Fruit-Picking Jobs Not So Plentiful

Herald Net, October 21, 2011

In response to the letters “Ag jobs show guest workers needed” and “How many willing to pick fruit?”:

After reading the article about pickers needed in “Northwest Briefly” on Oct. 17, I decided to drive over to Wenatchee to see about picking apples. I am an unemployed carpenter so hard physical labor is not new to me. I also knew that making $150 a day was not likely. That is what the top pickers make and I am far from a top picker. I had a place to stay over there and figured if I could make at least $80 a day it would be worth my while.

There was no contact information in the article so off I drove. I got a number to contact at a convenience store in Cashmere. They had taken down an advertisement Sunday and I was the second person to ask about picking Monday. The number they gave me was for Wenatchee Work Source. They needed pickers. They asked me if I had any experience. I told them I had picked on weekends in college 30 years ago. They told me they wanted pickers with at least a season of experience. (Three months.) They couldn’t help me.

I drove back to Dryden to NW Wholesale Inc. They packed pears but gave me numbers to contact.

Blue Star: I called and they told me they were pretty much done.

{snip}

Stimilt East Unit: I got an answering machine and left a message.

I then drove from Dryden to Wenatchee on all the back roads looking for any “pickers needed” signs. I saw none. I called Stimilt again at 4:30 p.m. and got an answering machine and left a message. It is now Wednesday and I am here in Mountlake Terrace still waiting for a return call.

I am a U.S. born Anglo American willing and able to climb those ladders and pick that fruit.

I did not get the chance.

Daniel E. Thrasher

Mountlake Terrace


Herald Net, October 19, 2011

As I read the Tuesday letter, “Enforce illegal immigration law,” I was reminded of a Herald article tucked in the Oct. 17 “Northwest Briefly” section, where the governor described thes hortage of apple pickers as “dire.” With the unemployment rate running around 9 percent, not many of our “legal citizens” want to pick apples.

Growers are offering up to $150 a day. Even with that, the governor reports, “We’re not getting anybody to take a bite on these jobs . . . ” (Did she intend the “bite” pun?) While the author of the Tuesday letter tells us “not to worry about hurt feelings” when enforcing immigration laws, there are a lot of hard-working farmers in this state worrying about more than “hurt feelings” this season. {snip}

Am I endorsing illegal immigration? Of course not. But the old argument that illegal workers are taking “American” jobs has once again been shown to be a red herring. If anything, we need to demand that our politicians create a rational, predictable, and enforceable guest worker law that allows temporary immigrants to do things Americans won’t do–like agricultural labor.

Francis J. Lynch

Edmonds

Topics:

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Anonymous

    My wife heard this announced on a Portland, OR tv station. We tried to find out more and couldn’t. We are both white. I am older, but used to pick in the Sacramento Valley as a kid. Both of us were willing to work – we are trying to keep our home.

    So it was all a political ploy for the purpose of a follow-up that could declare how much the state needs illegal “guest” workers. How does this house of cards nation still stand?

  • Snowhitey

    Hey, Mr. Thrasher, put on a sombrero, get a spray on tan, fake an acccent, and re-apply. No need to show ID. You’ll get the job right away. And if there isn’t a position open, they’ll make one for you. Guaranteed.

    Aaaaah, isn’t it beautiful to see how Americans don’t help other Americans (yes, I am being sarcastic for those that aren’t sure).

    It isn’t just the bankers who are greedy. Greed is the only thing we’re really #1 at anymore. Oh, wait, there’s also corruption…..

  • Tom Iron

    I’ll start by saying I’m a White nationalist down to the marrow of my bones. but I feel I must say this.

    For many years now, White people have been telling their children that physical labor is disgraceful and now we’re reaping the “rewards” of that disgraceful behavior. Once anyone looks or heare of a White man saying he wants to work anymore, all they have to do is look at him and his appearance says he can’t do the work. We’ve done this to ourselves. The ability to do Physical labor doesn’t start when we’re sixteen, or summers when we’re in college. That type of work has to be drummed into a man from a very early age. We must start our children young, with small chores at home, progressively getting harder as the young boy/man grows. In that so many of our boys and young men have never turned their hand to any work in their lives, it’s no wonder people don’t want to give them a chance. Word has already preceeded them. Everybody knows what to expect from an Anglo worker anymore. Is this “fair?” H*ll no, but life isn’t fair either.

    Now I’ll say this as well. We’re Americans. I guarantee that anything a mexican can do, we can do better. But not like we are. Look at our young men. Many times we say look at that guy, he’s fat. That’s right, but we should also look at the other end of the spectrum. Look at all our young men who’re so thin, they look like waifs. They couldn’t do any work either. Seventy Five percent of our young men are not suitable material for our armed forces. We can do it though. But we must turn ourselves around and stop living the way we do. We must go back to what made us the envy of the world as workers. That’s not easy. It’s the hardest thing that we will ever do in our lives. But it has to be done.

    Check out “Blacks on high Steel” – AMREN

    Tom Iron…

  • Paul

    I live in Washington and I’m certain that her call for more illegals due to a shortage in the apple industry is a lie. Even if there is a shortage right now, later she will come up with some other excuse to pander to illegals and refuse to take a stand against immigration.

    All liberal politicians and most so called conservatives do this. They come up with a bogus argument to justify diversity or justify their unwillingness to enforce the law. When the lie is exposed, or times change, they come up with a new lie to maintain their liberal self-serving pipe dream.

  • Anonymous

    The extensive Spanish speaking immigrant network will not allow whites to work in the vast number of areas under their control.

  • Mr.White

    Let’s face it; fruit picking positions are only available to illegal invading Mexicans who speak no English. Growers aren’t interested in hiring white Americans; they are interested in maintaining their available pool of Mexican illegal labor they can exploit to their economic advantage.

    All the hoopla and hyperbole spouted by ag growers and illegal invader advocates is simply designed to create a diversion to keep those who demand illegal invaders deported at bay!

  • ZCKS

    Pickers aren’t really required in the first place anymore.

    With the advancement of technology over the past hundred years you can now simply buy machines which will automatically “pick” or harvest fruit/veggies at rates much faster then people ever could & as a plus these machines do not require food or water, do not get tired & never complain.

    Commercial food production simply refuses to buy such machines for the most part however because they think it is cheaper to pat for illegals from year to year when in fact the price would be about the same once you figure in the life span of such machines.

    If we really want to stop illegal immigration then we need to start enforcing the laws & greatly increase the fines incurred for hiring them so that it becomes preferable to use machinery or native born people.

  • white is right, black is whack

    Wait a minute. I thought (fill in nonwhite group) were willing to do the jobs that (fill in white ethnic group) weren’t willing to do.

  • BEBE

    5 — Anonymous wrote at 9:13 PM on October 24:

    The extensive Spanish speaking immigrant network will not allow whites to work in the vast number of areas under their control.

    __________________________

    This is true. It is obvious who controls the fields and they are as much a mexican criminal gang as any we have in the USA. The farmers know they have a cartel who will make sure no White American ever gets a job and they like it that way. The whole Ag industry needs to be sued for allowing/encouraging this and even prosecuted under the Rico Act. They need to be outed and their lies exposed “that no American will do the job”.

    I have lost all respect for the American farmer (mostly White) who have betrayed us as the number 1 employer of mexicans/illegals across the land. That also goes for these slaughter houses and the construction trade. If not for them giving these illegals jobs, we would not have the problems we have now concerning illegal “immigration”.

  • jack in Chicago

    I strongly agree with Tom Iron – Whites must embrace hard physical labor and respect strong White workers. We will not need so many “health clubs” when our White men embrace hard physical labor for a good living and a good life.

    That said – we must never accept or repeat they lying propaganda that White men will not work or are not as hard working as any non Whites. This is very similar anti White propaganda that White men can’t fight or White men are all computer geeks and beautiful White women should seek out Black men, NW men because they are stronger, more sexual, confident etc.

    Whites have dominated the middle and heavier weights of boxing for over ten years – these great White champions like Joe Calzaighe and the Kliltschko brothers are just not covered by the anti White American mainstream media MSM. Go to CastefootballUSA and check out so many of our great strong, White athletes who are discriminated against.

    Whenever you hear any White person repeating lying anti White propaganda that Whites will not do hard physical labor, can’t fight are dying out – stop them cold, look them in the eye and tell them in no uncertain terms to stop lying.

  • Lauren

    When I was little, I ‘scrapped’ Cotton on Fall weekends, for spending money. I’d drag my bag down those rows, salvaging whatever cotton the machines had left behind….headset in my ears, listening to school subjects where I was having trouble… my own recorded ‘math drills’… listening to foreign language tapes…

    And I’d pick up Pecans and Black Walnuts: a breeze, compared to scrapping Cotton. In spring, I’d cut Asparagus and pick Strawberries, for Sicilian-owned restaurants in town. Later, there were Blueberries and Peaches to be picked. And I was a girl in private school, eligible for induction into Colonial Dames, SubDeb, Delta Debutante Cotillion, Chi Omega… The notion that Americans are too ‘delicate’ to do hard labor makes me laugh.

    When I was big and old enough to reach everything, I started driving the Combine and the Tractor. Big money at last! Minimum wage! America’s White women have always done this sort of thing, although they did not advertize the fact. Harvesting fruit was considered ‘easy work’, in comparison to the more arduous tasks.

    The women in my family who did not have ‘town’ jobs would arise at first light, and work like field hands, until time to prepare lunch. Then, they’d put on nice dresses, and read Bestseller List novels (and maybe maybe do flower arrangements for the house, in accordance with Garden Club design precepts), until time to prepare the evening meal. Then, in the coolness of the evening, they’d be out mowing lawns, clipping hedges…digging small ditches, so everything would drain just right. I’m sure this was the case for Norwegian ladies in Minnesota, as much as it was for Scotswomen in Mississippi.

    The men would be repairing or driving the big machinery of the farms…generally ‘from can’t see to can’t see’…before dawn, ’til after dark. Maintaining those giant machines requires physical strength and mental skills beyond the reach of Women. Today, my female farming cousins do the paperwork, the purchasing, the errands…much of the machinery operation… but they can’t repair a Combine.

    To run a farm, you can’t be fat. You can’t be stupid. You can’t be lazy. You must be fit, prudent, and diligent. The deliberate dispossession and replacement of America’s Old Stock farm families is one of the most evil things ‘our’ government has done to this Nation.

    Byzantium fell, because small farmers were replaced by giant plantations. ‘Our’ rulers would have been wise to have considered this, before allowing the current situation to come into being.

  • The Bobster

    So it was all a political ploy for the purpose of a follow-up that could declare how much the state needs illegal “guest” workers.

    _____________

    A similar ploy is the one where high-tech companies say there’s a shortage of qualified STEM and IT workers, at the same time they are laying off older, highly qualified Americans working those very jobs. Yes, there’s a shortage of people who will do those jobs for low wages.

  • Snowhitey

    I agree with Tom Iron #3.

    And, if you think about it, manual labor is really the only labor that produces physical changes or physical products. Using the mind can’t produce physical results. At least I can’t think of a mental job that produces physical results (magicians and illusionists don’t count!)!

  • Anonymous

    Building on what Tom Iron says:

    I teach high school shop classes in WI. What a difference ten years makes. Ten years ago I was working with 16-18 year old MEN who learned technical skills, mechanical aptitude, ambition, toughness, etc. at home with Dad. Granted, many of these young men were farm kids or sons of loggers, it came with the territory. They were 165-180 pounds of the leanest of lean wirey muscle and very tough. No doubt the type of young men I envision winning WWII. And BELIEVE me, there are no other 16-18 year old men on planet Earth who could whip them.

    To say that these young men are not capable of doing agricultural tasks like foriegn migrant farmers can do is like any other liberal fantasy. HOGWASH.

    However, as the years go on, these tough kids are being replaced by soft, physically weak, mentally weak, potato chip eating video gaming sloths who lack any ambition to build the skill set needed to survive against foriegn invaders.

    Events will happen that will cause our young men to be tough again. Those days are coming. There were reasons why the sons of our founding stock were the tough individuals we remember. The events that made them so will likely come around again.

    America was made into the greatest country in history by more than just brains. TOUGHNESS! That toughness also comes with the courage to say, “Go back to your own filthy country, we don’t need you!” and to give them a boost with your right foot on the way out!

  • Anonymous

    “That said – we must never accept or repeat they lying propaganda that White men will not work or are not as hard working as any non Whites.”

    When lies are repeated enough, people start to believe them. Unfortunately, many of these believers are nieve, blind, white people with their heads in the sand.

    History books are being re-written as we speak. The truth of who built this country and made it what it is is being replaced by lies like the one above. That lie is almost as ludicrous as “slaves built this country.”

  • White Devil

    Okokok, first, you got your information from a politician. Why don’t you ring up Joe Biden and ask for that shovel ready job they’ve been talking about.

    Second, it was a governor. There is no evidence I can find of a politician of any flavor knowing anything about agriculture. “Down” and “dirt” excluded I suppose.

    Third, if you want a job like this, go talk to a grower. Talking to the distributor or the state unemployment folks will only get you more unemployment.

  • John

    I drove over from Spokane today driving to George to Quincy through Wenatchee then Cashmere to Everett.I saw signs at Quincy at a warehouse,at 3 private orchards from Quincy to Wenatchee and at a side road near Wenatchee. I was surprised by the signs not seeing them in the last 25 years and could’nt help but notice all the apples still on trees!I wasn’nt aware of the issue so I googled it when I got back this evening and ended up here.I slowed down and looked at some of the orchards that I saw cars congregated at and was surprised to see white men picking apples(on HWY 2-less than 3 miles from Cashmere)!When I picked apples 25 years ago I was let go after one day from my first orchard because as I was politely told–I destroyed more apples then I saved.

  • Bubba

    As an American anglo: I’ve done the jobs whites don’t want to do, blacks don’t want to do, and contrary to Vincent Fox’s statement, the jobs “Latinos” don’t want to do (including Mexicans).

    They all suck. Hard labor sucks. Nobody wants to do it.

    This article sounds more like a political statement about the economy. They only want people who won’t rock the boat. They look at a white person and assume I want benefits package and vacation pay. They think I want a 401K, don’t all farmers have a Human Resources department?

    I don’t! I just want a pay check! EARN MY OWN PAY! I had this same problem when the economy was going well!!!