Gloria in excelsis, we have yet more corruption in Washington State farm labor recruitment:
AGRICULTURE General Tree Fruit Worker. Zirkle Fruit Co, PO Box 190 Selah, WA 98942, is offering temp, outdoor, agricultural work for 1764 qualified farm workers in Royal, Othello, Mattawa, Ellensburg, Tri-Cities, Paterson, Prosser and Yakima Areas. Must be legally present in the U.S. The wage offer is $12.42/hr &/or piece rates, depending on the crop activity. Crop activities include picking, thinning, pruning & other orchard work involving numerous varieties of apples, blueberries, grapes, pears & cherries.. Must have 1 mo exp. Positions are avail 5/26/15-11/7/15. We anticipate a 35 hr. work week and will guarantee 75% of these hours. Housing available to workers at no cost, including U.S. workers who cannot reasonably return to their permanent residence at the end of each working day. Reasonable cost of inbound transportation and subsistence to the worksites will be provided or paid by the employer upon completion of 50% of the contract, or earlier if appropriate. Tools, supplies & equipment will be provided at no cost to the worker. Workers may apply at their local State Workforce Agency or may contact the Work Source Central Basin, 309 E. 5th Ave, Moses Lake, WA 98837, Todd Wurl 509-766-4107. Please reference Job Order #WA2805794. Applicants will be interviewed by the employer by telephone at the time of referral or as soon thereafter as possible.
That’s an ostentatious lot of verbiage for a job that’s basically hey mistah ya pruna da fruit tree. Most of the help wanted ads that have actually yielded work for me couldn’t hold a candle to this legalistic opus. Some of them have barely been a third as long in English and Spanish combined. Roughly the middle third of this ad has the same elaborate, functionally liturgical elements as every other fucking Worksource ad for tree fruit workers in Eastern Washington. It’s a pro forma sympathy troll for H-2A approval. This is why the wage grade is competitive for nonsupervisory farm work but goofy; $12.42 an hour is the result of some sort of prevailing wage voodoo calculation that is worth a pot of shit for all the good it does in successfully placing unemployed Americans into the jobs the H-2A program claims to make available to them. All that boilerplate is an insincere way for the employer to say that, pinky-swear, it really wants to accommodate American applicants. Of course this doesn’t mean that it’s willing to do jack shit in the way of on-the-job training, no matter how many hundreds or thousands of employees it needs for time-critical field jobs in remote locations. The one-month experience requirement just happens screen out a supermajority of the native-born heavy labor workforce. I guess it depends on what exactly they mean by experience, but this requirement is probably an escape hatch to avoid hiring out-of-work lumberjacks from Chehalis who they know damn well are up to the job but might be too uppity about labor relations for management’s taste.
What’s unusual about this ad is that it names the hiring employer but instructs applicants to apply through Worksource, which it has retained as its third-party hiring manager. Ads on CalJobs, the California state counterpart to Worksource Washington, commonly list the employer as “suppressed.” In plain English, this means, “Looking to research the company where you’re applying? Well fuck you, son.” In this case, Zirkle Fruit Company is named, but with tacit instructions for applicants not to directly contact Zirkle. There’s no way in hell that Zirkle is getting any marginal recruiting efficiency from this policy. Unless the crew bosses and ranch managers are a bunch of fucking idiots, upper management will trust them to exercise adequate seat-of-the-pants judgment in hiring new employees who look like they can get the job done. I’ve inferred from various news articles and been told by a reliable mutual contact that this is exactly what lower and middle management do with day laborers who show up at harvest. Nobody at the office is like, hey, amigo, go talk to Señor Todd over at Worksource. This runaround is exclusively for people who speaka the English; Americans, if you wish.
It wouldn’t take highly skilled subterfuge, or very lengthy subterfuge, to draw the managerial-class fuckheads at these companies into a James O’Keefe-style trap. Of course O’Keefe won’t do it; he’s a posh motherfucker who works for the Man; but it seems a worthy avocation for interested parties who look good wearing hidden cameras. We’re subsidizing the goddamn water bill for these companies through federal grants to the Bonneville Power Administration and its offshoot irrigation districts, so the least they can do is give us the same employment consideration they give Mexicans whom they assume to be applying with forged documents. They don’t seem to be telling anyone in the barrio to apply for third-party recruitment with some office-bound state bureaucrat.