Prisoners and Youth Farm Workers

by James Jett

Both politics and the media are talking daily about workers in this country being replaced by illegal immigrants because they will “do work that Americans refuse to do.” My experience is the American workers would like higher pay, and better working condition. In businesses where I had to employ from the label force in that city or town I always had good experience with the people we hired as long as we selected carefully and provided them with the training necessary to do the job.
Last week I heard the report that Labor Secretary Elaine Cho stated words that implied that workers in this country face competition with foreigners because the foreigners bring more to the workplace: more skills, both work ethics and more concern about the product or service provided by the employer. So the company outsource the jobs Americans need to feed themselves and their families in addition to saving for retirement. Sometime over halfway through your career you get terminated and need to find a job that will enable you to maintain your present life style for yourself and your love ones. This can be difficult if the jobs you are skilled in is being outsourced at a rapid pace. Usually without any concern for its workers a company transfers the jobs to a company in India or elsewhere without any concern for the welfare of the employees. Among the lower incomes, especially the Black youths, unemployment is at or above 20 percent someone said in an e-mail I received “if unemployment had been this high forty or fifty years ago, people would be out in the streets protesting.”
Starting with this group, (the Black youth) you could use the farm as a training camp with some changes in both attitudes and operations, first you would need training for the owners, then start the youth working with the vegetables. For the first time in their life some of the overweight and untrained youth in this country would know where vegetables come from and how they get to the grocery store. They would also learn that people usually work at least eight hours per day. The farmers would learn that anyone coming on the farm with the right information and understand it is to benefit them, in this case the youth, will do a day’s work for a good day”s pay. The farmers would learn that these are human beings not wild animals and both the workers and the owners are responsible for getting the food to the market making sure it is safe for human to consume! I am entering this in the computer totally aware that both of these groups are not aware of the amount of care and concern needed to insure that food is safe for the citizens to eat. Just watch the news or read the many publications it will make you wonder, how a person can own a farm and yet be totally unaware of the danger to human life if he is careless in his farming habits. I said in an earlier post that people in jail could be used to work on the farms instead of illegal immigrants, today on some tv station I watch about fifteen minutes as women prisoners worked on the farms with more to come in the futures because other farmers asked to participate, according to the report.


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