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Akoto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:21 PM
Original message
Shortage of citrus pickers looms (immigration)
Edited on Mon Jul-10-06 04:22 PM by Akoto
I live in Florida and saw a piece about this on my local evening news. Thought it might be interesting to read about one of the lesser known effects of the whole immigration debate, particularly upon the labor force.

AGRICULTURE
Shortage of citrus pickers looms
A shortage of workers to pick the fruit is expected to leave millions of boxes of oranges unharvested, industry executives have predicted.


LAKELAND - (AP) -- As many as six million boxes of oranges may go unharvested in Florida this year because of a shortage of fruit pickers made worse by fears about what changes may come in immigration law.

The citrus season usually ends in late June but will extend to at least late July this year with juice processors hoping to get as many oranges as possible off trees.

"There's very little doubt we'll leave a significant amount of fruit on the tree," said Mike Carlton, director of production and labor affairs at Florida Citrus Mutual. "Whether that's three million boxes or six million boxes, nobody can say."

There were about nine million boxes of Valencia oranges still on trees this week, The Ledger reported Sunday.

Orange production in the state could become the lowest since 1992 if the worst projections come true. That year, growers harvested 139.8 million boxes.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is scheduled to release its final citrus crop projection Wednesday. Its June 9 report forecast 153 million boxes of oranges.

Growers have reported difficulty finding enough workers.

More at: http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/15003042.htm
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Kutjara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. It won't be a problem. After all...
...as the wingnuts keep saying, there are plenty of Americans willing and able to do this kind of work, if they're just given the chance. I'm sure we'll soon see carloads of hardworking Americans from the heartland driving in convoy to Florida to lend a hand in this great enterprise.

A word of warning to Florida DUers: stay out of the road guys or you'll be crushed in the stampede.
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unlawflcombatnt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 05:16 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. If the pay is enough, there'd be no problem whatsoever.
I'd go pick them myself if they'd pay enough. The way "free market" for labor normally works is that employers increase the wages offered until they have enough workers to do the job. That's what's done in most industries, and it's what's supposed to be done in a "free" market. But then the "wing-nuts" don't want a free labor market that's confined only to legal workers in this country. The Corporate growers hate the "free market" if it doesn't work in their favor. But they're all in favor of a "free market" when it comes to prices they charge.

Again, if the growers need orange pickers, just raise the wages they're offering. It works every time. If they can't make a profit by paying workers a decent wage, then they should go out of business.

unlawflcombatnt

EconomicPopulistCommentary

EconomicPatriotForum

___________
The economy needs balance between the "means of production" & "means of consumption."
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
2. if it happens -- and it could very well -- i will go
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHHA! til my fuckin ass falls off.
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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
3. Pay the prisoners $5.00 an hour to pick them.
Edited on Mon Jul-10-06 04:28 PM by Joanne98
Our US POLITICAL prisoners, being held hostage by the NAZIS, would LOVE to get out in the sun and make some money. If you don't believe me just ask them.
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Xipe Totec Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
4. The law of unintended consequences...
Perhaps this is for the best; we all need a reality check from time to time.

Hope everyone can afford to pay extra for their O.J.

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unlawflcombatnt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:36 PM
Response to Reply #4
16. A minuscule increase in price at best, according to NYT
According to an earlier article in the New York Times, increasing the current average wages of farm workers (of $8.83/hour) by 40% would add 2-3 cents per dollar to the cost of produce. I think anyone who really must have orange juice can probably handle that price increase. Below is the page from the New York Times.





unlawflcombatnt

EconomicPopulistCommentary

EconomicPatriotForum

___________
The economy needs balance between the "means of production" & "means of consumption."
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rzemanfl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
6. In most countries, rather than lose a crop, they would get people
out there to harvest it-students, state employees, whatever. Not here though, just waste it to "prove" a point for *.
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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 05:42 PM
Response to Original message
7. Time to rethink that slave/migrant strategy


Speaking of this, wasn't there speculation (some Mike Rense type, some a bit more legit) that many migrant workers died in the hurricanes in Fla and were not ever 'counted' as missing because of illegal status?

Tinfoil, or is this a factor as well?

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The Straight Story Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-10-06 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
8. So they need to raise the pay rate for workers and people will do it
How hard can it be for them to understand?
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unlawflcombatnt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Easy to Understand, but "hard" to justify hiring illegals
But again, this is another "inconvenient truth." Growers would rather whine about not being able to hire enough workers, in order to justify the hiring of illegal immigrants who'll work for less.

The only "hard" thing here is concocting a lie about why the "free market" for labor costs shouldn't be allowed to take effect, since it would reduce the exorbitant profits of growers by forcing them to pay more for labor.

The growers only desire is to deceive the public into believing they need the illegal labor to survive. They only need the illegal labor to maintain exorbitant profit margins.

unlawflcombatnt

EconomicPopulistCommentary

EconomicPatriotForum

___________
The economy needs balance between the "means of production" & "means of consumption."
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earth mom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Exorbitant Profit Margins is exactly what this is about.
Can't have laborers-legal or not-make a living wage. :sarcasm:
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Hugin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
10. "Industry executives announce own pay raise."
Blame it on lack of immigrant workers.

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Odin2005 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:02 PM
Response to Original message
11. A labor shortage is a GOOD thing, Labor shortage = increased wages.
The corporatists need more illegals to keep wages down, nothing more.
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Disturbed Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:10 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. Let the oranges rot before paying
a reasonable wage to workers.
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unlawflcombatnt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Exactly
It's all about keeping wages below the going market rate for labor, in order to maintain exorbitant profits. Let the growers go under if they don't want to pay American workers enough to get their crops picked.

The public can easily live without oranges. But American workers cannot survive without a living wage.

unlawflcombatnt

EconomicPopulistCommentary

EconomicPatriotForum

___________
The economy needs balance between the "means of production" & "means of consumption."
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Earth_First Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-12-06 03:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. Of course the July report will claim that 159.2 million boxes were picked
well exceeding the June 9th report, dispelling that there was ever a dispute that there was a crisis to begin with.
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