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  1. #11  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam Wood View Post
    Simpler still: just lift the restrictions on piece-work pay. Let people pay what the actual value added to a product is to the worker instead of a contrived hourly rate. Pay, I dunno, a buck a pound for strawberries picked. I guarandamntee you that people will be crawling out of the woodwork to pick strawberry fields clean. I don't know what portion of the present cost of a pound of strawberries that you get in your grocery store is the cost of picking; maybe it's only 50˘ per pound, but either way it can be good money for those who master a trade, even a simple trade like picking strawberries. There are tradesmen who pick grapes in California for wineries who earn good money; there are tradesmen who pick pecans and almonds and pistachios and whatnot who earn reasonably good money. It is possible to have people doing what many consider "menial" work who can earn a good wage doing something very well that others don't know shit about. I can re-roof a house, but I guarantee you that I'm nowhere near as good at it as a professional roofer.

    Use E-Verify on those people, and offer ex-cons transportation vouchers to get there, let the farm owners put them in dormitories for the season like they used to do with seasonal workers that they imported on buses, and you'll get those convicts working and get your farms picked before things wither on the vine.

    There are easy solutions to this problem if we just get the damned interference out of the way.



    With that having been said, I am still all for chain gangs. They were used with great effect here when I was a kid, and it meant simultaneously learning a trade, teaching convicts the value of a hard day's work, and getting public projects done. Convicts used to come and pave our streets, but they would do so with modern paving equipment, and they would work with and learn from engineers in the field as to how to properly build a road or a bridge or whatever. When they got out of prison, they could walk into a job with a paving company, usually at or near a supervisory level, and earn a decent wage while they were at it, greatly lowering recidivism.
    The wholesale price of west Florida tomatoes varies between 24˘/lb in a bumper year to $1/lb after sever damage. The lowest retail price I have seen in the last 10 years is 79˘/lb and the highest was $2.49 in produce stands. The price in grocery stores is always higher and seems to bear little relation to actual conditions and be affect a lot by hype. I have seen Publix pump prices to close to $4/lb.

    According to the Immokalee communist party and illegal immigration society, the pickers are paid 51˘ for a 32 lb bucket. They want 60˘. That would generate about $84 for 6 hours actual work in an 8 hour day.

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  2. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    The wholesale price of west Florida tomatoes varies between 24˘/lb in a bumper year to $1/lb after sever damage. The lowest retail price I have seen in the last 10 years is 79˘/lb and the highest was $2.49 in produce stands. The price in grocery stores is always higher and seems to bear little relation to actual conditions and be affect a lot by hype. I have seen Publix pump prices to close to $4/lb.

    According to the Immokalee communist party and illegal immigration society, the pickers are paid 51˘ for a 32 lb bucket. They want 60˘. That would generate about $84 for 6 hours actual work in an 8 hour day.

    Are you aware of the term "shrinkage" in the produce industry? Obviously your sources aren't. Look it up.
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  3. #13  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Articulate_Ape View Post
    Are you aware of the term "shrinkage" in the produce industry? Obviously your sources aren't. Look it up.
    What is your complaint with the numbers?
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  4. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Novaheart View Post
    What is your complaint with the numbers?
    See those shitty unripened green tomatoes that poor bastard is carrying? From the time they are bought by the store chain or distributor, those things will be transported hundreds of miles in refrigerated trucks (once a tomato, even a ripe one, is cooled below 57 F the flavor is gone for good).

    Then they get to almost where they are going and are manhandled (that's why they're picked green) into the warehouse banana compartments where they like some of the bananas ( you know the yellow ones) are gassed with ethylene gas which accelerates the semblance of ripening; ergo yellow bananas that taste like green bananas and red tomatoes that basically taste like wet cardboard.

    Anyhoo, throughout this journey this "paid for" fruit odyssey has casualties along the way, from getting ripped unripened from the vine at piece-rate to the produce department shelf where old ladies molest them into unappealing relics, that kilo of harvested tomatoes becomes .6 kilos or even less.

    Produce departments target a 50-60% margin on their offerings because of shrinkage. A whole lot goes on once that worker dumps his 30 lbs of green tomatoes into the hopper.

    I'm just sayin'.
    "The efforts of the government alone will never be enough. In the end the people must choose and the people must help themselves" ~ JFK; from his famous inauguration speech (What Democrats sounded like before today's neo-Liberals hijacked that party)
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  5. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Articulate_Ape View Post
    See those shitty unripened green tomatoes that poor bastard is carrying? From the time they are bought by the store chain or distributor, those things will be transported hundreds of miles in refrigerated trucks (once a tomato, even a ripe one, is cooled below 57 F the flavor is gone for good).

    Then they get to almost where they are going and are manhandled (that's why they're picked green) into the warehouse banana compartments where they like some of the bananas ( you know the yellow ones) are gassed with ethylene gas which accelerates the semblance of ripening; ergo yellow bananas that taste like green bananas and red tomatoes that basically taste like wet cardboard.

    Anyhoo, throughout this journey this "paid for" fruit odyssey has casualties along the way, from getting ripped unripened from the vine at piece-rate to the produce department shelf where old ladies molest them into unappealing relics, that kilo of harvested tomatoes becomes .6 kilos or even less.

    Produce departments target a 50-60% margin on their offerings because of shrinkage. A whole lot goes on once that worker dumps his 30 lbs of green tomatoes into the hopper.

    I'm just sayin'.
    I understand that, though I think your estimates are high from what I have read.

    Be that as it may, when you consider that the labor in picking a pound of regular tomatoes is 1.5˘/lb and 2˘ for Roma tomatoes, even if loss is 50% from field to can or grocery bag (and it isn't nearly that much according the Texas Extension Service which places retail shrinkage at 6%) then you are still talking about picking costing no more than 4˘/lb of the price of tomatoes.
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  6. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arroyo_Doble View Post
    They could try offering more money and benefits to compete with other employers.

    Just a thought.
    How much are you willing to pay for a salad?
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  7. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Odysseus View Post
    How much are you willing to pay for a salad?
    Doubling the pay for pickers would increase the price of one whole tomato about 2˘. I'm not saying it's a must do, just that increasing the pay isn't going to kill us.

    Of course, part of the problem is that whether you are talking about ConAgra or Exxon, they won't simply pass an increase along, they'll double it a couple of times along the way.
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  8. #18  
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    frankly i don't have an issue with them paying pickers a decent pay, and they should, there are a lot of problems with wages that are paid especially down from Florida through the Carolina's, which is why i buy locally as much as possible
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