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Thread: illegal workers needed

  1. #1
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    Default illegal workers needed

    Low pay, no benefits, sorry. I know you need the money so you will work anyway. Need app 100 workers so we can produce a massive amount of milk and I can take a trip to some nice resort south of the border this winter and sip cool drinks all day. Soon the small family dudes will throw in the towel and prices will climb then we will buy their land and make even more milk. Come help me build an empire. The family guys will find something--maybe W-mart will take them in. LB

  2. #2
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    That's a good one, Leaky. Unfortunately our close dairy friends are in that boat after some bad decisions & some health issues. Mom, daughter at Wal Mart supercenter; Dad at distribution center-12 hr days-2 am-2pm. Farm for sale; once 300 cow dairy. So sad. Not big enough for large dairy but too much $$ for small guy.

  3. #3
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    All, I moved this one because it seemed more like an "editorial" than a job posting.

    The forum operators appreciate the post, and request your understanding about the move. Best regards....

    JO

  4. #4

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    Leakyboot,
    I don't know if your opinions are directed toward the farm factories or the immigrant workers but I will address the later: There are plenty of hard working immigrants who earn a fair wage, become educated in the industry, and offer a work ethic that may have been lost by "white coller farm owners". (My opinion is that owning a farm does not necessarily make you a farmer. Working your farm makes you a farmer!) These immigrants very often have very strong family values, and come and work together as a family--essentially, it isn't the end of the "family farm".
    The dairy industry, like many other ag sectors, has become dependent on immigrant workers and would be in a sorry state if it weren't for them. I'm not advocating the hiring of illegal immigrants, but those who have legal status to work should not be viewed as desperate nor should they be taken advantage of.
    In addition, while some may seem willing to work for a low wage with no benefits, I would have to say they have a work ethic and loyalty to do meanial jobs that you do not see in many "Americans". Our neighbor claims that he would go though 4 or 5 "Americans" to every immigrant worker he hires. They long to work as a team and strive for the same goals that you have. Very seldom do they come only to collect a paycheck. They are truly caring about the work they do.
    Last edited by schigirl; 11-28-2006 at 01:47 PM.

  5. #5
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    Schigirl, not sure where you are located;obviously not a border state where all public services have been strapped because of illegals.My wife is a nurse and the local hospital where she works has agreat number of births to illegals who pay absolutely nothing for their medical care. You made a post bemoaning your insurance problems......that's agreat deal of the cost.I dairy because I love cattle and farming;most of these "big operators" would sell the cows in a minute if they had to milk their own cows....perhaps your friend should sell his herd to a family who wants to farm or reduce his herd and milk his own; maybe he should pay better wages and he could get competent citizens of this country and those of us here that are true family farmers would not have to pay for the subsidization of his legal or illegal workers families education,housing and health care while these same big operators flood the market with cheap labor produced milk. Excuse those of us you disagree with....... we don't appreciate having to pick up the tab for those who would put us out of business

  6. #6
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    Default Way to express your view!

    I think this is a great example of why some farms regress and other progress. In fighting and narrow mindedness will not get the industry anywhere.

  7. #7
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    I figured this should be a thread I should chime in on as this is an issue I have experience with.

    As some may be able to tell, my screen name "ElJefe" is Spanish for "The Boss". I directly supervise 7 Latino workers on my farm along with a Spanish-speaking herdsman.

    It's all well and good to farm because you love cattle and such, and I commend anybody who does that. But the reality of the situation is that I didn't invest 5 years of my life and tens of thousands of dollars in college to farm and not make any money or have any time off. I love cattle too, but I have more interests to pursue than strictly farming. I also want to do well enough financially to support myself and potentially a family if I ever get around to starting one.

    Gone are the days where people simply have 10 kids to supply all the labor a farm needs. Sure, I worked when I was a kid but I was also free to pursue other interests in sports and such and wasn't bound to the farm with no escape. I think it's important for children/teenagers to experience many different things in life.

    This is where the Latinos come in. When we expanded our herd from a tiestall setup to a freestall/parlor setup it was darn near impossible to find any good help around. It's hard to compete with construction and factory work where there aren't so many nights and weekends that require work to be done. So we started out by turning to Russian trainees and that worked out fairly well. After 9/11 that well pretty much ran dry and we had to turn to Latinos.

    Our employees all have social security cards. We submit them to the government and they pay taxes just like any other person. But in reality, I pretty well know that they are in this country illegally and have fake social security cards. The government never acts upon any of the suspicious social security numbers and as a business we are not required to be documentation experts to be able to spot a forgery.

    It's unfortunate that a compromise on this issue can't be made. Anybody who thinks building a fence on the border will solve the problem is absolutely nuts. Ever heard of a ladder? It would be nice for all parties involved for there to be a guest worker program. The immigrants wouldn't have to pay shady coyotes to smuggle them across the border. The government would know who is here and where they are. The employers wouldn't have to work in a grey area of the law.

    Unfortunately, there are some politicians that have no concept of reality that refuse to acknowledge the need for this labor. By holding out against any compromise they are actually making the situation worse as more and more people stream over the border illegally when there is a perfectly viable solution available.

    And yes, if I had to milk all of our cows every single day, I would surely sell them. To me, there is more to life than work.

    I'll be glad to answer any questions/comments/criticism on the subject so feel free to shoot away

  8. #8

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    re: Hughsdairy
    I am actually located in wisconsin where the small single family farms are rapidly disappearing. These farms are often supported by wives working off the farm and helping to pay the bills where the dairy cannot support itself. And while our moderatly sized farm is able to support itself on the dairy, we still work with neighbors by sharing equipment to bring in crops as it doesn't come out in the books to own all of the equipment needed to work and harvest the land. Economies of size is the concept that says you need to be a certain size to be profitable.

    The battle between the family farm and the corporate farms will be ongoing, and my stand personally is in the middle. I will not continue to foolishly banter. The final points I will make are simply this:

    1. The dairy industry, along with much of agriculture is fully dependent on immigrant worker, legal and not. You may remember earlier this year when immigrant workers took a day off, many business were simply paralized
    2. Hiring legal immigrant workers does not mean you do not run a family farm. My parents, husband, two brothers, and myself are all involved at our farm. We have one Latino worker (who is legal) who helps milk. Does this automatically take us out of the "family farm" category?
    3. Being from a different country does not make one incompetent. Think of it this way, you decide to go somewhere where the food, culture, language and everything is completly different, and you find a way to act, speak and live totally differently from your roots. That doesn't come from someone who doesn't have goals and a drive to make a better life!
    4. Latinos (who I assume your wife is having her woes with) are not all here illegally, and it is sad that you have stereotyped an entire population as illegal and as a problem instead of recognizing what some of them may offer us.

    With ElJefe, I also believe there is a compromise that the government needs to assume responsiblity for. It is too late to go back, so instead of complaining about a problem that is beyond repair, it is important to embrace the good.
    Last edited by schigirl; 11-29-2006 at 03:02 PM. Reason: typo

  9. #9
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    While we don't agree,I respect your opinions.That's what this forum is for and why this is the greatest country in the world.I don't understand why people insist on turning the illegal alien issue into a racial thing; being in this country illegally doesn't mean only someone from a Latin country; one can be here without legal status from any part of the world.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by hughesdairy View Post
    While we don't agree,I respect your opinions.That's what this forum is for and why this is the greatest country in the world.I don't understand why people insist on turning the illegal alien issue into a racial thing; being in this country illegally doesn't mean only someone from a Latin country; one can be here without legal status from any part of the world.
    I'm just curious on what your views would be of an expanded guest worker program? As it is right now, there aren't really any viable legal channels for guest workers to go through (the uneducated ones anyway).

  11. #11
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    Not being an employer I was wondering what jobs that an American worker(legal immigrant) couldn't be hired to do? Also, if you could tell me(if anyone knows) what the jobs would pay? Are they hourly, any fringe , etc. I keep hearing that Americans won't do these jobs... Ya can't compete if ya don't make enough ta eat... Thanks for any info.. Tom

  12. #12

    Default With respect....

    Quote Originally Posted by hughesdairy View Post
    Schigirl, not sure where you are located;obviously not a border state where all public services have been strapped because of illegals.My wife is a nurse and the local hospital where she works has agreat number of births to illegals who pay absolutely nothing for their medical care.

    Did not mean to put the spotlight on Latinos, I guessed I assumed that since you are from Texas, you were referring to them as the ones your wife worked with the most. I feel strongly about the hiring of legal immigrants, whether Asian, European, or Latino.

    I also respect your opinions because I know if we all thought the same, we would never grow.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    Not being an employer I was wondering what jobs that an American worker(legal immigrant) couldn't be hired to do? Also, if you could tell me(if anyone knows) what the jobs would pay? Are they hourly, any fringe , etc. I keep hearing that Americans won't do these jobs... Ya can't compete if ya don't make enough ta eat... Thanks for any info.. Tom
    I'd say mainly the milker position is the hardest to fill with American workers.

    I think there are a number of factors that make that jobs less attractive to Americans. It's bad enough to do tedious work like milking cows, but having to do it on nights and weekends makes it even worse. That's not to say milking cows is always tedious but when the parlor is going 20+ hours a day, somebody needs to be hired to strictly milk cows and if you strictly milked cows, I'm sure we can all agree it'd be rather tedious. Doing it on nights and weekends makes it worse.

    I'd say that personally, the pay on our farm isn't out of line with many factory jobs. Housing and utilities are all provided and paid for to all employees. Mainly, I'd consider the type of work and hours to be the main detriment to finding good Americans that have similar paying options that don't have them drawbacks.

  14. #14
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    Default Cultural Question?

    So the Question I have is this: Are there names, labels that workers of Hispanic Origin find offensive or objectionable? Or did I just use an offensive one?
    What term do these folks find acceptable? Or what term do they use to describe themselves?
    Don't want to start a firestorm, sincerely want to know.

  15. #15
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    Golly, I can't imagine how many cows you are milking if you are running a parlor 20+ hrs. aday. I also don't want to start a fire storm but have honest questions. Were the jobs you offer advertized for locals to see? What would the going wage be for a milker in that size operation? Did you or would you compare labor cost(American worker VS. what you have now).If so, would you in round numbers give me an idea of its outcome?... Per cent would be fine..
    What was the connection be between the Russian workers and 911? Thanks for the provided info and hope ta read more, Tom

  16. #16
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    But in reality, I pretty well know that they are in this country illegally and have fake social security cards. The government never acts upon any of the suspicious social security numbers and as a business we are not required to be documentation experts to be able to spot a forgery.



    I'll be glad to answer any questions/comments/criticism on the subject so feel free to shoot away [/QUOTE]
    I wanted to ask this in the last post but did you actually contact the authorities and they did nothing? I think the authorities would be able to spot forgery. Are there no requirements on your part to notify them if you suspect an illegal? Again, I don't mean ta ruffle da fedders dere Boss but I gotsa lotta questions about American workers being blamed for this illegal immigrant shinola.. Tanks again, Tom

  17. #17
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    Being that I work in law enforcement, and that I have to deal with some of these issues I decided to post my observations. For the most part I have NO problem with people coming into this country. The ones I do have problems with, ( race isnt an issue its everyone that comes into this country that is illegal) are the ones that "milk" the system and or break our laws. I deal with the latter all the time. We ship them back to their respective countries, mostly South America, one recently from Russia. I was at the doctors office with my son when he had the flu. Two workers from mexico where in there and when asked how they where going to pay for the doctors visit the said medicare. These ladies live in trailer house down the street from me along with 8 other immagrants.This is where I get a little testy. Money comes out of my check every two weeks to pay for this medicare that they are getting. I now know how much they are getting paid because I had a freind in that office that knows who they work for. These ladies are driving a new,( no more than two years old) Ford Expedition. If they can afford that why cant they pay for a doctors visit? We had a booking on an assault case where one got drunk and beat up his girlfriend. He fought the arresting officers and me because he "Did NOT want to go back to Mexico" I was bit on my thigh from that one. When he sobered up he was very sorry for bitting me. I dont hold anything personaly against the man, but the same time it puts me in a dangerous position because they will do anything to try to get away and not be deported. Now someone who was legal wouldnt have to fight like that or worry about being deported. I know not ever immagrant is like that and not everyone breaks laws and milks the system, but like very other group it only takes a few to ruin it for everyone else. I am all for a comprehensive guest worker or immagrant worker program. I just want to see it done right to where everyone benifits from it.
    As for the work ethic, I do belive that they are hard workers, but I know hard workers from every ethnicity. The "American Dream" is what drives most of us. Just as I know hard workers I know alot of the type that want high pay for easy work. It isnt like it was when this country was born, if you wanted something or a life you worked for it. I hear alotta complaints that that the younger generations dont wanna work. That they want something for nothing. I am sure that every generation as said that about the next generation at one time or another. Thats just my thoughts. Not that they are right or wrong.
    Ronnie
    Last edited by mar91773; 12-01-2006 at 01:59 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom View Post
    Golly, I can't imagine how many cows you are milking if you are running a parlor 20+ hrs. aday. I also don't want to start a fire storm but have honest questions. Were the jobs you offer advertized for locals to see? What would the going wage be for a milker in that size operation? Did you or would you compare labor cost(American worker VS. what you have now).If so, would you in round numbers give me an idea of its outcome?... Per cent would be fine..
    What was the connection be between the Russian workers and 911? Thanks for the provided info and hope ta read more, Tom
    Don't worry about the questions, you have honest questions and I do feel obliged to answer them.

    We are currently milking over 400 cows three times a day.

    At one time our job openings were advertised but at this point our milker positions are contracted through another company. There tends to be some instances where two weeks notice is not given and an immediate replacement is needed. The company we contract through will have a new employee brought to our farm the day after somebody quits. Takes a lot of aggravation out of the process. Or when things go more smoothly, our current employees will have a family member or acquaintance trained and ready to go when another worker leaves.

    Lately we've been able to promote from within. Milkers that show a lot of promise have the ability to move up into other positions and earn more money. So at this point we don't really advertise for help because we've got a good source.

    I'm not sure how you'd exactly measure how much they make. Our milkers make in between $7-9 an hour on the surface. Then you consider they receive free housing, utilities and satellite. I'm not sure I can pinpoint an exact figure to these benefits. But when adding everything up, not including housing, some of our milkers earn in excess of $30,000 per year due to their willingness to put in lots of hours. Burnout can be a factor so at every employee meeting I always ask them if they would like to continue working the hours they are working and whether we need to hire anybody else. Sometimes it is actually necessary to hold these guys back from working too much.

    As for the social security and the authorities, I was talking about when we send in all the documentation for the employees to pay taxes and such. Sometimes you'll receive notification that the social security status is suspect. No follow-ups are ever conducted. Basically they are saying "Hey, this person might be using a fake social security card and we'll let you know if they are in which case you can not legally employee them." Usually that's as far as it goes. I suspect the reason social security doesn't investigate further is because it is basically free money for social security. These workers are paying into something of which they will never collect.

    That's not to say there aren't any bad apples. It's the same as people in general. We've had some real doozies working for us, but the 9 out of 10 have been honest, hard working people that are looking to better themselves. I've actually been to Mexico and seen the conditions that force them to come here. It's a sad state down there for millions of people and I've seen with my own eyes how much even the wage from a milking job can improve their lives.

    The problem is the bad apples that you'll find in any walk of society. I have no problems with deportation of criminal illegals and those that are violent and break the law. I just wish there could be a legal system for honest people to come up here and make their lives better.

  19. #19
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    Appreciate both you and the list for indulging my questions. It seems a good opportunity. I realize that I'm digging deep here and truly appreciate your willingness.
    I find it hard to believe someone wouldn't want to milk cows for that salary unless of course they would have to work 18 hr. days 7 days a week. How many hours does a milker have to put in to earn that @$7-9 per hr. Besides housing and T.V. is there any other cost to you? What happens if the employee needs medical care? Any liabilities on you? Is the housing typical migrant workers quarters or are they different because you hire for steady work? I guess the govt. does like the free money from fraudulant S.S. a win win the loser American worker.
    A few weeks ago, in the news here, 40 people were taken from a single family dwelling. A neighbor would see a van come every morning and load up with people and take them maybe to milk cows. Another town about 35 miles from here Hazelton, Pa. has also been making headlines for its efforts. I think we are going backwards to my Irish immigrant grandfathers time when they went to the anthracite mines at the age of 9. The only difference is their utilities were outdoors and they had a close by company store.. I dunno Boss it ain't lookin' too good from where I'm lookin'.. Ya don't have a company store do ya Boss? Tanks agin and lookin' forward ta more, Tom

  20. #20
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    There are no hourly requirements to receive a certain hourly wage. It's mainly time worked. Also our current crew is doing an excellent job with the SCC so they get a $100 bonus each month, along with a Christmas bonus coming up (not sure how much that is).

    For housing we have a three bedroom house for three guys, a two bedroom trailer for a husband and wife and child, and a one bedroom apartment type thing converted out of part of a shed . Also a house for the herdsman on the farm and a house for myself off the farm.

    It's certainly not gated community living but we're certainly not packing anybody in like sardines. A former employee tried to turn his housing into a refuge for all of his friends that weren't employed by us. That is why he is a former employee now. They all sign leases for their housing but they just never pay rent.

    Edit: Forgot to address medical. Luckily we haven't had anything too serious to deal with. We have worker's compensation insurance, and also have helped to pay some other minor medical problems some have had.
    Last edited by ElJefe; 12-01-2006 at 06:00 PM.

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