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My Rant, aren't we all entitled?
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My Rant, aren't we all entitled? - November 12, 2010, 07:10 PM

It is a pretty well known fact that people in this area are more than likely in some fashion employed in the government sector. I was once employed by a government contracting firms before I had enough and needed a change. I was offered a position in my brother inlaw's masonry construction company. I was thrilled to be challenged in a new way. And I began my career with one of the largest masonry contractors in the area. I came in just in time to caught a little bit of the good times when everyone was building. Things slowed down and we all could see the end of this boom was looming. But in the commercial construction is takes sometime before you take the full effects. We were still building the infrastructure to support the massive house building in this area. Where there are houses, you will need schools and place to shop.

Move forward and we are still building schools but there is nothing in the commercial market to speak of. This is where the federal government steps in and starts funding projects in hopes to level the market. So that there is something out there for us to do. That is what is great in this area. We all know, no matter your employment, you are much better off in this area than most others.

With this federal work has come some new issues that now popped up on the radar. One issue that I can't really 100% agree with. For some time there has been a big push to improve the I-9 process. And the major tool for this has been the E-Verify system. Some of you I'm sure have been through some form of training for the I-9 form for employment. I don't think anyone that knows anything about this process will claim that it isn't a flawed process. For those that don't know, as an employer you are not supposed to question the documents you are provided as this may be deemed as discrimination and you are not deemed as an expert at reviewing documents. Instead, you are supposed to collect the information and submit it to for verification. In a month, at the earliest, your company will receive a letter stating there is a conflict with someones identification that was provided. You are then granted a defined amount of time to correct this information. In my world, the foreman that hired this person is notified and the foreman then loses a worker that day. That same guy goes to the next job site and applies for work. This goes on and on and on. We have even seen people come back with new documents. So, yes the system is flawed at best.

So what is the fix? In my opinion, instead of looking at the whole picture this was looked at as solely an illegal immigrant problem that needed to be address. So the idea to fix this is to push for E-Verify system for everyone. To make this the standard for all employment will take the cooperation of not only the federal government but also the state level. In the mean time, the federal government has made it the policy for any federal contract funded for 2009 and beyond that the companies involved to become an E-Verified company. This means if you have a contract that was funded with 09 budget that: Any existing employee that is in direct relation to this project must go through the E-Verification. Any new hire to your company, even if they are not hire in relation to the new contract, must be E-Verified. Any re-hire over 30 days from last employment with your current company must be E-Verified.

So the first reaction is, "fuck yea. no more illegals!" A step in the right direction? Possibly but I really thing this is another knee jerk reaction in an attempt to address an issue. Think about how many people you know that do construction work. Think about how many of those people are direct tradesman. Those numbers are really low. Labor intensive skill jobs are performed mostly by a immigrant work force. School systems for the most part have cut out all vo-tech programs. And the schools are programing kids to believe in two options, college or the military. So we have set up a culture that believes the ditch digging will just get done by someone else? A coworker I had once told me that the world is made up of ditch diggers and people that oversee the ditch diggers. Have we created a society in which we are believe are all going to be supervising the ditch diggers? Then who is going to dig the ditch??

Should we just live with the way things are? No I'm not saying that but there has to be a better way. My company is just starting this process and we haven't really seen the effects of employment due the fact the contract we have hasn't really started yet. I do know of a company that has started this process a while ago. The effects of this blew my mind but I completely understood why. They announced to the company that they were becoming an E-Verified employer. Like wild fire this spread to all their job sites. Even jobs that didn't require the E-Verification process. This company lost 70% of is labor force! Let me tell you that this not only drove away the possible illegal workers but also the legal ones. Keep in mind a lot of these people maybe on a work permit or something else similar. Some maybe applying for citizenship. These people are real nervous about losing the right to work in this country and won't take any additional steps to risk that if they don't have to. Take for example- One day we had a 100% legal to work in this country employee pulled out of a van of employees on his way through the gates of a military post because his drivers license had expired. He was detained because the guard could not identify this person. This spread like fire on the job site and every trade suffered the next day with a massive labor shortage. Again, this was with people not willing to risk their status.

So in the end, companies like mine have to deal with this issue and figure out a way to coup with this policy to do what work is left in this area. I view it at as shit attempt to address the immigration issue this country has. Without looking at all the issues. As if these people will disappear- <redneck voice>Go back where da came from</redneck voice>. That this program will do more than make it harder for me to do business. As if I turn do other workers to order to hire cheaper labor. I hire the labor that is available. Think the unemployed in this country will give up their unemployment checks to come out and do some manual labor? Think I want to employ them and them having an "accident" on my job and sue me? Take one minute and think about all the shit that is around you and how it was built.


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November 12, 2010, 07:22 PM

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Man Snipes is the Mike Jordan of this shit!!

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November 12, 2010, 07:32 PM

No, I will NOT touch this. NO!


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November 12, 2010, 07:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSXR Matt View Post
. Take for example- One day we had a 100% legal to work in this country employee pulled out of a van of employees on his way through the gates of a military post because his drivers license had expired. He was detained because the guard could not identify this person. This spread like fire on the job site and every trade suffered the next day with a massive labor shortage. Again, this was with people not willing to risk their status.
In this day and age, you go to a gate on a military complex, you better have your shit in order. This means not trying to get on board with an expired drivers license.


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November 12, 2010, 08:16 PM

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In this day and age, you go to a gate on a military complex, you better have your shit in order. This means not trying to get on board with an expired drivers license.
I don't deny that being the case. Rather the fact is the outcome of this and how it is in a way similar to what we now face.

Scott- I would be interested to hear what you have to say and would respect your views. Me being in my "ivory tower" as a project manager, I only get to hear the response from my foremen. Currently I have one job ongoing at the pentagon. Manpower is the responsibility of our superintendents and foreman. They are struggling with finding labors that are 1. willing to work on the site 2. able to get the required badge for the site. I had three guys I submitted for badges and the Pentagon said no but the Dept of Labor said they had the right to work in this country. It's not like I have people knocking down the door to do this work. The work has to be done and I need to employ whomever wants to do it.


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November 12, 2010, 08:26 PM

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Originally Posted by GSXR Matt View Post
I hire the labor that is available. Think the unemployed in this country will give up their unemployment checks to come out and do some manual labor?
End their unemployment benefits and they will come out.

Over the next few years the American standard of living will continue to fall. At some point, something has got to give. And once again blue collar trades will be viewed as respectable. And we can get back to manufacturing more than just "toxic financial instruments".

I'm all for cracking down on illegal immigrants. Paying illegal immigrants cash under the table so they can dodge taxes & get free health benefits at the ER. All the while my insurance and taxes continue to rise, this has got to stop.

I know illegal immigration is just a small part of that burden. But its got to stop.
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November 12, 2010, 08:28 PM

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The work has to be done and I need to employ whomever wants to do it.
Has your company tried recruiting US citizens in areas of the country w/ high unemployment?
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November 12, 2010, 08:35 PM

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End their unemployment benefits and they will come out.

Over the next few years the American standard of living will continue to fall. At some point, something has got to give. And once again blue collar trades will be viewed as respectable. And we can get back to manufacturing more than just "toxic financial instruments".

I'm all for cracking down on illegal immigrants. Paying illegal immigrants cash under the table so they can dodge taxes & get free health benefits at the ER. All the while my insurance and taxes continue to rise, this has got to stop.

I know illegal immigration is just a small part of that burden. But its got to stop.
A company of my size can not afford to take the risk of paying for under table. There are so many things involved in large scale contract work that limits that type of work force use. Not to say that doesn't happen in some other types of construction work. Residential work lends it's self well to that.

I agree, in that in a perfect world, that these jobs will grow strength and respectability. But that base has to be made and I don't see this as a smart starting point.


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November 12, 2010, 08:47 PM

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Has your company tried recruiting US citizens in areas of the country w/ high unemployment?
We are talking about construction work. And talk to anyone in this area and they will tell you that the worker that are out of work in other areas of this country flak to this area. I talked to another masonry contractor that is in the mid west. At one point their company was probably about the same size as mine. With the current conditions that we are in, this company has laid off all but 3 people in their office. They went from about 400-500 field employees to less than 100. They have sold off most all their equipment. In this area for the most part it has gotten that bad yet for the big players in this market.

So have we actively search for employees outside this area? No. And lets not get this twisted around citizenship. I don't want it to be confused that I'm knowingly hiring illegals. You don't have to have citizenship to work in this country.


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November 12, 2010, 09:14 PM

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So have we actively search for employees outside this area? No. And lets not get this twisted around citizenship. I don't want it to be confused that I'm knowingly hiring illegals. You don't have to have citizenship to work in this country.
True about not being a US citizen to work here.

My point was... hiring red-blooded Americans who speak American English offers you the path of least resistance to getting workers onto military and other sensitive installations. Which you said was your problem....
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November 12, 2010, 10:09 PM

Same issue over here. Ex-Pats vs. TCN/LN workers. It's all a money thing, and is one of the reason Ex-Pat salaries are down across the board. But, it's also the reason these companies can make money on their low bid contracts.


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November 12, 2010, 10:57 PM

Actually... I know more US citizens who work labor jobs than immigrants... Just my observation over the years between knowing people in the labor workforce and having worked in it for a while as well. I actually know more immigrant workers in the government than anywhere else.

It's amazing some of the information our government is willing to disclose with non-citizens just because they have signed a contract. Not a fan of how we handle a lot of things regarding citizenship etc.. but I'll save myself the flaming by leaving it at that.


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November 12, 2010, 11:17 PM

We're pretty much fucked as a country unless times get REALLY bad. The work ethic of Americans as a result of the Great Depression was lost on the the majority of Americans a couple of generations back. And the entitlements availible today make this a cake walk for those out of work compared to back then. Businesses will always go for the cheapest most productive labor they can find. Hell I knew folks in landscaping businesses 20 years ago that would state "I'll take 10 immigrants over 10 Amercian born employees any day of the week." I don't doubt that, and don't blame them. As long as the work force is made up of legal workers.

Sadly, Illegals aren't going anywhere because employers in the labor trades want them and those outside of the trades are too scared to take the hot potato subject and appear non "PC".

Why 70% of a legal work-force would fly the coop because of the situation you laid out doesn't make any damn sense to me, but I'll take it at face value for the moment.


BTW, I always thought it was a total load of BS that an expired license suddenly becomes a useless scrap of plastic for ID purposes. Let your license expire and you can't even get it renewed without having a birth certificate to prove who you are, yet the day before that same piece of plastic can get you in the White House, WTF? The birth certificate requirement is a joke. You can order them over the internet from a 3rd party with precious little in the way of a verification process, just answer a couple of questions about "yourself" and pay'em $25.00 and they'll fed-ex a copy to your door. Morons....
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November 12, 2010, 11:48 PM

[QUOTE=NoVaGhost;1025233]Actually... I know more US citizens who work labor jobs than immigrants... Just my observation over the years between knowing people in the labor workforce and having worked in it for a while as well. I actually know more immigrant workers in the government than anywhere else.
QUOTE]

Out of 150 people in my company, Electrical contractor, I would say 85% are immigrants. Out of those 15% who are not immigrant workers, 4% are in the field. Out of those 85% that are immigrant workers, I would venture to say about half are Illegal.

Out of all the Government contractors I have done work for, I have seen NO immigrant workers. Obviously I am not down your way or work directly with the government like you so take it for what its worth, thats just my observation.


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November 13, 2010, 12:14 AM

[QUOTE=GSXR Matt;1025199]Scott- I would be interested to hear what you have to say and would respect your views. QUOTE]

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