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(The Splendid Table)   Reporter lives for a year as an undocumented farm worker, gains newfound respect for Walmart. Of course, living in a house with 20 other people eating only rice and beans would make anyone go insane   (splendidtable.org) divider line 86
    More: Interesting, rice and beans, go insane, Walmart, eating  
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10682 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Aug 2013 at 1:42 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-08-18 10:35:07 AM  
Writes report in Spanish and wins the Lottery, picked up by ICE, deported and killed by cartel.

And now here's Page 2.
 
2013-08-18 10:59:07 AM  
Sounds like an ep of Big Brother.
 
2013-08-18 11:14:36 AM  
I read Tracie McMillan's book. Worth your time if you're interested.
 
2013-08-18 11:39:41 AM  
I can love my produce manager at grocery stores that DON'T treat their workers like scum.
 
2013-08-18 11:40:09 AM  

Bathia_Mapes: I read Tracie McMillan's book. Worth your time if you're interested.


I am interested, thanks.

Slave labor is alive and well in this country. Time to put these folks on the books and end this nonsense
 
2013-08-18 11:58:32 AM  
Did I miss the "newfound respect for Walmart" in TFA somewhere?
 
2013-08-18 12:04:57 PM  

Relatively Obscure: Did I miss the "newfound respect for Walmart" in TFA somewhere?


Methinks it should have been "newfound respect for Walmart produce managers".  But even that is a bit contradicted by TFA.
 
2013-08-18 12:08:00 PM  

make me some tea: Bathia_Mapes: I read Tracie McMillan's book. Worth your time if you're interested.

I am interested, thanks.

Slave labor is alive and well in this country. Time to put these folks on the books and end this nonsense


See, this is why I'm not fully in the "pro-undocumented" camp.  There seems to be a group of people who think the main reason we need to allow undocumenteds to stay is "they do the jobs Americans won't do".  Um, well, if they're being abused (and that garlic wage is abuse), any legalization of their status needs to come with major reforms to the ag industry, or we're just saying "leave our slaves alone!".  And that's just as sick as the "round 'em up and ship 'em out" argument.
 
2013-08-18 12:39:00 PM  

dahmers love zombie: See, this is why I'm not fully in the "pro-undocumented" camp.  There seems to be a group of people who think the main reason we need to allow undocumenteds to stay is "they do the jobs Americans won't do".  Um, well, if they're being abused (and that garlic wage is abuse), any legalization of their status needs to come with major reforms to the ag industry, or we're just saying "leave our slaves alone!".  And that's just as sick as the "round 'em up and ship 'em out" argument.


I would certainly agree, but I also wonder: would it seem likely that amnesty for undocumented people (meaning they can demand the same labor rights as U.S. citizens without fear of persecution) would lead to a collapse in corporate ag in this country? Not that this would justify continuing their exploitation, but I'm curious.
 
2013-08-18 01:14:37 PM  

dahmers love zombie: Relatively Obscure: Did I miss the "newfound respect for Walmart" in TFA somewhere?

Methinks it should have been "newfound respect for Walmart produce managers".  But even that is a bit contradicted by TFA.


Yeah, her point seems to be that it's tough to manage several hundred different perishable items at once, and while that may be true, it's pretty much the job description, and when you get down to it, inventory management isn't that incredibly tough.  It may be time consuming, but with some basic spreadsheets it shouldn't be hard to track when each item was originally put on the shelf, replenished, what the expected shelf life is.  Then you just have to have stocking procedure guidelines to make sure the oldest items are up front wile the freshest are to the back so that most often the stuff closest to the expiration date is what's being purchased, and do some quality inspection walkthroughs to make sure it's not rotting on the shelves.

She said the issue was a malfunctioning misting system that was leaking on some of the items causing them to rot faster - it's not hard to report that to management to have them authorize a repair, at least I would think.  Whoever is in charge of the Wal-Mart overall should be able to realize that the cost of repairing the system would be less over time than continually throwing out produce that was being ruined by it.
 
2013-08-18 01:25:48 PM  
how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2013-08-18 01:45:54 PM  

make me some tea: I would certainly agree, but I also wonder: would it seem likely that amnesty for undocumented people (meaning they can demand the same labor rights as U.S. citizens without fear of persecution) would lead to a collapse in corporate ag in this country? Not that this would justify continuing their exploitation, but I'm curious.


No.  Do you really think that people will stop eating vegetables if the price goes up slightly?
 
2013-08-18 01:50:04 PM  

snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.


This. Oh and stiff penalties for those that hire illegal immigrants
 
2013-08-18 01:51:12 PM  

snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.


What do you have against the free market, commie?
 
2013-08-18 01:54:22 PM  

vpb: make me some tea: I would certainly agree, but I also wonder: would it seem likely that amnesty for undocumented people (meaning they can demand the same labor rights as U.S. citizens without fear of persecution) would lead to a collapse in corporate ag in this country? Not that this would justify continuing their exploitation, but I'm curious.

No.  Do you really think that people will stop eating vegetables if the price goes up slightly?


As if Americans eat vegetables...

Seriously though, corporate ag will be forced by competition to find another venue that will allow for cheap production. Mexico is already a huge provider of fresh produce for the States and our companies are the ones running it, that will only grow. Thanks, NAFTA!
 
2013-08-18 01:54:50 PM  
I have respect for Piggly-Wiggly workers just because they have to work at a place called Piggly-Wiggly.
:,(
 
2013-08-18 01:56:49 PM  

jim32rr: snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.

This. Oh and stiff penalties for those that hire illegal immigrants


That's the only way someone might even be able to make a dent in the illegal immigration problem. No matter how many walls or border agents exist, people are not going to stop coming here for work. Punish the companies. But we all know what country this is. That will never happen.
 
2013-08-18 01:57:42 PM  
Reporter should take a trip to where they came from
 
2013-08-18 01:58:07 PM  
Kinda want:
g-ecx.images-amazon.com
 
2013-08-18 01:59:05 PM  

make me some tea: Bathia_Mapes: I read Tracie McMillan's book. Worth your time if you're interested.

I am interested, thanks.

Slave labor is alive and well in this country. Time to put these folks on the books and end this nonsense


And then the exploiters of slave labor import a fresh set of slaves. Then it'll be time to put them on the books and then the exploiters of slave labor import yet another round of slaves. Repeat endlessly for as long as unskilled workers exist outside the US.
 
2013-08-18 01:59:46 PM  
winecountrymom.files.wordpress.com
 
2013-08-18 02:02:51 PM  
Walmart's produce section is pathetic.
/i also chuckled at 'love your produce manager'
 
2013-08-18 02:07:09 PM  
img.fark.net

I'd uncover her documents

/iykwimaityd
 
2013-08-18 02:09:17 PM  
make me some tea:
I would certainly agree, but I also wonder: would it seem likely that amnesty for undocumented people (meaning they can demand the same labor rights as U.S. citizens without fear of persecution) would lead to a collapse in corporate ag in this country?

You say that like it's a bad thing. Corporate Ag like Con-Agra and Monsato are killing off farming as a way of life for American families. We need to return to localized farming and food consumption, reducing transportation and corporate executive pay in order to pay the workers a decent wage. You can find fresher produce for a better value at your local farmer's market, where the workers are actually treated like human beings instead of slaves.

jim32rr:

Oh and stiff penalties for those that hire illegal immigrants

Of course, the main employer of illegal farm workers are the highly-conservative farm owners that are dyed-in-the-wool members of the GOP and (more recently) tea party. At least that's the way it is in California, and I'm pretty sure that's how it is in the ag scene for the other border states. So, between the right not wanting to hurt their profits and the left propping itself up as the 'savoir of the unwashed masses', immigration reform is never going to happen; both sides benefit too much from illegal workers.
 
2013-08-18 02:10:15 PM  

jim32rr: snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.

This. Oh and stiff penalties for those that hire illegal immigrants


Sheriff Joe busts car washes and restaurants for illegals but breaks the law by only arresting the workers. No owners have been arrested or charged.

Very broken system top to bottom.
 
2013-08-18 02:10:19 PM  

jjorsett: make me some tea: Bathia_Mapes: I read Tracie McMillan's book. Worth your time if you're interested.

I am interested, thanks.

Slave labor is alive and well in this country. Time to put these folks on the books and end this nonsense

And then the exploiters of slave labor import a fresh set of slaves. Then it'll be time to put them on the books and then the exploiters of slave labor import yet another round of slaves. Repeat endlessly for as long as unskilled workers exist outside the US.


This.

Giving citizenship to current migrant farmers will not improve their situation.  If they demand higher wages, they will be replaced but new migrant workers happy to come work for the current low wages.

Arizona has a law that would strip a business of its business license if it hired illegals.  First time 30 day shut down, second time perm.    This would end illegal/undocumented immigration to Arizona if Sheriff Joe, or any other Sheriff in AZ, would actually enforce it.   But they don't.
 
2013-08-18 02:11:05 PM  
living in a house with 20 other people eating only rice and beans would make anyone go insane

...and very, very gassy... ^^
 
2013-08-18 02:12:08 PM  

LeroyBourne: Walmart's produce section is pathetic.
/i also chuckled at 'love your produce manager'


Actually, sheep-like, hive-minded moron, it's pretty awesome.  It's the only place in town where I can reliably purchase ripe avocados when I want guacamole RIGHT NOW and it's the only place I can pick up mushy bananas when I have a last minute hankering' for banana pudding and/or banana bread
 
2013-08-18 02:12:49 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: dahmers love zombie: Relatively Obscure: Did I miss the "newfound respect for Walmart" in TFA somewhere?

Methinks it should have been "newfound respect for Walmart produce managers".  But even that is a bit contradicted by TFA.

Yeah, her point seems to be that it's tough to manage several hundred different perishable items at once, and while that may be true, it's pretty much the job description, and when you get down to it, inventory management isn't that incredibly tough.  It may be time consuming, but with some basic spreadsheets it shouldn't be hard to track when each item was originally put on the shelf, replenished, what the expected shelf life is.  Then you just have to have stocking procedure guidelines to make sure the oldest items are up front wile the freshest are to the back so that most often the stuff closest to the expiration date is what's being purchased, and do some quality inspection walkthroughs to make sure it's not rotting on the shelves.

She said the issue was a malfunctioning misting system that was leaking on some of the items causing them to rot faster - it's not hard to report that to management to have them authorize a repair, at least I would think.  Whoever is in charge of the Wal-Mart overall should be able to realize that the cost of repairing the system would be less over time than continually throwing out produce that was being ruined by it.


Someone else's job, which I have never done, is obviously so simple.  Why don't they just do these really simple things, which they may or may not have tried (I really don't know)?
 
2013-08-18 02:12:52 PM  
If you enter the United States illegally and live under the radar to escape this country's government, you have no legitimate complaint about the wages someone is willing to break the law to pay you. If you don't like it, come into the country legally and file a complaint or go to one of the other 190+ countries in the world.
 
2013-08-18 02:14:08 PM  
Racist much, Subby
 
2013-08-18 02:18:51 PM  
Use the RICO statutes on people hiring criminal aliens to confiscate their property and equipment the same as you would for people cooking meth and use the proceeds to deport criminal aliens and finance the prison terms of the employers. Do that for one year and I guarantee the criminal alien problem would disappear. When you've got people by the balls their hearts and minds just naturally follow.

im41.com
 
2013-08-18 02:20:14 PM  
consumingspokane.typepad.com
 
2013-08-18 02:22:30 PM  

MrHappyRotter: LeroyBourne: Walmart's produce section is pathetic.
/i also chuckled at 'love your produce manager'

Actually, sheep-like, hive-minded moron, it's pretty awesome.  It's the only place in town where I can reliably purchase ripe avocados when I want guacamole RIGHT NOW and it's the only place I can pick up mushy bananas when I have a last minute hankering' for banana pudding and/or banana bread


I should have added, 'the one in my area sucks'.  Avocados hard as rocks, barely a 5lb box of mangoes out, sometimes it looks like a hurricane of people came through and basically cleared all the inventory, but never seems to be anyone re-stocking.  I will give them credit, they had honey crisps way after their season was over, so I did hit them up for those bad boys.
 
2013-08-18 02:23:51 PM  

snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.


How about arresting a few CEOs of companies and seize their assets for being "illegal employers" and profiting off the illegally suppressed labor rates? Immigration reform would happen in 90 days.
 
2013-08-18 02:28:03 PM  

aerojockey: [img.fark.net image 200x300]

I'd uncover her documents

/iykwimaityd


it took me a second to realize you didnt just have a mild stroke while typing that.
 
2013-08-18 02:29:01 PM  
Political foodie journo. Boring Oprah social justice.  Economic ignorance....

Meh...I give it a 1/10
 
2013-08-18 02:29:26 PM  

snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.


Or, you can force companies to pay illegals the same wages as everyone else, that way there would be no incentive for companies to hire them to begin with. But, it is always easy to go after the little guys. Trying to win the war against illegal immigration by rounding them up and deporting them is about as retarded as the war on drugs.
 
2013-08-18 02:30:07 PM  
Why did she pick ten buckets of garlic? That's a bit excessive, is she some sort of half-human/half-stink hybrid that needs constant topping up with stink?
I had like two cloves of garlic the whole of last month, ten buckets would probably melt my teeth and dissolve my throat.
She should try picking melons, I did that in Israel back when I was young. Apart from the poisonous snakes it was a good gig. I lived in the farmer's garage and had a refrigerator full of melons. Didn't melt any teeth.
No idea what he paid me, I was completely 100% drunk the whole year I was in Israel, maybe he just paid me with Wodka (the local vodak at the time).
 
2013-08-18 02:32:31 PM  

TuteTibiImperes: dahmers love zombie: Relatively Obscure: Did I miss the "newfound respect for Walmart" in TFA somewhere?

Methinks it should have been "newfound respect for Walmart produce managers".  But even that is a bit contradicted by TFA.

Yeah, her point seems to be that it's tough to manage several hundred different perishable items at once, and while that may be true, it's pretty much the job description, and when you get down to it, inventory management isn't that incredibly tough.  It may be time consuming, but with some basic spreadsheets it shouldn't be hard to track when each item was originally put on the shelf, replenished, what the expected shelf life is.  Then you just have to have stocking procedure guidelines to make sure the oldest items are up front wile the freshest are to the back so that most often the stuff closest to the expiration date is what's being purchased, and do some quality inspection walkthroughs to make sure it's not rotting on the shelves.

She said the issue was a malfunctioning misting system that was leaking on some of the items causing them to rot faster - it's not hard to report that to management to have them authorize a repair, at least I would think.  Whoever is in charge of the Wal-Mart overall should be able to realize that the cost of repairing the system would be less over time than continually throwing out produce that was being ruined by it.


You've never worked in a grocery store.

No matter how well you organize your produce, customers are going to disorganize it in 26 minutes.

Even a small (Trader Joe's) produce section is 8+ hours a day between the produce manager and the line workers.  If all the equipment is working right, and if none of the deliveries got screwed up.
 
2013-08-18 02:35:28 PM  

LeroyBourne: Walmart's produce section is pathetic.
/i also chuckled at 'love your produce manager'


Got nothin on Publix here in Florida.  You expect a small percentage of less than fresh produce, bc of the reasons she mentioned, but when you have the majority of your produce covered in mold and or liquifying as part of the rotting process, you've pulled off something special.  Although it's not really just concentrated on the produce department.  Bought some ricotta cheese to make surprise lasagna for my boyfriend's birthday.  Open it up and see green mold growing in a tub of ricotta that's not due to expire in weeks.
 
2013-08-18 02:38:20 PM  

YoOjo: Why did she pick ten buckets of garlic? That's a bit excessive, is she some sort of half-human/half-stink hybrid that needs constant topping up with stink?
I had like two cloves of garlic the whole of last month, ten buckets would probably melt my teeth and dissolve my throat.
She should try picking melons, I did that in Israel back when I was young. Apart from the poisonous snakes it was a good gig. I lived in the farmer's garage and had a refrigerator full of melons. Didn't melt any teeth.
No idea what he paid me, I was completely 100% drunk the whole year I was in Israel, maybe he just paid me with Wodka (the local vodak at the time).


Because she was working along side other migrant workers and picking garlic happened to be the first job she got as a farm worker. The garlic bulbs that were harvested are distributed to stores and restaurants throughout the U.S. She picked other crops as well. And the amount of garlic she picked was minimal compared to that picked by experienced workers.
 
2013-08-18 02:40:44 PM  
It's nauseating the way we have to constantly change the way we define things to appease cultural "sensitive" special groups. They're farking "illegal" aliens not "undocumented" workers.
 
2013-08-18 02:43:56 PM  

Fallout Boy: snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.

Or, you can force companies to pay illegals the same wages as everyone else, that way there would be no incentive for companies to hire them to begin with. But, it is always easy to go after the little guys. Trying to win the war against illegal immigration by rounding them up and deporting them is about as retarded as the war on drugs.


Funny no one ever mentions the Mexican Government, the folks in power actively encouraging the working poor to head north. Guess it's easier than governing
 
2013-08-18 02:44:20 PM  
The headline and the article don't really have much to do with each other, do they? From what I saw she worked a month at Walmart and seven weeks (at least had a room for seven weeks) of farm work and she was documented. Additionally, the article may be mistaken. I believe farm workers are, specifically, exempted from minimum wage regulations. She mentions that it is illegal but I don't think it is - you're paid based on what you can pick/process in a lot of migrant farm work. For example, the people who rake blueberries (just about done for the season) make something like $0.15/lb. There is no hourly wage as your earnings are performance based. (Some folks can rake 600-800 pounds in a day - so maybe $100 to $120 per day.) This is perfectly legal, she just probably isn't skilled at it and thus earned very little.

The reality is that those migrant workers are actually pretty hard working and pretty skilled. It's not physically easy, nor mentally simple, to harvest produce properly with quantity. It's nothing like harvesting your 1/4 acre garden. As a child I worked in the blueberry fields. There is no way I'd do it now, I'm too old for that crap and have more than enough money to even consider it though I suppose I'd probably do it as a lark or if they were having issues and needed a hand but I'd probably not take money from them (the field owners are friends) for it.

Anyhow, unless California has laws that exceed the federal regulations this payment method is not illegal at all. The whole thing (article, process, and headline) seems to be wonky if you ask me. The author of the article doesn't seem any better than the author of the book in these regards. A VERY brief scan of a Google search indicates that this payment method isn't illegal (or unusual) in California, as an example, and thus probably isn't illegal at all. The hiring of undocumented workers is illegal - perhaps the author should have contacted the authorities and actually accomplished something of value?
 
2013-08-18 02:46:55 PM  

jim32rr: Fallout Boy: snuffy: how about pay a living wage to u.s. citizens and deport the illegals.

Or, you can force companies to pay illegals the same wages as everyone else, that way there would be no incentive for companies to hire them to begin with. But, it is always easy to go after the little guys. Trying to win the war against illegal immigration by rounding them up and deporting them is about as retarded as the war on drugs.

Funny no one ever mentions the Mexican Government, the folks in power actively encouraging the working poor to head north. Guess it's easier than governing


So you're saying we should end the ridiculous War on Drugs? I agree.
 
2013-08-18 02:47:49 PM  
On a similar note, check out "Nickle and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. She went undercover as a entry-level worker at Wal-Mart and tried to live only on those wages and as cheaply as possible. It's a fantastic, thought provoking read.
 
2013-08-18 02:53:10 PM  
Bathia_Mapes: 
Because she was working along side other migrant workers and picking garlic happened to be the first job she got as a farm worker. The garlic bulbs that were harvested are distributed to stores and restaurants throughout the U.S. She picked other crops as well. And the amount of garlic she picked was minimal compared to that picked by experienced workers.


Oh, you read what I wrote and thought I meant it? That's not happened on here before, I'm not sure how to respond...
erm, psychedelics!!
 
2013-08-18 02:54:35 PM  

FuryOfFirestorm: On a similar note, check out "Nickle and Dimed" by Barbara Ehrenreich. She went undercover as a entry-level worker at Wal-Mart and tried to live only on those wages and as cheaply as possible. It's a fantastic, thought provoking read.


I read that earlier this year, it is indeed a fine book, sad story but I think books like being sad.
 
2013-08-18 02:58:17 PM  
Here's how I'd put an end to this:

1) Pass a law saying that all government documents are only to be printed in english
2) Pass a law saying that recruiters who have hired more than three undocumented workers and paid them less than minimum wage and under the table are in the practice of employing slaves and will face charges of both slavery and tax evasion.
3) Pass a law that only gives government aid to U.S. citizens or to those who are here legally.

Now, why these three laws?  The first law is say that if you don't speak english you won't be able to fill out any forms to get anything and even if you spoke the language, the third law says you aren't here legally, aren't a citizen so there is no help to begin with.  And the last law, law #2, it targets the person actively recruiting while protecting the business.  Who'd start actively recruiting illegals for their employer if the law protected the employer and punished the recruiter?  Anyone who would actively seek to hire someone a pay them under the table wages that they could not possibly live on without tips or commission deserves to head to prison.

Furthemore, such a law, if it didn't kill off the demand, it would kill off the supply side.
 
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