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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:22 PM

Business and Labor Leaders Urge Visa System for Low-Skilled Work

Source: NYT

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, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Richard L. Trumka, the president of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., the groups called for a visa system that would allow businesses to meet their demand for lower-skilled workers, while offering some protections for American workers.

“The United States will always be a nation of immigrants who have contributed greatly to the vitality, diversity and creativity of American life,” the statement said. “Yet, like the rest of America’s immigration system, the mechanisms for evaluating our labor market needs and admitting foreign workers — as well as recruiting U.S. workers — for temporary and permanent jobs are broken or nonexistent.”

The statement presented three general goals for addressing the issue of immigration by lower-skilled workers: the assurance that American workers should have “a first crack at available jobs”; a new visa program for lower-skilled workers that will adjust to reflect the changing needs to businesses as the economy shrinks and expands; and greater transparency, rooted in demographic and labor market data, in determining the market need for temporary workers.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/22/us/politics/business-and-labor-leaders-urge-visa-system-for-low-skilled-work.html



"Low-skilled work" = press code for "jobs Americans won't do"?

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Reply Business and Labor Leaders Urge Visa System for Low-Skilled Work (Original post)
alp227 Feb 2013 OP
angstlessk Feb 2013 #1
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #3
amandabeech Feb 2013 #6
Capt13 Feb 2013 #11
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #12
mile18blister Feb 2013 #14
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #15
secondvariety Feb 2013 #2
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #17
grilled onions Feb 2013 #4
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #5
amandabeech Feb 2013 #7
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #8
amandabeech Feb 2013 #9
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #10
TexasBushwhacker Feb 2013 #13
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #19
Yo_Mama Feb 2013 #16
Adsos Letter Feb 2013 #18
sulphurdunn Feb 2013 #20

Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:28 PM

1. "jobs Americans won't do"...for too little pay to even support their families in the USA...but

just enough to support one in India/China

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Response to angstlessk (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:17 PM

3. I don't think nlow skilled workers are coming from Asia

It's more likely they're coming from Mexico, specifically fruit and vegetable pickers. It's seasonal work and the people that do it usually aren't interested in citizenship. They want to be able to work during harvest season in Mexico AND the US.

The thing that bothers me is what businesses designate as "low skilled" work. All work requires skills, even if those skills are learned on the job. Working at Tyson slaughtering and chopping up chickens is probably considered "low skilled", but the fact is, most Americans won't do it for what Tyson is willing to pay. If they paid more, there would be some Americans who would be willing to do it. Standing all day doing repetitive tasks is a skill. Being a live in nanny/housekeeper working 40 to 70 hours a week is a skill. It's just that Americans aren't willing to do it for $200 a week (because they get free room and board!). Living in means you're on call 24/7.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:56 PM

6. There's already a seasonal worker program for the fruit and veggie pickers

but the farmers (call them agribusiness if you will) are too fucking lazy and cheap to use it.

It requires them to plan ahead, pay for transportation, put them up in housing that will pass code and cover them for workers' comp.

They can't stand it even though most of them, even the operations run by one guy and his two sons (e.g.), are NOT hurting for money these days.

The rest is just a scam to escape the laws of supply and demand.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:08 PM

11. My (recently former)workplace

brings in H2B workers under the guise they"cant find qualified help" for the last 5 years. They posted 10 laborer positions in the local paper last year and had 2 mass "interviews" with about 60 people each. None were "qualified" mainly because they couldn't charge them for company housing and hold their Visa's to make them work 80-120 hour weeks for a 40 hour paycheck. These are not stoop labor jobs, mostly equipment operators.

We're a top 100 privately owned golf club owned by 320 millionaires. Mostly Wall Streeters.

I've been in those management meetings we're circumventing labor and immigration laws were discussed.I was recently let go from there because I guess I voiced too much dissent over their labor practices.

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Response to Capt13 (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:35 PM

12. That shit has to stop

When they abuse the people with H1b visas, those workers won't say a peep for fear they'll be sent back home.There should be some kind of whistleblower program.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:42 PM

14. Before the unions were broken

meat-packing plants were manned by Americans making good wages with benefits. Back in the '60's hamburger cost $0.29/lb, so it's obvious that the meat-packer's wages were a tiny fraction of the cost of meat.

There are no jobs that Americans won't do if they're paid a decent wage.

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Response to mile18blister (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 11:49 PM

15. Exactly

The same goes for high skilled workers. What smart kid in their right mind is going to major in computer science or electrical engineering if they know they will have to compete with Indian or Chinese "high skilled" workers willing to work for less. That's why I call BS on Bill Gates when he makes such a big deal about more math and science education in public schools.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 04:57 PM

2. The right wingers

are all for a visa programs when they can get an endless supply of manpower at minimum wage. Who's to decide what a "low skill" occupation is? I've been a Union electrician for 25 years-will I be considered "lower skilled" if it meets a certain employer's requirement? Screw this-Trumka is a fool to even talk to the Chamber about anything.

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Response to secondvariety (Reply #2)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:13 PM

17. I agree

Unions can only do so much - we have to stop this sort of thing before we can meaningfully improve the lives of millions of Americans. Or residents.

These programs are just used to drive wages down.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:42 PM

4. Time To Outsource Congress?

How else are they ever going to know what bit feels like to see over due notices,hungry kids,a sad spouse,little in the way of job prospects yet on every conservative website,news source,Town Halls all they hear is how they are the slackers of society. They drain the system at every turn. How sad it is that all the guilt over the inability to support their family rests on the out of work or under employed yet those most responsible are the ones creating this nightmare.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 05:55 PM

5. The AFL-CIO

has just made a bargain with the Devil after negotiating from a position of weakness.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:00 PM

7. My guess is that Trumka's getting a lot of heat from one union.

And a lot, and I mean a lot, of political pressure.

I doubt that Trumka will actually get whatever it is that he was promised for this disgrace.

Edit: Grammar.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:22 PM

8. I agree.

If the Democratic Party can break its word to a union without serious blow back, the Chamber would have planned to do it before ever sitting down at the table.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #8)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 07:25 PM

9. I think that the Democratic Party lost faith with quite a few of the old industrial

unions some time ago.

Frankly, I was surprised how much pull the UAW still had with Obama in the auto bailout.

There are some of the service unions, that have increased their size relatively recently, that I think have the ear of Obama and the party now. I think that they are the ones calling the shots here.

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Response to amandabeech (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 08:06 PM

10. The NEA

is the country's largest union. I'm a member. The NEA endorsed President Obama two years before his second term election. I made it very clear that I thought it was a serious mistake because we got nothing in return, and even then his education policy came straight from the Gates Foundation playbook. Nothing has changed. The argument then as now was that we'd get a better deal with the Democrats. I'm not so sure anymore.

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Response to sulphurdunn (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 21, 2013, 10:42 PM

13. Yeah, but Romney would have been worse

Remember, he didn't think class size made a difference. Of course when people look into private schools one of the most important thing they look for is SMALL CLASS SIZES.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #13)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:43 PM

19. Bill Gates

things class size doesn't matter either, and he's supposedly a Democrat. Both of these private academy preppies know that the transfer of pubic education resources to the private sector will produce larger class sizes in public schools and bigger profits in private board rooms.

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Response to alp227 (Original post)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:11 PM

16. We have an acute labor oversupply

We also have a problem with wages that are too low.

It's not surprising that you can get workers who are supporting their families in other low-cost countries for cheaper than you can get workers who must support lives in the higher-cost US.

But this is killing us. Any rational policy would recognize that we have an oversupply of labor and not try to drive wages down more, which is really what this suggestion is all about.

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 01:14 PM

18. +1 n/t

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Response to Yo_Mama (Reply #16)

Fri Feb 22, 2013, 05:48 PM

20. Killing Whom?

The larger the labor surplus the lower the wages. The lower the wages the higher the profits. The higher the profits the greater the political bribes. The larger the bribes the greater the power over policy. The greater the power over policy the lower the wages...

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