Monday, March 27, 2006

Hard, Backbreaking Work

From an excellent piece analyzing the immigration issue in the Washington Post:

Year after year, Professional Grounds Inc. runs a help-wanted ad to find landscapers and groundskeepers. Starting wage: $7.74 per hour.

In a good year, three people call. Most years, no one does.

So the Springfield company relies on imported labor -- seasonal guest workers allowed to immigrate under the federal guest-worker program -- to keep itself running. For 10 months this year, 23 men from Mexico and Central America will spend their days mulching and mowing, seeding and sodding for Professional Grounds.

Occasionally, company President Bill Trimmer asks himself: If I doubled wages, would native-born Americans apply? He thinks he knows the answer.

"I don't think it's a wage situation. It's the type of work and the nature of the work. It's hard, backbreaking work," said Trimmer, who started the company 31 years ago. "I think we're a more affluent society now. They expect more. Everybody expects more. . . . I have contracts, and they want an affordable price, too."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bet if he tripled the wage he would get plenty of applicants. Where in the Constitution does it say that businesses are entitled to an unlimited supply of labor at $7.74 per hour?

3/27/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger HispaniCon said...

Spoken like someone who does not own a business and has to make payroll every week.

3/27/2006 9:37 PM  
Anonymous Nomad said...

It is amazing to me to see that some conservatives in this country have little or no knowledge of basic economic theory.

4/04/2006 5:03 PM  

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