Saturday, July 31, 2010

Caveat Lectores on Illegal Workers, Unions and Public Employment

Why are unions such supporters of making illegal workers legal? Does it not run against the best interests of the current membership? More workers in the supply chain only drives down wages, right?

Stay with me on this for a second or two…. I have an analogy I want to use that has been in the inventory for many years. When I was in my teens and too young to buy legal liquor, we could go to a bootlegger who would sell to us even on blue law Sunday. It was all illegal for him no matter when he sold liquor or to whom.

The same holds true for employers who hire illegal workers. It’s all illegal. Wages, taxes, overtime, social security, workers’ compensation. What difference does it make? So long as the employers of this country can get away with hiring illegal workers, the entire economy is harmed. Yes, we can buy goods and services provided at substandard wage rates. That is the American way, right? The business owner gets to make extra profits and pay less wages, benefits and taxes. That is the American way, right? Cheating is OK if you do not get caught, right? No, it is not OK.

The unions are trying to get an immigration policy developed for more than one reason. More members and dues? Yes, of course. But unions have fought for the rights of working people so long as they have existed. We could search for all kinds of ulterior motives, but seeking justice for all is what unionism is all about. That is the American way, right? So get over it.

Now… how about illegal workers in the public sector?

I could not find anything reliable to indicate how much or if at all the presence of illegal workers is a problem in public employment. I suspect it is not much of an issue because government by its nature will do a better job of screening employees. Hiring illegals will happen but not as often as in a sweat shop or strawberry patch.

So how does the public sector employer get to enjoy the cost savings enjoyed by corporations who hire illegal workers and pay them substandard wages and benefits?

You silly goose. They privatize and hire unregulated contractors who apparently can get away with doing so. Substandard wages and benefits mean more profits for the employer. How much money have you saved when the government participates in the scheme? Government is laying off employees and contracting out services so they can get a piece of that action. That is the American way, right?


And oh yes, have a nice Day?
Caveat Lectores by Jeff Carnes
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