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ECIN
Senior Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

LOL 289 Thanks for your help on this subject ! 

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

Waiting to hear from Shaggy to see how close he is to a 10,000 head septic tank ---

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sw363535
Honored Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

Not to disagree with anyone but the first thing I think when I see the term "living wage" is this.

 

The only thing that keeps a wage alive is it's relationship to the profit created for the employer by its presence.  If an employee doesn't create enough gross income for the employer by his(or her) labor to justify the cost of maintaining that work position(wages, equipment, taxes, benefits, etc) it is in effect a dead wage and will, in time, be terminated.  

How "living" that wage is depends totally on that relationship.

An employee who only considers his wage by what it will buy may be missing the evaluation that is vital to both the employer and the employee.

 

Even in public service positions,  an employee should consider how much "service" is actually being provided by his efforts in order to evaluate whether or not that career has a "living" future first.  Then look at his options if he does not feel like the wage is high enough to live comfortably.

No matter how many dollars are present after the tax load, It is unnerving to spend hours in a purposeless endeavor or to be in that frame of mind.

Confinement livestock has some issues that "hang with you" ------- It forces you to emjoy it.

 

Thanks for making me think K-289

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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

SW  - Have and uncle that went to work International Business Machines in the late 60's with an Engineering degree from UNL. He grew up in a conservative farm life stile and had the same employer for 4+ decades before retiring from this same company in Austin Tx where he resided this whole time frame.  He was a dedicated shift lead that turned the lights on at 5-6 am and had cosiderable 12 hour + days in with R&D and assembly oversite being a champion for his hourly crew members. It rings fresh in my mind about the  " stinging  - scalding words " of wisdom he professed about the unbridled expanding gaps of management to employee compensation that has become the norm that past 2 decades. I was at his house for a visit in 2008 when the exuberant Leman debockle news broke on national television and he explained that we witnessed the tip of the iceberg and explained the the reaping of what we sewed was on display. He explained although his and mine political parties where oposite sides of the ballot generally the mind set of " greed is good " will be the broken spoke that will evendently be the wagon - train wreck of this society as we stumble through the next generations and the word thought conservative has been blasphemed top to bottom. I agree there are a few in the labor pool that will tarnish the 99% although having a mind set of most are of this perswasion I question the mind set of some blaming the companies downfal on excesive labor costs while taking in the  convention in a far away exotic setting ner being mentioned. Example being how many big hats at the cattle convention wondering where did all those  " cheap " replacments go - sounds like fiddle music while I smell smoke or let them eat cake on display ---            

Kay/NC
Honored Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

That is the factor that everyone keeps trying to force into the national debate over minimum v living wage...how much profit the employer makes. Do employees expect to earn less or even nothing, when they hire on, in times of low or no profit, too? How about when the business takes an overall loss? Either you are a " stockholder" or you are not.

Have farmers counted on their DP/ CCP as some form of minimum wage? If so, it has gone to zero now, right?
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k-289
Senior Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

Kaye - Why would some one quit a union job if these workers are so over paid ? ? 

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bruce MN
Advisor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

Such an exceptional post sir. On my phone which won't let me Kudo but will try to remember to do so when I get in the house. What your Uncle expressed so very we'll is the things that in order for the bipartisan neoliberalism we are plagued with to work, nobody is supposed to understand. Or if they do, just leave well enough alone The most chilling indicator for our probably very gloomy future lies in the exceedingly small number or low percentage of people who have all that they have and are and who couldn't begin to relate to what he said. Not the most elementary bits of it. Thanks for posting this. Inspirational, sobering as it is

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dairy mom
Senior Contributor

Re: Reporter writing about labor shortages

I thought I might answer the question of whether there is a labor shortage, not discuss wages.

We have had occasion several times in the past 10 months to look for additional help on our dairy farm.

This is what happens.  We post a listing for "dairy farm worker"  do not require experience but do state that any is welcome especially equipment operation.

We get many replies.  I haven't counted but would say probably never less that 50 responses.  Then you start to weed out.  First goes the ones that apparently don't know how to look at a map and realize that 100 miles is too far to drive for anything other than a quite well paying job.  Then there are the ones that won't come fill out an application.  Then there are the ones that take the time to get an application but never fill it out.  So you are left with the several that actually come and fill out an application and give it back to us.

First you have to hope you can read what they wrote, that is if they remember to put their name in the blank for name.  Spelling is generally atrocious.  Fully half do not have high school diplomas although many have completed a GED program.  I think it is a huge statement on the state of the American educational system.

Now I completely realize that working milking cows is probably not anybody's dream job.  It is not hard but you do get dirty and you do have to be reliable.  Being there when expected is something we really emphasize and demand. 

We think many of the multitude of responses we get is to meet the requirement for looking for work. We don't know for sure but do believe you have to be looking for work in order to get unemployment.  Maybe not, but that is what we think.

Then too we are in Michigan and Michigan got hit hard before the rest of the country did.  So maybe most of the people that really want to work have already left Michigan.  Just wondering.

We have a core of very good, very dependable, very hard working employees.  They have never let us down and put in unbelievable time and effort for us every time we've made a wrong choice and gotten left in the lurch by a dead beat.  We let them know we appreciate it, both verbally and with bonuses when they have come through for us.  We also have their backs if they run into some tough situation in their own lives. 

 

So I would say yes there is a labor shortage in agriculture.  A shortage of good dependable people with solid work ethics.  But I don't think it is limited to agriculture.

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