Monday, April 10, 2006

So They Don't Take Jobs From Americans?

An employment service in Alabama sent 70 workers - Americans & predominantly black, many who lost their jobs due to the hurricane - to work for contractors immediately after hurricane Katrina hit. They were "urgently requested". After 2 weeks on the job they were let go & told "the Mexicans had arrived" and were willing to work for less.

"The men we sent to jobs in Alabama were local fellows looking for work, men who needed jobs," Mrs. Swope, who operates the employment service, said. "After driving 50 miles to the work sites where they had been promised $10 an hour, they discovered the employers had found substitutes who were willing to work for less."

"We had been told that 270 jobs might be available, and we could have filled every one of them with men from this area, most of whom lost their jobs because of the hurricane," she said. "When we told the guys they would not be needed, they actually cried ... and we cried with them. This is a shame."

An estimated 400,000 jobs were lost in the Gulf area due to the hurricane. An estimated 30,000 foreign workers came into the area to work from other states & south of the border, many who were illegals.

The Washington Times reports that some of the migrants who did get jobs in the Gulf states also were mistreated. Two class-action lawsuits are pending in federal court in New Orleans in which thousands of migrant workers said they never were paid, although many worked 12-hour shifts, seven days a week and were required to remove toxic contamination from hurricane-ravaged buildings.

There are two villains in this mess - business & the Federal government. The Department of Homeland Security temporarily suspended the sanctioning of employers who hired workers unable to document their citizenship. Not that this meant anything anyway - only 3 businesses were fined last year for such acts. President Bush also had suspended the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires local contractors to pay "prevailing" wages, in the areas hit by Katrina to encourage reconstruction and cleanup.

Greedy business, not satisfied with a reasonable profit margin, forever strives to get the cheapest labor it can, to the harm of American workers. Not satisfied with that, they even cheat the foreign & illegal labor they do employ.

The fact that illegals take away jobs from Americans is a no brainer. Even high school & college students are being squeezed out of the entry level job market, especially the part-time market, by foreign workers & illegals. With black unemployment high, we wonder why black organizations are not stepping up & complaining about these workers.

The U.S. government, i.e. Congress & the current Administration, is an abject failure in protecting American workers. Even more so - they don't care.

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7/22/2006 11:28 AM  

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