Ga’s farm-labor crisis playing out as planned

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    Jun 24, 2011 1:15 AM GMT
    http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2011/06/17/gas-farm-labor-crisis-playing-out-as-planned/

    "Thanks to the resulting labor shortage, Georgia farmers have been forced to leave millions of dollars' worth of blueberries, onions, melons and other crops unharvested and rotting in the fields. It has also put state officials into something of a panic at the damage they've done to Georgia's largest industry."

    "According to the survey, more than 6,300 of the unclaimed jobs pay an hourly wage of just $7.25 to $8.99, or an average of roughly $8 an hour. Over a 40-hour work week in the South Georgia sun, that’s $320 a week, before taxes, although most workers probably put in considerably longer hours. Another 3,200 jobs pay $9 to $11 an hour. And while our agriculture commissioner has been quoted as saying Georgia farms provide “$12, $13, $14, $16, $18-an-hour jobs,” the survey reported just 169 openings out of more than 11,000 that pay $16 or more.

    In addition, few of the jobs include benefits — only 7.7 percent offer health insurance, and barely a third are even covered by workers compensation. And the truth is that even if all 2,000 probationers in the region agreed to work at those rates and stuck it out — a highly unlikely event, to put it mildly — it wouldn’t fix the problem."

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    Jun 24, 2011 1:35 AM GMT

    http://www.ufw.org/toj_play/TOJNEW_12_JAL.htmlAgriculture in the United States is dependent on an immigrant workforce. Three-quarters of all crop workers working in American agriculture were born outside the United States. According to government statistics, since the late 1990s, at least 50% of the crop workers have not been authorized to work legally in the United States.

    We are a nation in denial about our food supply. As a result the UFW has initiated the "Take Our Jobs" campaign.

    Farm workers are ready to welcome citizens and legal residents who wish to replace them in the field. We will use our knowledge and staff to help connect the unemployed with farm employers. Just fill out the form to the right and continue on to the request for job application.


    Grand total graduates of this program that tries to showcase the American work ethic...dunno (as of last year it was a few dozen), but it's << 11000.

    Big surprise.