Job Fight: Immigrants vs. Locals

Discussion in 'Economics' started by ASusilovic, May 24, 2009.

  1. SHELBYVILLE, Tenn. -- Hard times recently drew scores of locals and immigrants to a cold sidewalk in this town, where they spent an anxious night waiting to compete for jobs in a slaughterhouse.

    Burmese refugee Cho Aye traveled 60 miles from Nashville on a Thursday morning in late March to take a place at the head of the line outside Shelbyville's state employment office. The next day, the office was to take applications for $9.35-an-hour jobs processing chicken at the local Tyson Foods plant. Directly behind Ms. Aye, sitting on blankets atop the concrete, were 16 more Burmese refugees who had come from as far away as Idaho and Florida.

    "I don't mind doing any kind of work," Ms. Aye, a petite 22-year-old, said that evening as she settled into a reclining beach chair she bought at Goodwill.

    Farther back in the line, marked by orange tape and monitored by police, locals like David Curtis seethed. "This is the worst job I have ever applied for," said the 31-year-old welder, who had already failed to find work at a convenience store, a pen factory and a Pizza Hut. Eyeing those ahead of him, he added: "I'm very annoyed foreigners are taking jobs that Americans need."

    Slaughterhouse jobs can be difficult and dangerous. Now, with U.S. unemployment at a 25-year high, they are also fiercely coveted. American workers -- who for years have largely avoided fruit-picking, office-cleaning and meat-processing shifts -- are increasingly vying for these jobs with immigrants, creating flashpoints in places like Shelbyville.

    Shoving and Cursing

    The rising friction has been on display at the employment center here. When Tyson put out an earlier call for applications, in February, shoving and cursing broke out between locals and immigrants jockeying for position at the head of the line. With too few jobs to go around, outraged locals demanded that the work go to residents, not immigrant workers from outside Shelbyville.
  2. Unfortunately, you've posted a very good and timely article.

    I was just having an early dinner yesterday at Chimichurri Grill (upscale Argentinian on 9th Ave in the 40's) who is in town for the holiday weekend, and we got around to discussing Obama's economic policies.

    I stated that I didn't like what he was doing, and that this is not the way to "prop-up" a failing economy. I think there should be extremely long-term unemployment benifits (about 5 years or so) combined with basic medical coverage so that people can survivie while trying to get their feet underneath them and do better for themselves.

    Otherwise, what is going to happen is that things are going to get more competitive and tougher as the recession deepens and people, well, frankly won't give a damn about other people who are outside of their group or "click" as they worry about their own survivial (and I sited him a recent example at a job that I knew about).

    Then he stated, "Yeah, and if it still doesn't improve, it's going to get worse than that ... it's going to get like this (and he simulated shoving a gun into my face). I looked at him and noded that he was correct.

    From your article, it looks like that point is right around the corner! :eek:
  3. pupu


    As someone who worked many years in the financial services industry in NYC I can also attest that most IT staff in these companies have been replaced and outsourced by Indians, Chinese and East Europeans/Russians despite a willing and available American supply of workers. I've also seen this happening in the big accounting firms here.
  4. maxpi


    We have tax incentives for corporations to outsource. Hopefully Obama will take care of that quickly. In the 1930's lots of jobs could not be gotten without "native son" papers. I'm sure we will go that way, everything else in the cycle is repeating, why not that?
  5. FTR, I'm not sure that is a solution either ... as a nation we have become more and more reliant on the superior skill (at a lower wage) supplied by these more educated Indians and Chinese ... I'm not sure that geting xenophobic is the way to go right now.
  6. The Democrats [apparently] want illegal immigrants to stay in America... and want them so badly that politicians are willing to "give away the farm" [somebody else's farm, of course] to keep illegals here.

    The only benefit(?) I can see in that is the hope they will become devoted Democrats and keep the incumbents in power.

    With job losses and a likely high level of STRUCTURAL unemployment, how can having 20 million illegal immigrants draining the social resources of America and competing for limited jobs be a benefit to the country as a whole?
  7. As we approach 7 billion on this planet North America (U.S in particular) is going to be the focal point of immigration. The population densities in the U.S. are far below the rest of the world between the Atlantic and Pacific. I have read several articles that they expect Asians to migrate in huge numbers to take jobs that Americans are too proud to take in the next 50 years.

    As the cost of a 4 college education (currently $60,000 to $80,000 a year) becomes less and less affordable we will produce more high school grads and drop outs. Because of this more and more people will compete with this burgeoning group of immigrants. It will not be long before we begin to see riots in the U.S. like those that happened in the U.K. and Germany a few years ago over foreign workers taking jobs like those in Shelbyville.
  8. The tuition in a "state" school is 5%-10% of the numbers you quoted.

  9. pupu


    Riots is the US are possible, but not necessarily by the locals....

    Just take a look at what been happening across the pond over the last several years
  10. pspr


    I have studied quite a bit about Obama during the campaign. I don't trust him to do the right things for America. In the back of his head he has an agenda that would shock most people.
    #10     May 24, 2009