Photo: Farm Plight Without Immigrant Labor
As the annual sweet corn harvest season ends, Colorado farmer, John Harold has learned something very interesting as it relates to the immigrant labor work ethic.
When the season started in July Harold decided not to hire legal Mexican migrants with a H2A visas but opted to hire locally. He was motivated to do so seeing the local unemployment rate at 9.8% and some hirer costs getting visa workers. With that decision he saw lines of applicants but few that could do the work and even fewer that stayed to do the work.
Typically he hires 150 seasonal migrant workers to hand pick the corn and pays them $10.48/hour, the same rate he was offering his new hires. The result was for every three U.S. citizens he hired only one stayed. As of last Thursday he just has 39 workers instead of the 150 he needs.
He has documented every resignation and the fact that he has been advertising throughout Colorado, New Mexico and Oklahoma for these positions. Harold will be taking those facts to his local Senator and advocating for immigration reform. Harold concluded: “You have to understand there is a work ethic of migrant laborers that is just not found with local labor.”