Category Archives: Employment

April 24, 2017

Immigrants flooded California construction. Worker pay sank. Here’s why

Construction in Los Angeles has shifted from a heavily unionized labor force that was two-thirds white to a largely non-union one that is 70% Latino and heavily immigrant.

Eddie Ybarra and Francisco Martinez, both in their 40s, work side by side building the walls of two of the newest condo buildings in downtown Los Angeles. They drive pickup trucks to work, park in adjacent lots and both take their lunch break around 10 a.m. That’s about all they share.

Ybarra, born in Los Angeles, has built a solidly middle-class lifestyle on more than two decades in the carpenters’ union, earning $40 an hour on top of a pension, healthcare and unlimited vacation days.

Martinez, born in Guadalajara, Mexico, works for a nonunion contractor, installing metal panels and other parts for $27.50 an hour. He doesn’t have retirement savings, his insurance doesn’t cover his family and he gets five vacation days per year.

The story of these two men illustrates the radical shift that has put construction front and center in the national debate over declining blue-collar jobs and President Trump’s views of immigration.

In the span of a few decades, Los Angeles area construction went from an industry that was two-thirds white, and largely unionized, to one that is overwhelmingly Latino, mostly nonunion and heavily reliant on immigrants, according to a Los Angeles Times review of federal data.

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April 18, 2017

Harvard Research: Minimum Wage Hikes Put Non-Elite Restaurants Out of Business

A recent study conducted by researchers at Harvard Business School concluded that minimum wage laws increase the likelihood that non-elite restaurants will go out of business.

The study, which was conducted by the husband-and-wife team of Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca, looked at data on “tens of thousands of restaurants in the San Francisco area.” They concluded that lower-rated restaurants are disproportionately more likely than four or five-star restaurants to go out of business as a result of minimum wage laws.

The evidence suggests that higher minimum wages increase overall exit rates for restaurants. However, lower quality restaurants, which are already closer to the margin of exit, are disproportionately impacted by increases to the minimum wage.

Their data on the San Francisco-area restaurants studied concluded that a $1 increase in the minimum wage increased the likelihood of a restaurant going out of business by four to 10 percent. A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage led to a 24 percent increase in the likelihood that a restaurant would go out of business.

This paper presents several new findings. First, we provide suggestive evidence that higher minimum wage increases overall exit rates among restaurants, where a $1 increase in the minimum wage leads to approximately a 4 to 10 percent increase in the likelihood of exit, although statistical significance falls with the inclusion of time-varying county-level characteristics and city-specific time trends.

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April 3, 2017

DOJ: Employers Seeking H-1B Help Should Not Discriminate Against Americans

On the day the H-1B visa program is open for applications by employers, mostly from the tech industry, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is warning companies not to replace American workers with foreign help.

In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ DOJ laid down a more aggressive tone on the issue of the H-1B visa’s long history of being used to outsource Americans’ jobs to cheaper, foreign workers that are brought to the U.S.

“The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against U.S. workers,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division said in the statement. “U.S. workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims.”

While the Immigration and Nationality Act is meant to prohibit discrimination against American workers solely because of their citizenship, the H-1B foreign guest worker visa has defied those rules for decades.

Under the H-1B visa, 85,000 new foreign workers are brought to the U.S. every year, often taking once high-paying jobs from Americans who are fired and forced to train their replacements.

If the H-1B visa program had never been introduced and enacted, computer science job availability in the labor market would be up 11 percent and wages in the tech industry would have increased by five percent, Breitbart News reported.

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March 10, 2017

The horrendous visa program forcing tech workers to ‘dig their own graves’

“Why should IBM or Disney be deciding our future voting population?” Horowitz asks. “That needs to be decided by our general immigration system, not those looking to save $15,000 or $20,000 on their labor costs.”

Leo Perrero still remembers the humiliation of losing his job.

“All of you in this room will be losing your jobs in the next 90 days,” he was told, later recalling the experience before Congress.

“Later that same day,” he added, “I remember very clearly going to the local church pumpkin sale and having to tell the kids that we could not buy any because my job was going over to a foreign worker.”

Disney replaced Perrero using a little-known and oft overlooked provision of immigration law that allows big tech companies to replace their employees with foreign workers under extremely questionable circumstances.

In an upcoming episode of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” — “H-1B Hell: The Sellout of America’s Best and Brightest Workers” — Malkin delves into how the H-1B worker visa program has been putting people like Leo Perrero and countless others out of work since 1990.

On location at UC San Francisco, where 79 IT workers recently lost their jobs to an outsourcing firm and user of H-1B visa workers, Malkin spoke to some of tech workers laid off by the university.

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December 29, 2016

On Vacation, Donald Trump Announces 8,000 New Jobs for the United States

President-elect Donald Trump personally announced this evening that he had just heard from Sprint and OneWeb that they had plans to bring more jobs back to the United States.

“Hello everybody, we just had some very good news, because of what is happening and the spirit and the hope, I was just called by the head people at Sprint and they are going to be bringing 5,000 jobs back to the United States,” he told reporters at Mar-a-Lago on Wednesday evening. “They have taken them from other countries. They are bringing them back to the United States.”

Trump also confirmed that OneWeb would be hiring more workers as well. He reached the deal after working with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, a billionaire investor in technology who currently owns 80 percent of Sprint and has invested $1 billion in OneWeb.

“OneWeb, a new company is going to be hiring 3,000 people so that is very exciting,” Trump told reporters.

Original source.

December 11, 2016

Puzder Changes Tune on Immigration: ‘I Will Fiercely Defend American Workers’ Over Foreigners

President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for Secretary of Labor seemed to renounce his former positions on immigration—in which he supported foreigners over American workers for jobs—in a new statement on Saturday, seemingly admitting he was previously wrong.

Andy Puzder said in a Saturday statement according to RealClearPolitics as circulated by Trump’s transition team, in a sign he’s genuinely changing on the issue from prior controversial statements:

My job as a business person is to maximize profits for my company, employees and shareholders. My job as the Secretary of Labor, if confirmed, is to serve U.S. citizen workers – that is my moral and constitutional duty. The public spoke loud and clear in this election, and delivered a mandate to protect American workers. It makes no economic sense to spend trillions on welfare and jobless benefits for out of work Americans while bringing in foreign workers to fill jobs in their place.

As Secretary of Labor, I will fiercely defend American workers and implement my piece of the ten point plan the President-elect laid out. President-elect Trump’s plan to establish new immigration controls will boost wages and ensure that open jobs are offered to American workers first. Hire American and Buy American is our policy, and the one supported by voters in both parties. I will not provide guest worker visas to companies that break the rules, and will support reforms to raise wages for Americans — I know the system from the inside, and will be the best champion American workers have had. With 94 million Americans outside the labor force, and massive unemployment in our inner cities and among minority workers, my job will be to help these workers find jobs. We also have large unemployment in our immigrant communities, and these communities benefit the most from clamping down on guest worker programs that compete against them.

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December 8, 2016

Discrimination suit alleges black temp workers passed over for Hispanics

Because of the emphasis on Hispanic recruiting, often the company plant managers and assembly line leaders are Hispanic as well, and “they didn’t want them there,” Williams said.

A group of African-American men filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Chicago federal court alleging systematic discrimination by a temporary staffing agency and several of its clients they say passed over black applicants in favor of Hispanic workers.

The lawsuit against Personnel Staffing Group, which does business as MVP Staffing, is seeking class-action status. The clients named as defendants are Blommer Chocolate Co., Segerdahl Graphics, Mercury Plastics, MPS Chicago (which does business as Jet Lithocolor), The Penray Cos., ARI Packaging and Lawrence Foods.

The alleged discrimination took place at MVP Staffing’s Cicero branch office, which the lawsuit claims was directed by clients not to send African-American workers to their companies for assignments.

Those wishes allegedly were communicated using code words, according to testimony from former dispatchers and on-site representatives given in prior cases and attached to the filing as evidence. For example, according to the lawsuit, “guapos,” which translates to pretty boys, would be used to refer to African-Americans to suggest they don’t want to do dirty work. The terms “feos” (translated to mean “dirty ones”),” “bilingues” (bilinguals) and “los que escuchan La Ley” (referring to people who listen to Spanish-language radio station La Ley) were used to refer to Hispanic laborers, the lawsuit alleges.

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November 30, 2016

Universities Fast-track Foreign Students into 147,000 White-Collar U.S. Jobs

U.S. universities are rapidly increasing the number of fee-paying foreign students who are being fast-tracked into the professional jobs sought by American graduates.

In 2009, the universities helped 67,804 foreign graduates get white-collar jobs under the little-known Optional Practical Training program, which allows foreigners to get professional-grade jobs inside the United States for at least three years.

By 2016, the universities worked with companies to get at least 147,498 foreign student customers into the white-collar jobs, according to the Institute of International Education, a New York-based group run by trustees from industry, education and Wall Street.

The OPT outsourcing program is great for the foreign students because it gets them a U.S. job for three years, and puts them on a track to win extremely valuable Green Cards and citizenship. It is great for employers because many OPT employees work for low salaries in the hope of eventually getting Green Cards — and also because the OPT employees are exempt from Social Security and Medicare taxes, unlike American employees.

The OPT system is also great for universities and colleges because it brings in more student customers from overseas, whose tuition fees greatly exceed the paperwork costs paid by universities to run the OPT program. That’s a big financial benefit for universities.

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November 24, 2016

McDonald’s Response to $15 Minimum Wage: Automation in Every Store

That means that, eventually, more than 20 million customers every day will place their own orders at a kiosk or on a mobile device and then have them delivered by a human to their table. And it’s just a matter of time before those humans will be replaced by machines as well.

It’s official: McDonald’s says that every one of its 14,000 stores nationwide will be replacing cashiers with automated touch-screen kiosks. They’re starting with stores where minimum-wage laws mandate the highest rates, such as Florida, New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Seattle.

According to CNNMoney:

So the fast food giant is rolling out self-order kiosks, mobile pay options, an updated interior design, even table service. The changes are already starting to show up at locations in Florida, New York and Southern California, where 500 restaurants have been updated. Restaurants in San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, D.C. and Seattle will get upgrades in early 2017. Now, McDonald’s loyalists will be able to place their customized order on a touch screen, take a seat and have their meal brought right over. Next year, they’ll even have the option of mobile ordering.

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November 19, 2016

TV Reporter Fired For Celebrating Trump Victory On Her Private Facebook Page

The War on Women…

Scarlett Fakhar was a reporter on KRIV-TV — a Fox affiliate in Houston, Texas — until a post she made celebrating the election of Donald Trump on her personal Facebook page, which was set to private, was made public.

In the post, Fakhar expressed glee at Trump’s victory, writing, “Since everyone is talking about how they woke up this morning…ill (sic) just go ahead and say I could barely sleep from how happy and relieved I was.”

After saying she’d “prayed about this for a long time,” Fakhar lamented how the country “has become more violent and racist under the Obama administration.”

Continuing, Fakhar wrote:

Want to talk about going downhill? Look what Obama has done… How is made the entire country hate one another. Were you happy with how many people were killing each other in our own country? I work in news… And I hate to say it… But the number of African-Americans killing one another far outweighs the number of them being killed by whites. And now you have groups murdering police officers both black and white. How did this happen under the Obama administration? You guys want another administration like that?

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