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Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:21 AM

 

As if H-1B visas weren't enough, now the sights are being set on importing low skilled labor as well

"In an effort to avert the bitter and public feuding between business and labor organizations that helped kill a broad immigration overhaul in 2007, representatives of the two groups released a statement on Thursday outlining shared goals designed to show that at least for now, they could reach a basic level of compromise.

In the statement, signed by Thomas J. Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard L. Trumka, president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the groups called for a visa system that would let businesses meet their demand for lower-skilled workers, while offering protections for American workers.

The statement called for the creation of a government bureau that would use “real-world data about labor markets and demographics” to fashion a guest worker program — an idea that the Chamber had until recently opposed. The statement also described “a new kind of worker visa program that does not keep all workers in a permanent temporary status” — language that seems to imply, at least generally, the possibility of a pathway to legalization or even citizenship for some guest workers."
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/us/politics/business-and-labor-leaders-urge-visa-system-for-low-skilled-work.html?ref=politics&_r=0

So much for unions protecting our backs, the AFL-CIO is signing off on this travesty. This is part of the ongoing effort to depress worker's wages in this country to the point where we US wages are competitive with those in China, India and Vietnam. Oh, and this isn't just about the agriculture sector, this is about all low skilled work. And of course, you can be assured that the definition of "low skilled" will be stretched to include as many jobs as possible.

The 1% isn't going to be satisfied until we once again have sweatshops and child labor.

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Reply As if H-1B visas weren't enough, now the sights are being set on importing low skilled labor as well (Original post)
MadHound Feb 2013 OP
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #1
MadHound Feb 2013 #5
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #9
MadHound Feb 2013 #11
grilled onions Feb 2013 #2
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #7
RKP5637 Feb 2013 #3
Teamster Jeff Feb 2013 #4
MadHound Feb 2013 #8
pampango Feb 2013 #6
KoKo Feb 2013 #10
pampango Feb 2013 #12

Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:37 AM

1. So you prefer the current system that exploits undocumented workers?

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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:53 AM

5. You're presenting a false choice,

 

Between letting in low skilled workers legally, or they'll come here illegally. There are other choices we could make.

Furthermore, even if they are allowed in legally, do you think that the exploitation would disappear?

Oh, and what about American workers, low skilled workers who, under this plan, would have to compete with much cheaper labor from abroad, what about how they will be exploited?

Oh, and since the definition of "low skilled" is so broad, this could very well reach up into the retail sector and beyond. Is that what you want?

This is simply another offensive in the war against American workers, forcing their wages down and down. Is that what you want?

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Response to MadHound (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:19 AM

9. What is your proposed other choice?

The farmer down the street from me has used legal Jamaican guest workers for decades to work his fields. Nobody involved thinks they are being exploited, and here in New England, there are no locals who want to do this work. Unlike undocumented workers, these people have workplace rights. If they are being abused they can go to the police or to OSHA without fear of deportation.

High tech companies can do two things to address the chronic shortage of skilled engineers. They can and do move work offshore. Or they can bring skilled foreign workers here. You can pretend that there is no shortage of skilled high tech engineers, but there is. H1-b workers are not low wage. They generally are paid at the same rate as their local counterparts.

What is true is that high wage low-medium skilled manufacturing jobs are gone. They aren't coming back. Mexicans did not come here and take those jobs, those jobs went with global capital to low wage low regulation countries. Basically they all went to the Chinese special economic zones. We are never going to be able to compete with the Chinese labor pool for those jobs, even if we bring our wage and regulation standards down to Chinese levels. There are just too many Chinese. They won the race to the bottom. Railing against immigration reform is irrelevant.


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Response to Warren Stupidity (Reply #9)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:39 AM

11. Why do farmers use undocumented workers?

 

Because they don't want to pay for American workers. Being in the midwest, and deeply connected with farming throughout my life, I've seen this up close and personal. When I was a kid in the seventies, we all used to go out and buck hay, and though it was hard work, it paid a decent wage. The reasons kids aren't doing it today? Two fold, first the technology has moved towards larger, round bales that have to be moved by tractors, and even if a farmer is still producing the smaller traditional bales, they're not paying a wage that is decent enough to attract workers of any age. Why should they, when gangs of undocumented workers go from place to place and work for half the price.

As far as there not being enough skilled tech workers in this country, sorry, but you are talking out your ass on this one. Study after study has found that yes, there are plenty of high tech workers in this country, but bringing in H-1b workers allows management to pay sub-par wages and reduced benefits(and yes, they do pay those workers less, even the GAO admits to that).

I'm not railing against immigration reform, however I don't think that it should be used as a weapon to drive down American wages, which is what is going on here. If somebody wishes to come here to work, give them a quick, easy path to citizenship, and them pay them, and all citizens, native born or not, a decent wage rather than exploiting them and pitting one against the other in a race to the bottom of the wage scale.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:41 AM

2. The Constant Shell Game

First they whine about not enough skilled labor here(which was already a crock of beans) but now they whine about the opposite end of the job spectrum. As it is wages have been sagging for a long time and many who have jobs fear earning "too much" because they would give the budget slashers a reason to dump you but how can you compete with this constant wave of foreign workers which Congress seems to think is just a super idea. How many of them are supplementing their political income by these companies who push for the HB1's ?

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Response to grilled onions (Reply #2)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:54 AM

7. Your last sentence hit it right on. There is absolutely no reason to to believe in the honesty,

fairness and integrity of congress. One has to ask, why do many in congress work their way into these positions ... for many, it's another leverage point for the accumulation of $$$$$ ... and many will be influenced heavily by what makes $$$$$ for them and their cronies.

Certainly their shenanigans do not meet with the approval of most of the citizenry given the dismal rating for this congress(s). It's all about exploitation of the masses for profit, it's just sugar coated in the US. And layered on that is a massive ego trip.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:45 AM

3. 21st century prosperity in America.

Folks don't think it could happen? Think again. Each day the structures that made this nation full of opportunity and prosperity are dismantled.

For many, it's out of sight, out of mind. For those living it, it's here now, but they have no voice. Most people pay no heed, 'till it smacks them in the nose, then they get their deer in the headlight look, and wonder WTF, how can this happen.

Also, there is a very thin veil between civilization and barbarianism. What made America great is being torn apart. ... problem is, too many don't get out of the ruts they've created in their paradigm and look around.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:52 AM

4. If you deal with the devil you will get burned

"definition of "low skilled" will be stretched"... That is the ultimate plan in a nutshell. Trumka has to realize this but maybe he wants to hang out with the "serious people" who are infesting DC like a disease

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Response to Teamster Jeff (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:55 AM

8. The sad fact of the matter, that many people don't want to admit,

 

Is that the AFL-CIO has been corporately compromised for decades now. What is needed are new unions that aren't in the back pocket of government officials and corporations.

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Response to MadHound (Original post)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 08:54 AM

6. "A leaked draft of the president’s immigration proposal said nothing about a guest worker program.."

The groups articulated three general goals: the assurance that American workers would have “a first crack at available jobs”; a new visa program for lower-skilled workers that would be adjusted to reflect the changing needs of businesses as the economy shrinks and expands; and greater transparency in determining the market need for temporary workers.

Traditionally, labor unions have rejected the idea of a guest worker program for lower-skilled workers, which they fear could take jobs away from American workers and depress wages. Business leaders have lobbied for a guest worker program, arguing that they need low-skilled labor for jobs — in agriculture, for instance — that American workers cannot or will not do. (A leaked draft of the president’s immigration proposal said nothing about a guest worker program, perhaps a tacit acknowledgment that the White House was looking to labor and business leaders to forge their own agreement on the issue.)

The principles outlined on Thursday — the product of months of negotiations between the groups — required compromise from both sides. Labor unions, acknowledging that “there are instances — even during tough economic times — when employers are not able to fill job openings with American workers,” agreed that there may be a need for a new type of guest worker program. In return, the unions insisted that American workers get a first shot at open jobs, and they secured an agreement that the number of incoming lower-skilled workers would be set based on need.

The statement called for the creation of a government bureau that would use “real-world data about labor markets and demographics” to fashion a guest worker program — an idea that the Chamber had until recently opposed.

Apparently, the AFL-CIO is willing to negotiate. (If you don't negotiate with your 'enemies' whom do you negotiate with?) The devil will obviously be in the details and this new government bureau if it happens.

So far this idea is not in the administration's version of immigration reform, although it almost certainly will be in any GOP version. If we stick to our guns on the expansion of these work visa programs (which I hope we do); if republicans stick to their opposition to a 'path to citizenship' (which I hope they don't); what happens to comprehensive immigration reform? I suppose that, in this scenario, republicans blocking reform will again mean that they are again shooting themselves in the foot politically but it will not be a win for the millions who would benefit from reform. Would a Democratic unwillingness to include a provision for temporary unskilled labor (largely Hispanic?) give republicans a wedge (though probably not an effective one given their opposition to a 'path to citizenship') to use against us with Hispanics in the future? Interesting times and reform possibilities.

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Response to pampango (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 09:20 AM

10. Yes..I see...we must look at the "Big Picture"...right?

Us peasants out here just don't know what's good for us. We must let the same people who decided that NAFTA would be good for jobs and that the new Pacific Trade Agreement (that's now in the works with the details secret) is also a job builder.

So now we have this...and it's going to be so good for American Workers...it's just that the harpie peasants can't get over themselves enough to understand the "VISION."


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Response to KoKo (Reply #10)

Sat Feb 23, 2013, 04:47 PM

12. You don't HAVE to look at anything, but there is a Big Picture out there.

If that doesn't matter to you, fine. You know what's good for you. Go for it.

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