Friday, May 14, 2010

Reap What You Sow

These are the results of a lack of foresight and knee-jerk self-interested decisions: inmate labor, a bankrupt swimming pool, and the BLT might soon become just a BT.

From The Atlantic...
If workers are reluctant to return to Arizona, growers may find themselves short on harvesters, in which case "the crops rot in the field," says Wendy Fink-Weber of the Western Growers Association. Each head of lettuce is cut and packed into boxes by hand. The intensive labor associated with growing lettuce—a $1 billion business for Arizona and the state's highest-value crop—accounts for up to 50 percent of the cost of production.

The experience of Colorado, which enacted restrictive immigration legislation in 2006, suggests another alternative. Workers fled the state, and farms, desperate for labor, partnered with the Department of Corrections to pilot an inmate-harvester program.

Tom Church, the president of major grower-shipper Church Brothers, says the absolute last resort is finding Americans to work the fields. "If we had to rely on American workers, it would never get done," he says. According to Brian Church, the company would sooner resort to machines than H2A or inmate labor.

and this from HuffPo...
A private suburban Philadelphia swim club accused of racial discrimination has been sold at a bankruptcy auction. The Huntingdon Valley-based Valley Club was sold for $1.46 million Thursday. The club had filed for bankruptcy in November following discrimination lawsuits and a critical state report.

The gated club sits on a hillside straddling two overwhelmingly white townships. Last summer it revoked the memberships of 56 mostly black and Hispanic day campers, saying there were too many children and many couldn't swim.

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