Monday, September 17

Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs


This is a very important article which talks about low paid jobs. This situation exists in pretty much every developed country. Who will do the jobs like plucking tomatoes? Cleaning toilets? Sorting out fish? Packing cabbages? These are the lowest paid jobs around and the question is, where do you get these people from when the native born don't want to do these? And while the first generation is happy to do those jobs, their second and third generation don't want to. See Germany with Turkish immigrants, England with Pakistani immigrants, and USA with their Hispanic immigrants. The rise of nativist right wing anti immigration wings is a direct consequence of policies like this. 

But you cannot pay high wages there. The product or service gets priced out of the market. So what do you do? Not easy to answer son. 

I think it's a combination, wages have to rise if supply of labour is constrained, basic economics. On the other hand, when immigrants aren't integrated or made welcome, like Turks and Pakistanis and Jamaicans,  they turn into bigger problems. 

But still, an interesting article to read son



Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs - BusinessWeek

In the wake of an immigrant exodus, Alabama has jobs. Trouble is, Americans don’t want them

By Elizabeth Dwoskin

Skinning, gutting, and cutting up catfish is not easy or pleasant work. No one knows this better than Randy Rhodes, president of Harvest Select, which has a processing plant in impoverished Uniontown, Ala. For years, Rhodes has had trouble finding Americans willing to grab a knife and stand 10 or more hours a day in a cold, wet room for minimum wage and skimpy benefits.

Most of his employees are Guatemalan. Or they were, until Alabama enacted an immigration law in September that requires police to question people they suspect might be in the U.S. illegally and punish businesses that hire them. The law, known as HB56, is intended to scare off undocumented workers, and in that regard it’s been a success. It’s also driven away legal immigrants who feared being harassed.

Rhodes arrived at work on Sept. 29, the day the law went into effect, to discover many of his employees missing. Panicked, he drove an hour and a half north to Tuscaloosa, where many of the immigrants who worked for him lived. Rhodes, who doesn’t speak Spanish, struggled to get across how much he needed them. He urged his workers to come back. Only a handful did. “We couldn’t explain to them that some of the things they were scared of weren’t going to happen,” Rhodes says. “I wanted them to see that I was their friend, and that we were trying to do the right thing.”

His ex-employees joined an exodus of thousands of immigrant field hands, hotel housekeepers, dishwashers, chicken plant employees, and construction workers who have fled Alabama for other states. Like Rhodes, many employers who lost workers followed federal requirements—some even used the E-Verify system—and only found out their workers were illegal when they disappeared.

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