Mostly I was on a rant about Illegals vs. legals and what that means to farmers and then I switched gears and started thinking about other related issues that I’ve seen pop up in the media.
Kind of related to that, is the other day Paul and I watched Amexicano, it’s a quick movie but it touches on the very basic elements of what it’s like to hire an illegal day laborer, in this case a Mexican.
The timing for watching this movie is appropriate as we often hire extra laborers this time of year to help harvest the grapes, set up, tear down and clean all the equipment. Many don’t speak English, all are hard working and all earn a decent wage for their days work. I can’t imagine the nightmare of trying to track them all thru payroll, but that’s another rant.
New this fall, I’ve hired someone part time to help me in the office, the warehouse, the winery and vineyards as needed. I doesn’t pay much, but it’s better than the bartending gig she had a chain restaurant nearby.
This all seems kind of random so I’ll try to pull it together next.
In my opinion, those who are most vocal about opposing the hiring of illegal workers have no idea of the following concept: The pay rate for manual labor is not based on your abilities or skill level.
You might think you are worth $25/hour because you have earned that much before in another job, but picking grapes (or cotton, or strawberries or zucchinis) is minimum wage. Why are farmers having a hard time hiring white, legal, american citizens? Arrogance Meets Lazy. Even at higher than minimum wage, legals are walking off farming jobs faster than the industry can keep up with hiring them.
Great, you went to high school and/or college – I don’t need you to be smart in the field, I need you to do manual labor. I’m not paying for smart, I’m paying for labor. The pay is based on the job, not on your skillset or abilities. Why isn’t anyone else saying this outloud in the media? Whos egos are we protecting? And why are we shying away from saying as much?
There are jobs where your skill set and education determines your pay, farming isn’t it.
Disclaimer; “white, legal, american citizens” is a catch-all and not meant to suggest those are the only people seeking out labor employment in the fields, I’m just rattling off at the mouth.
Side Bar: This is semi-inspired by all the folks who are angry about the illegals taking our jobs, you mean the job you won’t show up to work for more than 2 days in a row. Yeah, your voice counts.