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Growers fear worst in immigration reform debate
Chicago Tribune/Charlotte.com ^ | 5-29-06 | MICHAEL MARTINEZ

Posted on 05/29/2006 3:34:54 PM PDT by SJackson

OCEANSIDE, Calif. - Tomato grower Luawanna Hallstrom understands how paths cross in the shadowy world of illegal immigrant and employer.

Her three-generation family farm needed workers to harvest a crop in 2001, so it hired 300 farmhands. All their documents appeared in order, she said.

Then federal authorities found that three-fourths of the workers were illegal immigrants, and that left the peak harvest in ruins.

"People say, `You should get those employers that hire the undocumented!' Well, wait a minute. They have documents, but they're fraudulent. We are supposed to take them at face value - otherwise you get into these discrimination issues," Hallstrom said.

(Excerpt) Read more at charlotte.com ...


TOPICS: Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: agriculture; aliens; farmworkers; immigrantlist; immigration
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As enforcement has intensified in recent years and would multiply further under proposals now before Congress, growers like Hallstrom say they are under a strain over whether their fields will have enough workers...Hallstrom remedied her 2001 crisis by hiring farm workers through the federal government's temporary guest agricultural worker program. The program is shunned by most farmers because it's too costly and its bureaucratic delays threaten crops, she said.

Yup, unlawful employers will soon have to follow the more, use more costly labor, and encounter bureaucratic delays. Like the rest of us.

And yes, I know lettuce will be $5 a head and tomatoes unavailable, so it's not necessary to tell me. I'll eat cabbage.

1 posted on 05/29/2006 3:34:55 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

We grow our own tomatoes. The bonus--they actually taste like tomatoes, unlike the cardboard tomatoes you get at the supermarket.


2 posted on 05/29/2006 3:37:34 PM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: SJackson

I'll have an Elk Burger. Hold the lettuce. Hold the tomatoes.


3 posted on 05/29/2006 3:38:20 PM PDT by claudiustg (ˇEn espańol, por favor!)
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To: SJackson
We are supposed to take them at face value - otherwise you get into these discrimination issues," Hallstrom said.

Oh, please, if you have the same TOUGH standard for the paperwork for everyone there's no discrimination.

You are expected to live by the same rules as the rest of us do. If you can't abide by the labor rules your business requires, get out of the business.

4 posted on 05/29/2006 3:39:41 PM PDT by Darkwolf377
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To: SJackson
You know what will happen??

Someone will build a robot to automate their cultivation.

5 posted on 05/29/2006 3:41:20 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: SJackson
Duh!!!!!

Ain't nunya boys heard of a Chain-Gang? Ain't that whas we has prisons fer?

6 posted on 05/29/2006 3:43:03 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country. What else needs to be said?)
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To: MizSterious
We grow our own tomatoes. The bonus--they actually taste like tomatoes, unlike the cardboard tomatoes you get at the supermarket.

You know, don't you, that we got the cardboard tomatoes when the last guest worker program went away, and the growers had to find a tomato sturdy enough to be picked by machine.
There may be Americans willing to do the job, but not enough of them, and not reliably enough.

Fresh peas are already rare for the same reason. What produce will we lose next?

7 posted on 05/29/2006 3:44:40 PM PDT by speekinout
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To: Darkwolf377
Oh, please, if you have the same TOUGH standard for the paperwork for everyone there's no discrimination.... You are expected to live by the same rules as the rest of us do. If you can't abide by the labor rules your business requires, get out of the business.

Imagine firms which run security and drug checks. We can't do the check, don't want to discriminate against drug dealers or former criminals. Current violations excepted.

8 posted on 05/29/2006 3:44:44 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: GeronL
Someone will build a robot to automate their cultivation.

Or, we'll just get more produce from Mexico directly, as we already do with avocados.

9 posted on 05/29/2006 3:44:54 PM PDT by sinkspur ( Don Cheech. Vito Corleone would like to meet you......Vito Corleone.....)
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To: GeronL
You know what will happen??...Someone will build a robot to automate their cultivation.

Eli Whitney is channeling this conversation.

10 posted on 05/29/2006 3:45:48 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: speekinout
Fresh peas are already rare for the same reason. What produce will we lose next?

If peas can't be produced legally in the US, we'll have to import them.

11 posted on 05/29/2006 3:46:22 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: sinkspur
Or, we'll just get more produce from Mexico directly, as we already do with avocados.

Exactly, same as we do with many products.

12 posted on 05/29/2006 3:47:01 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson

Even those of us who are most vehemently opposed to illegal immigration are willing to look at guest workers for the farm jobs that traditionally taken by migrants but only after the laws are enforced.


13 posted on 05/29/2006 3:49:57 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: SJackson

When I was a kid, "Kids" picked fruits and veggies.

TT


14 posted on 05/29/2006 3:50:19 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: sinkspur

"AMES, Iowa--Common produce items such as grapes, cauliflower, peas, broccoli, spinach and lettuce can travel an average of more than 2,000 miles before reaching Midwestern markets, according to an updated report from the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture. Moreover, at least one-third of the asparagus, cucumbers, eggplant, squash and tomatoes shipped within the conventional U.S. food system comes from Mexico. "

http://www.leopold.iastate.edu/news/newsreleases/2002/foodmiles2.htm

"Their study also showed that cabbage, cucumbers, onions, sweet corn and tomatoes originated from 15 or more states, while green peas and table grapes only came from California. Mexico was a source of 21 of the 30 produce items investigated, with 43 percent of the squash arrivals originating from Mexico. "

So tell me again why we need 10-20 million illegals?



15 posted on 05/29/2006 3:52:49 PM PDT by stopem (God Bless the U.S.A the Troops who protect her, and their Commander In Chief !)
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To: SJackson

There are robot vacuums and lawn mowers and there are combines harvesting all kinds of crops already. Automation is moving ahead and when it does what exactly will we do will millions and millions of unskilled foreigners?


16 posted on 05/29/2006 3:52:53 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: TexasTransplant
When I was a kid, "Kids" picked fruits and veggies.

Same here but migrants have worked on the big factory farms for a long time. When I was a kid growing up here in Michigan, legal migrants harvested root crops all around where we lived.
17 posted on 05/29/2006 3:54:25 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: stopem
So tell me again why we need 10-20 million illegals?

We don't need any to assist on farms, if you don't care that, eventually, much of US agribusiness will shift production to South America.

It doesn't bother me, as I believe in free trade. Some of the more protectionist on the board might not be too keen on the idea.

18 posted on 05/29/2006 3:57:40 PM PDT by sinkspur ( Don Cheech. Vito Corleone would like to meet you......Vito Corleone.....)
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To: GeronL
There are robot vacuums and lawn mowers and there are combines harvesting all kinds of crops already. Automation is moving ahead and when it does what exactly will we do will millions and millions of unskilled foreigners?

And it won't move ahead if we maintain a system based on abusive wage rates and employer labor practices. And if tomatoes or avocados are too expensive to produce here, we'll import them. As we do with, for example, clothing from China, a clearly abusive labor market by American standards. Without getting into the many ramifications of trade with third world countries, we import the product, we don't import the laborers and make it here. Which we easily could.

19 posted on 05/29/2006 4:00:57 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: TexasTransplant
When I was a kid, "Kids" picked fruits and veggies.

When I was a kid, they worked at McDonalds, mowed lawns, painted houses and bagged groceries. Still do in rural areas.

Retirees and housewives did too.

20 posted on 05/29/2006 4:04:33 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson

I think automation, sooner or later, is gonna come back to haunt China. Imagine super-automated mini-factories producing all of those things here, cheaper.


21 posted on 05/29/2006 4:11:03 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: SJackson
If migrant work were to dry up there would be a rather drastic up tick in migrant sensitive crop prices. However, as prices rise and demand starts to drop due to out of equilibrium pricing, producers will demand more efficient, innovative equipment to do the jobs the former migrants did. Robots do a great deal of assembly work on cars, the same could probably be done in agriculture but due to a glut of migrant work there has been no need nor interest in devoting resources to a more efficient automated system.

However another outcome could happen, the Ag lobby could demand the doubling of farm subsidies to offset the increased labor costs and since most of our republicans in the house and senate are from Ag heavy states they rely on farm subsidies to buy the Ag vote so that is something we would need to prevent if we ever really deal with immigration.
22 posted on 05/29/2006 4:16:38 PM PDT by spikeytx86 (Pray for Democrats for they have been brainwashed by there fruity little club.)
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To: GeronL
I think automation, sooner or later, is gonna come back to haunt China. Imagine super-automated mini-factories producing all of those things here, cheaper.

In a sense it will. Their productivity is but a fractions of ours. Whether they develop beyond a low labor cost economy we'll have to see.

23 posted on 05/29/2006 4:16:44 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson

>>>>>"When I was a kid, they worked at McDonalds, mowed lawns, painted houses and bagged groceries. Still do in rural areas"<<<<<

I'm talking about Gradeschool Kids, not Highscool and College Kids

TT


24 posted on 05/29/2006 4:19:37 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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To: spikeytx86
If migrant work were to dry up there would be a rather drastic up tick in migrant sensitive crop prices. However, as prices rise and demand starts to drop due to out of equilibrium pricing, producers will demand more efficient, innovative equipment to do the jobs the former migrants did.

True, however migrant labor isn't going to dry up. You'll note the complaints in this article relate to "regulation", as in I'll have to check the social security of an employee electronically, and the cost of legal labor, which the grower acknowledges she turned to. The arguement being made is that we should tolerate illegals, rather than regulating migrants, whatever the level is.

25 posted on 05/29/2006 4:19:46 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson
All their documents appeared in order, she said.
Then federal authorities found that three-fourths of the workers were illegal immigrants, and that left the peak harvest in ruins.

I'm sure they tried "real hard" to verify those "documents".

26 posted on 05/29/2006 4:24:39 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: glorgau
I'm sure they tried "real hard" to verify those "documents".
The solution...everybody gets a tamper-proof card...and I mean everybody...otherwise you get into these discrimination issues.
A real Hegelian moment.
27 posted on 05/29/2006 4:37:24 PM PDT by philman_36
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To: GeronL
Automation is moving ahead and when it does what exactly will we do will millions and millions of unskilled foreigners?

Exactly right. This is already starting and it's really going to take off in the next decade. Congress should vote a few billion in research dollars to "decrease our dependence on unskilled foreign labor". But they never will because robots don't vote Democrat.

28 posted on 05/29/2006 4:40:55 PM PDT by BigBobber
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To: SJackson

Less than 1% of the 11 million illegals are farm workers. Let them come in as guest workers and have them leave after the harvest. That is what guest workers are supposed to be, and that would be fine. Whoever hires them is responsible for getting them fromt the border to their farm, responsible for housing them during picking season, and then responsible for getting them back to the border after harvest.


29 posted on 05/29/2006 4:49:33 PM PDT by McGavin999
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To: spikeytx86
FWIW...temporary crop pickers can be imported now w/ the proper paperwork.

The reason they aren't ....is cuz...

why bother, there's an over abundance of illegals & no enforcement.

30 posted on 05/29/2006 4:53:19 PM PDT by TheOracleAtLilac
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To: SJackson
What's it gonna be....your crops, or your country?

MAKE the RIGHT decision.

31 posted on 05/29/2006 4:54:16 PM PDT by NordP (Dig a moat the length of Mexican border, take the dirt & raise New Orleans' levees--add alligators.)
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To: Darkwolf377

What I want to know is how are some of these Illegals paying into Social Security? If they have a SSN, it has to be fraudulent or stolen. So, why are they not traced?


32 posted on 05/29/2006 4:55:03 PM PDT by no dems ("A billion here a billion there; before you know it, you've spent a lot of money" Ev Dirksen)
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To: speekinout

Produce is minor. We can pay real workers real wages, or start learning to do some gardening. The so-called benefits of illegal workers are costing us millions if not more. From hospital ER rooms (used as primary care, and paid for by tax payers because the illegals don't have insurance) to education to the increased crime rates to the utter and complete contempt with which they view our laws and society--they're costing us more than they're worth.


33 posted on 05/29/2006 4:56:19 PM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: GeronL
Thank you for expanding my top three list to my top four list:

1. Secure the Borders

2. Stop "Anchor Babies"

3. Enforce the Penalties to Employers

4. Automate EVERYthing cheap labor can do.

34 posted on 05/29/2006 4:59:56 PM PDT by NordP (Dig a moat the length of Mexican border, take the dirt & raise New Orleans' levees--add alligators.)
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To: BigBobber
"...robots don't vote Democrat..."

I wouldn't bet on that! 'Rats can be very inventive when it comes to cheating! ;)

35 posted on 05/29/2006 5:01:01 PM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: MizSterious

We could revitalize the old Victory Gardens of WWII, if we weren't so lazy. No need to go to the spa if you're bending and planting, weeding, and picking your own veggies. And you can grow amazing amounts in tubs on the patio, if you have no garden space. You probably wouldn't have to take Ambien to make you sleep after a couple of hours out in the sunshine, either. It always works for me. And they do taste so much better you wouldn't believe it.


36 posted on 05/29/2006 5:01:50 PM PDT by kittymyrib
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To: MizSterious
>I wouldn't bet on that! 'Rats can be very inventive when it comes to cheating! ;)

Tell me about it. You know those little "I want $2 to go to my party" boxes on your income tax forms? We found out that something was amiss when the Republican party wanted to use the funds for something and, lo and behold, the account was at zero. Turns out someone rigged it that whatever party you were, if you checked that box, it went to the Democrats.
37 posted on 05/29/2006 5:06:23 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.)
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To: kittymyrib

You're so right! We have plenty of garden space here, but we've also lived in apartments--you can use all manner of things for planters, including the expensive cement planters--but really, plastic buckets, etc., do just fine. I really hate store-bought veggies, especially the tomatoes and peppers.


38 posted on 05/29/2006 5:06:23 PM PDT by MizSterious (Anonymous sources often means "the voices in my head told me.")
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To: kittymyrib
We could revitalize the old Victory Gardens of WWII

Seems that most people these days haven't even heard that term. I was lucky to live near my great grandmother who grew most her own veggies till her death at 96 years old. In fact I've got her tiller that must be from the 40s.
39 posted on 05/29/2006 5:06:52 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Never a minigun handy when you need one.)
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To: NordP

The season for things like tomatoes varies from North to South, so that eliminating production here would not be taken up by Mexican produce.


40 posted on 05/29/2006 5:08:24 PM PDT by ClaireSolt (.)
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To: kittymyrib
Hmmm, that's a good idea. I was going to put in a garden (tomatoes and chili-peppers) this year, but I couldn't quite work it in.
41 posted on 05/29/2006 5:08:39 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.)
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To: McGavin999
Less than 1% of the 11 million illegals are farm workers. Let them come in as guest workers and have them leave after the harvest....

Obviously statistice about illegals are hard to develop, but PewHispanicCenter has done a few surveys. Among the things that stuck with me, the fact that most illegals enter the same industry in the US they worked in in Mexico, mostly agriculture, hospitality, services and construction. Good thing the jobs Americans won't do correspond with the jobs Mexican's do do.

About 40% of the job growth the last few years represents employment of illegals. Wonder if that's why low unemployment doesn't translate to political approval ratings this time around.

And, of course, Hispanics are the only group who's wages are declining. 5% in 2003-04. To be expected, cheap labor is the idea.

42 posted on 05/29/2006 5:10:36 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: no dems
What I want to know is how are some of these Illegals paying into Social Security? If they have a SSN, it has to be fraudulent or stolen. So, why are they not traced?

The Social Security Administration has a list, thought to be 400,000 to 500,000, of mismatched ss#'s, but due to a late 90s law they're not allowed to share that information with other agencies. The more important question, 10-12 million illegals generate a half million SS# mismatches, what's happening to the tax remittances for the rest?

43 posted on 05/29/2006 5:13:49 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: glorgau
I'm sure they tried "real hard" to verify those "documents".

The best part of the House bill is the establishment of a computor based ss# verification system for use by employers. Similar to databases the IRS uses for financial institutions, or that are used for firearms purchases. Name, date of birth, ss#. You match or you don't. And as long as the employer uses the system, he's off the legal hook if the documents are bogus. I'd think employers would be thrilled with lessened liability of that sort. But they don't seem to like the system. Nor do the illegals.

44 posted on 05/29/2006 5:16:38 PM PDT by SJackson (The Pilgrims—Doing the jobs Native Americans wouldn’t do!)
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To: SJackson
And yes, I know lettuce will be $5 a head and tomatoes unavailable, so it's not necessary to tell me. I'll eat cabbage.

I'll be willing to eat lettuce and cabbage at $5 a head. Or I'll grow my own. It's easy and doesn't take much space.

45 posted on 05/29/2006 5:23:29 PM PDT by William Terrell (Individuals can exist without government but government can't exist without individuals.)
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To: speekinout
So the price will have to go up to cover production cost. What about housing cost? The price of homes should go up by only the same amount as they went down when the illegals started building them (sarc).
46 posted on 05/29/2006 5:28:16 PM PDT by Boiling point (When the GOP asks for donations, send them PESOs)
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To: SJackson
Luawanna Hallstrom

Why don't you get a life, I don't need your stinking tomato's.

47 posted on 05/29/2006 5:40:05 PM PDT by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: ClaireSolt

See post #9 - which deals with what you wrote back.


48 posted on 05/29/2006 5:48:34 PM PDT by NordP (Dig a moat the length of Mexican border, take the dirt & raise New Orleans' levees--add alligators.)
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To: SJackson
what's happening to the tax remittances for the rest?

A very large percentage of them work as sub contractor's. And they work by the volume not by the hour.

49 posted on 05/29/2006 5:49:17 PM PDT by org.whodat (Never let the facts get in the way of a good assumption.)
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To: SJackson

"...lettuce will be $5 a head..."

Campesino picks 100 heads of lettuce an hour for $5 an hour. Cost to pick a head of lettuce: 5 cents.

I can buy lettuce for $1.28 a head.

For lettuce to be $5 a head, all else staying the same, the picker would have to be paid $3.77 a head. Times 100 heads an hour= $377.00/hour. or $754K per year, based on a 40 hour week.

Where do I sign up?


50 posted on 05/29/2006 5:57:56 PM PDT by coladirienzi
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