alrighty, I finally have a moment to chat about some of this.

1. The above article relates soley to legal workers. All personnel under a collective agreement have to be eligble to work legally in the country they are represented in.
2. As union density goes down, up goes the disparity between the rich and poor. Unions and the collective agreements redistribute the wealth of a market place so that there is a middle class, not the destruction of the middle class.
"If you can cultivate the right attitude, your enemies are your best spiritual teachers because their presence provides you with the opportunity to enhance and develop tolerance, patience and understanding."
-His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Raincoast ETSY

"What you are now is the result of what you were. What you will be tomorrow will be the result of what you are now."
- Dhammapada

#10 soapaddict

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 03:17 AM

What legal workers:)? Not many legal workers picking tomatoes in South Florida...

well... ok, there may be one... maybe 2... :D

#11 mixingitup

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 07:12 AM

Now I'm the one who has to leave; but I'll be back this afternoon. Our Sunday paper just did another 4 page feature about all our poor Hispanic community and what a hard time they are having adapting to the American way of life. Nothing about the poor Chinese, Ukranians, Indians, Vietnamese...or any other of the immigrants we have. Only the Hispanics. It really does get old.

Just a couple of comments... I thought the opposite was true (singles versus families) as to who is legal and who isn't. I'll have to check immigration guidelines.

Here, I'm always seeing articles/reports of men and women sobbing that they are going to be sent back due to their status and what will happen to their kids (take them with you... surely Mexico won't mind taking care of you all).

I'm kind of rethinking my attitude, though. If the bees keep disappearing and the bats die off, we may really need slave labor to pollinate all those crops and catch bugs at night :D
Mixin'

#12 soapaddict

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 10:09 AM

Well, illegals may get into schools - this is state by state, county by county, there are NO legal provisions to school illegals in the USA, and ANY county can decide to refuse them admission and require proof of citizenship to register.

Illegals may get emergency hospital services - this is hospital by hospital, but typically, hospitals will only do emergency services, then send em packing to see 'their doctor'... who wants $$ up front.

But illegals in the USA are entitled to NO Federal level assistance. This includes NO food stamps, NO welfare, NO unemployment, NO Social Security, NO Earned Income Credit.
This is by the Immigration Reform Act of 1986 and revised in 1996. You can google it, it's very specific. Here, I'll google it for you:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Illegal_Immig...ity_Act_of_1996
http://www.fns.usda....02/POLIMGRT.HTM
http://www.lib.umich...text/104208.txt or
http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c104...4Ut7kSm:e10315:

There's 4 links that covers everything. Bottom line, NO Federal benefits.

So, if you can't get unemployment, social security, welfare, food stamps, medicaid or medicare, assistance of any kind...
How do you eat without a job?

Guess those illegals are employed, or dealing drugs.

Now I WILL agree that drug dealing illegals may be costing the US some money, because we need a bigger police force to arrest them. Considering that most illegals have to work like dogs at the wages they get paid to LIVE, and if they have children, they need still MORE money, so have to work like bigger dogs, they are paying for their own increased costs in the police force.

Why's that? Most illegals pretend to be legal by giving SS#s. Employers MUST have SS#'s to hire them... but they all know it's fake. So what happens to this SS# that the illegals pay in, and can never collect? Oh yah, WE get it for OUR Social Security. Are they entitled to the pittance in increased police force, when every working illegal pays SS to US with no return?

What happens to our budget deficit and what we must be taxed if suddenly the 20 million (do not know if this is accurate) illegals are gone and stop paying into OUR SS with no benefit, OUR federal and state income taxes with NO refunds ever? We all pay more. You notice something about the deficit since 2005? Less people to pay, less $$ we have to spend. Gee. It's a sad fact that they DO prop our economy, and we begrudge them schools, hospital emergency services and police for THEIR money paid in taxes they can NEVER get a refund for?

Mixin, these irritating 'illegals', how are they eating and paying rent at all if all they do is sit around making graffiti? Cuz we, the US government, do NOT support them. Are they getting sent $$ by relatives in Mexico to buy food, clothing, housing here?

#13 mixingitup

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 02:50 PM

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Well, illegals may get into schools
What do you mean *may*? You know full well they attend schools. When my computer got fried last summer, all my good links went with it.. but I seem to remember something about paying for college, too. I'll dig deeper for that.

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Illegals may get emergency hospital services
What do you mean *may*? It's my understanding emergency rooms cannot turn people away and cannot ask them for their status. We have to be very, very careful that we do not discriminate.

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Guess those illegals are employed, or dealing drugs.
Yes, the definately are employed. Here, doing jobs that our citizens really do want. We have no crops to pick except for the few months of warm weather. I don't have any stats at my fingertips for drug dealing but usually when they are busted, they are big busts, not the street corner dealing. I don't know when they do graffiti; no one ever seems to see them.

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Now I WILL agree that drug dealing illegals may be costing the US some money, because we need a bigger police force to arrest them. Considering that most illegals have to work like dogs at the wages they get paid to LIVE, and if they have children, they need still MORE money, so have to work like bigger dogs, they are paying for their own increased costs in the police force
Drug dealing is only part of it. Ever think about the insurance rate hikes because of uninsured motorists? Do you know how much it costs to house a prisoner? To provide attorneys? The woman who lived in Elkhart and killed all her children was an illegal. We get to support her for the rest of her life. Send the criminals back to their home country and let them support the murders, rapists, the drunk drivers, drug dealers. We have enough of our own to contend with. Our illegals don't work like dogs anymore than any other members of our community. They are working in our factories right along side with our citizens...if one works like a dog, they all work like dogs (except for the sluffers). I believe the legal ones bring in the illegal ones here; so there are often numerous working adults in one household, sharing expenses.

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Why's that? Most illegals pretend to be legal by giving SS#s. Employers MUST have SS#'s to hire them... but they all know it's fake. So what happens to this SS# that the illegals pay in, and can never collect? Oh yah, WE get it for OUR Social Security. Are they entitled to the pittance in increased police force, when every working illegal pays SS to US with no return?
Those who file returns take the most deductions possible so they pay in as little as possible. Yes, they lose some money but I'm not sure how much. I've asked around about how the maximum amount of dependants would impact a $12 pe hour paycheck but I can't get any answers. Those who don't pay any taxes, which is a pretty good % I suspect, aren't losing anything.

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What happens to our budget deficit and what we must be taxed if suddenly the 20 million (do not know if this is accurate) illegals are gone and stop paying into OUR SS with no benefit, OUR federal and state income taxes with NO refunds ever? We all pay more. You notice something about the deficit since 2005? Less people to pay, less $$ we have to spend. Gee. It's a sad fact that they DO prop our economy, and we begrudge them schools, hospital emergency services and police for THEIR money paid in taxes they can NEVER get a refund for?
Don't count on your kids being able to keep all the money the illegals paid in. Seems like I remember not too long ago Bush proposing to allow them to receive SS. One of our next presidents might think that's a good idea, too.

I'll be back later with some stats from our paper. Don't get mad or seriously sarcastic. I think this is a really important issue to look at from both sides. You believe it's all like you see in Florida and I can tell you it's different here. Maybe that's why it's such a hot issue all over the country.
Mixin'

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 05:48 PM

Of course I won't get mad Mixin:). You kidding? I haven't had this much fun in a while:P.

As for hospitals and schools, they are county by county. I remember a big hue and cry a few years ago about illegals being denied schooling for their kids. Apparently, there are counties here who DO deny them schooling.

As for jails, they are put on a bus and taken back to mexico, UNLESS it's a murder. Then, apparently the laws are different. My husband just told me this, typically they are back within 2 weeks after they get caught.

They get taken to an INS holding center til they can fill a bus with them, drive the bus to Mexico and they are in Mexico usually within a week. Then they are back on the job within another week, so it's a 2 week vacation to see the wife and kids, at US taxpayer expense. They all get their free ride home by simply turning themselves in. Saves walking, and they get the air-conditioned bus with food and bathroom.

You and I pay for it due to our brilliant anti-immigration laws. And what do you think 'processing' a busload of Mexicans a DAY from EVERY city in the USA costs compared to schools and hospitals put together? It's pretty incomparable I'd say, since there's an army of immigration guys, holding facilities, food, border guards, blah blah to pay for JUST to deport them every single day.

Then, they can stock up and bring their relatives or whatever and be back on the job. Everyone knows about it, part of doing business. Hubby says not a single mexican laborer he knows of has EVER not come back. EVER. hmm. (**must caveat this. This was back in the days when we owned a subcontracting company. TODAY, my husband has no idea if they are coming back, but the numbers of labor are falling and the prices for labor are increasing).

And you know, every one of those Mexicans think nothing of the 'danger' of crossing the border. Kinda makes you wonder about terrorists, I mean ANY of them can get here any time they want, so can a terrorist. Those border guards are sure doing a good job on our tax dollars. You read about Mexicans dying in the desert, but out of the million or thousands or hundreds of thousands, who knows, coming across every day or so (they get their free bus ride home when they're ready to leave, so they're not all here at the same time), their death rates from the 'dangerous crossing' are a heck of a lot lower than the traffic deaths of any given US city you can name.

Btw, what does giving every Mexican wanting to visit his mom a free fed trip home cost us? Hubby says a bus leaves Orlando Fl once a day or 2... FULL, this is only 1 city mind you. Gee, our anti-immigration laws are really hurting them... and helping us. NOT. These days, it iS less, because the Mexicans are tired of the BS and finding work for the American Farmers who sold their farms here for more subdivisions, and moved to Mexico. They just hire them without the BS there directly.

Here's an article about that, as a consequence of our actions:
one article about vineyards in California: http://sanfrancisco.bizjournals.com/sanfra.../26/story1.html

Exerpt from above article:
"As they prepare for harvest, growers are finding themselves crippled by a vanishing workforce -- most of which typically comes north from the border... Joseph Ramazzotti, owner of Ramazzotti Vineyards & Wines in Geyserville, said nearly half of his laborers didn't return from their annual winter vacations in Mexico for the first time since they began working for him 10 to 15 years ago...
"It's those crazy Minutemen and now the National Guard," he said of increasing border patrols."

(winter annual vacations, you know, the bus we paid for from every city)





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