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Old 08-24-2011, 04:19 AM
 
Location: Dade City, Fl.
885 posts, read 1,188,552 times
Reputation: 528

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I have a friend that lives downeast. She has been unemployed for several months and recently took a low paying 5 or 6 week duration job in a blueberry processing plant. She's a hard worker and has had jobs before for fish and lobster processors. However she told me that she(caucasion) is very much in the minority at this plant. Mostly Haitions and Hispanics work there. Well, last week the company(forced or voluntary?)took down all the posted signs in the facility and reposted them in French, Spanish and English. I was surprised by this although I know its done in many states......is this something new here or am I just slow to see it?
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:07 AM
 
Location: South Portland, Maine
2,356 posts, read 4,935,322 times
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Migrant workers in Maine is nothing new.. Many inn's hire european (eastern) for summer help, farms and what not hire mexicans.. I have not seen Haitions but go to any asisted living/nursing facility in Mass and they are overwhelmingly Haition so I would not be surprised to see tham here.. (of course they might not be considered "migrant")
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:10 AM
 
1,360 posts, read 1,855,527 times
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Aren't there more Mainers who need a job and are willing to work in the blueberry factory? I have a family member who used to do this every summer for many years.
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Old 08-24-2011, 05:12 AM
 
Location: Maine
5,969 posts, read 11,130,579 times
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A lot of agricultural crops couldn't be produced here without migrant workers. They start planting in the spring and work through Christmas wreaths in December. Paul Cyr has photos of migrant workers planting and bringing in crops like broccoli.
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Old 08-24-2011, 06:31 AM
 
Location: Penobscot Bay, the best place in Maine!
1,891 posts, read 5,146,121 times
Reputation: 2627
Quote:
Originally Posted by mainegrl2011 View Post
Aren't there more Mainers who need a job and are willing to work in the blueberry factory? I have a family member who used to do this every summer for many years.
Apparently not. Or maybe they just didn't get their applications in before the migrant workers did.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:07 AM
 
Location: Brewer
48 posts, read 95,497 times
Reputation: 39
I've read and heard several times that many processors of things like seafood, sea cucmbers, blueberries, etc. can not find American workers (Mainers, in this case) that are willing to endure the long hours of back-breaking labor for the wages that are offered. Many migrant workers, who are raised with a much different lifestyle and work ethic, are more than willing to do the work, so they are brought in to do the jobs, since they are more available and reliable than local workers.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:27 AM
 
468 posts, read 611,208 times
Reputation: 561
My potato farming neighbor (300 +/- acres) said to me a while ago after I bought into the neighborhood that he can't get people to work for him for what he pays because there are so many people on disability and other entitlement programs (Yes, I know that disability, in theory, goes only to people truly disabled, but both he and I know of several recipients that really aren't disabled in the real sense of the word.) By this he meant local people, not immigrants, legal or otherwise. I don't know, off-hand, how many migrant/immigrants he employs.
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Old 08-24-2011, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,776 posts, read 6,964,466 times
Reputation: 2824
Quote:
Originally Posted by hennybenny View Post
I've read and heard several times that many processors of things like seafood, sea cucmbers, blueberries, etc. can not find American workers (Mainers, in this case) that are willing to endure the long hours of back-breaking labor for the wages that are offered. Many migrant workers, who are raised with a much different lifestyle and work ethic, are more than willing to do the work, so they are brought in to do the jobs, since they are more available and reliable than local workers.
That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:00 AM
 
Location: Way South of the Volvo Line
2,776 posts, read 6,964,466 times
Reputation: 2824
The work migrants do is typically back-breaking, requiring long hours, not particularly clean, and not well-paying. Most Mainers over 21 years old feel above or beyond that type of work for many reasons: physical limitations, too high a cost of living, etc.
The face of the migrants changes thru the years, too...it used to be Indians from Canada and around, then lots of Hispanics, now Caribbean peoples. We cannot fault them for being able to make do with less wages. It does irk me that these industries have evolved around such sub standard pay, though.
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Old 08-24-2011, 08:38 AM
 
2,096 posts, read 2,939,194 times
Reputation: 2254
I always see various ethnicities of migrant workers in the Ellsworth Hannaford. Of course the Bar Harbor store has many Jamaican summer workers and many of the cashiers are Russian,Bulgarian etc. I used to work with a Jamaican dishwasher who told me that washing dishes in the US was enough so that she would send her kid to private school and take care of her family. Many of the women here cleaning hotel rooms and washing dishes have husbands and several children back at home.
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