Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Guest worker program draws fire from union leaders

KFDM-TV Channel Six News:
"THE COMPANY[BUNA BASED SOUTHEAST TEXAS INDUSTRIES]'S ATTORNEY PETITIONED THE VIDOR CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT TO ALLOW THEM TO HOUSE UP TO 100 DOCUMENTED MEXICAN WORKERS ON SITE ... TO FILL ITS NEED."

There are two key points to notice from this story.

First, as noted above, these Mexican workers to be housed at the plant in Vidor, Texas, will be workers with documents allowing them to work here legally. A company spokesman notes that they can stay for ten months and then the company can bring in another group of Mexican workers for the next ten months. Other press accounts I have read note that this program - a true guest worker program similar to the old Bracero program which operated from 1942-64 - is undersubscribed because Mexicans wishing to work in the US usually prefer to enter illegally.

Second, the article says the company has not been able to find enough American workers to fill available jobs at $18 per hour (although one union leader is quoted saying the average is probably nearer $14). One has to wonder how hard they looked. Did they go to Houston and other cities in Texas where refugees from Katrina are still unable to return to New Orleans? I'd wager some of those folks wouldn't turn down a chance to work for that kind of money.

1 Comments:

At Fri May 19, 09:38:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Ed Reid said...

I'll bet Houston would be happy to send them 100 at no charge.

 

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