New Orleans Two weeks ago we talked about the fact that guest workers might start to get some justice. New DOL regulations are requiring that companies actually look for workers locally before being able to pull migrants in from foreign lands, and they are going to have to pay them more. I saluted the effort, but was skeptical.
It did not take long to find some proof of my skepticism. There was an ad placed under “employment” in the Arkansas Times, a weekly in Little Rock that is largely entertainment ads and a couple of news and current events pieces. The ad was a classic:
“FIELD WORKERS-8 temporary positions; approx 10 months; Duties: to operate tractors during the preparation of the sugar cane crop before, during, and after the harvesting season. $9.09 per hour; Job to begin on 4/1/10 through 2/1/11. 3 months experience required in job offered. Must pass drug test. All work tools provided. Housing and transportation provided to workers who can not reasonably return to their permanent residence at the end of the work day; guaranteed of contract. Employment offered by A&M Farms, Inc. located in New Iberia, LA. Qualified applicants send resume to Guy Viator at (225) 766-0994.”
Hmmm…the number of field hands and tractor drivers that would be reading this ad and looking for a shot at going to New Iberia, just below Lafayette in the Cajun cane country of the Louisiana grand prairie, I bet is less than 2 fingers, just to be liberal, and the number of them that have “resume” just at hand and ready to fire off, for the chance to make $9 bucks for a temporary job for 10 months doesn’t fit on any hand I know.
It doesn’t take much to imagine that this ad is already clipped and copied as proof to be ready just in case someone from the DOL shows up and asks some day.
Why make a farce of farm work recruitment unless A&M Farms is pretty sure they, and outfits just like them, can get away with this pretty easily?