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Thread: Good news for Alaskan workers / maximum benefits from our resources

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    Default Good news for Alaskan workers / maximum benefits from our resources

    From the ADN: http://www.adn.com/article/20150313/...workers-summer

    Looks like some of the processors that scalp our resources and then make the most dollars possible by hiring cheap foreign "slave"workers instead of Alaskans are now crying the blues! So very sad - some of these outfits may actually have to hire domestic workers and pay them a reasonable wage for working the slime lines and stripping roe.

    What is this world coming to?
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    I dunno tvfinak. Been my experience that there are jobs most of our citizens here in the USA will not do at any rate of pay. Slime line might be one of them. It's not just the processor this will hurt, but the fisherman, the freight companies, cities and towns. Lots of unintended consequences.

    I agree with where I think you're coming from though, we need to figure out how to get more of our people off entitlements and back to work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gbflyer View Post
    ...there are jobs most of our citizens here in the USA will not do at any rate of pay. Slime line might be one of them.
    No "might" about it. When folks are offered the choice between jobs that don't pay a living wage and the full benefits of welfare, what do you think they're going to pick? Try supporting a family on less than $10 an hour anywhere, but especially in Alaska. You better believe they'll be looking for "entitlements" in the off-season at least, and certainly year round once they learn how rotten slimeline work really is.

    Nature of the beast. Fill the jobs with folks who will work seasonal for minimum wage, wherever they come from. Or pay locals a living wage and cut your profit margins, maybe go broke. Any easy answer is the prize in a politician's box of Cracker Jacks.

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    There is an easy answer that even the politicians won't like. You simply remove the ability for politicians to give away our tax dollars to any one except the post office, the military and the three branches of govt. Do that and the folks that are riding for free will have to work or starve. This does seem a bit harsh but we are all free to give as much as we want to churches and charities. Another benefit is the politicians won't be able to buy peoples votes with tax dollars which is what started the mess we are in now.

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    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    While I think this is good overall for American workers as others have said many Americans will not do this work.
    Sure the more you pay the more workers you will find. But the reality is these are not career jobs.
    Just like McDonalds is not a career job and should not be counted on to provide a living wage to a family of four because dad works there flipping burgers and mom wants to stay at home raising the 2 kids.
    Some jobs are meant for college students or those just entering the workforce and needing some work experience under their belt. I think Cannery work fits the bill for that. It is also good work for those who cannot find it elsewhere. People who have too many DWI's to hold many other jobs or those with other issues that prevent them from gainful employment elsewhere.
    Do you realize what a Big Mac would cost or the fish in the supermarket if you paid the employees there $20+ an hour?
    When I worked at the cannery (my first Alaskan job) they tried to recruit Alaskans and just couldn't find enough of them to do the work. I doubt you could have found enough at twice the price they were able to pay.
    For me it was a start in Alaska and earned me enough money to buy a used vehicle and get a start on my life here and it was certanly a positive thing for me.
    I think there are more people in the Lower 48 who would be willing to do these jobs if they were not so far from home.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    A friend offers an interesting insight into the whole illegal immigrant whooptido. Not realistic, but it helps put a measure on the situation.

    All the illegals need to do is leave the states where congressmen oppose anything that smacks of "amnesty." Done. Leave the jobs to legal locals.

    His bet is that it would take less than 6 months of crops rotting in fields, beds unmade in hotels, lawns unmowed, no fishing because the canneries didn't have enough workers to process the catch, and carpenters/laborers only working at a living wage before the congressmen would become religious fanatics for guest worker programs, amnesty or any other way to get all the workers back. No locals taking the jobs, and constituents in full revolt against a do-nothing congress.

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    BrownBear your friend is correct. In another life I was an ag guy and not the hobby variety. Folks would get very hungry in this country without immigrants to do the work that is "beneath" the common out of work American citizen. One can arm wave until blue in the face about raising the wage until you get the local help. Doesn't work, because they don't work. Oh, they may take the job, but production will be nothing.

    Sad, but in all honesty my dad and granddad all told the same story. It's been this way for a real long time.

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    Default labor content

    The labor cost as a percentage of the final selling price is actually very small for most products.

    For example, for the subject salmon is the selling price is $10.00 a pound and the slime line worker cost is $10.00 for 500 lb of fish, the labor content is only $.02 or .2% of the final price. Thus, if the labor cost were raised to $20, the final product cost would only be a two cents more.

    The same situation applies to many of the things we eat and use everyday.

    Eliminate the cheap foreign workers, eliminate welfare so people have to work or starve, and let the wages rise to a livable level. The money we save on taxes will more than pay for the increase in the cost of the products.



    Quote Originally Posted by kasilofchrisn View Post
    While I think this is good overall for American workers as others have said many Americans will not do this work.
    Sure the more you pay the more workers you will find. But the reality is these are not career jobs.
    Just like McDonalds is not a career job and should not be counted on to provide a living wage to a family of four because dad works there flipping burgers and mom wants to stay at home raising the 2 kids.
    Some jobs are meant for college students or those just entering the workforce and needing some work experience under their belt. I think Cannery work fits the bill for that. It is also good work for those who cannot find it elsewhere. People who have too many DWI's to hold many other jobs or those with other issues that prevent them from gainful employment elsewhere.
    Do you realize what a Big Mac would cost or the fish in the supermarket if you paid the employees there $20+ an hour?
    When I worked at the cannery (my first Alaskan job) they tried to recruit Alaskans and just couldn't find enough of them to do the work. I doubt you could have found enough at twice the price they were able to pay.
    For me it was a start in Alaska and earned me enough money to buy a used vehicle and get a start on my life here and it was certanly a positive thing for me.
    I think there are more people in the Lower 48 who would be willing to do these jobs if they were not so far from home.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Hate to argue too much being a new guy here. I agree with you mostly, however you forgot that the $10/hr worker costs considerably more than that with workman's comp, SS, FICA, administration costs, etc.

    Secondly, fish has become a luxury item. $24/lb for halibut in the store. If you apply your math to a 2.00 head of lettuce that the farmer gets .50 for that he has to prep the ground for, plant, water, fertilize, keep the bugs from eating it, weed and thin, harvest, and pack for sale, that $10/hr worker is a big piece of the pie. Point is there are many other things this effects other than the fishing industry.

    I grew up with lots of friends who's families came to America to work in the fields. I am a big fan of a guest worker program. They are welcome to come work, we don't kill them with taxes but we don't give them welfare. Their offspring are not automatic citizens, but if they want to stay we figure out a fair way to do it. Most of them just want to work and then go home. Washington, D.C. is the problem by encouragement of working the system...makes for new voters.

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    Think what would happen if everyone had a living wage. Would you have many social programs? No.
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    If everyone had a "living" wage, the cost of consumer goods would rise right with it. They'd still be the "poor" class and social programs would still exist. If you think that making the lowest wage at $15 ,that everyone else's wage is going to stay put, you are very wrong.
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    Ever look at Australia? BTW: The cost of goods still go up regardless.
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    Default the poor will always be with us...

    There will always be a population of poor and low social class people. The stark reality is that many of these people fall on the low end of the intelligence and skills scale and just can't do anything that requires any level of thinking skills. For those people, the less desirable jobs must exist for them to be employed or they will be on welfare and we will be paying them anyway. If picking lettuce is all you are capable of doing - you need to pick lettuce if you want to eat and have a place to live.

    And then there are those that are just plain unlucky in life, lazy, and/or just can't handle money so they are always getting ripped off. They will always be poor and needy. Not much you can do for them I am afraid.

    LBJ declared a was on poverty some 50 yrs ago. After trillions of dollars, we still can't realize it is a war that just can't be won.


    Quote Originally Posted by AKDoug View Post
    If everyone had a "living" wage, the cost of consumer goods would rise right with it. They'd still be the "poor" class and social programs would still exist. If you think that making the lowest wage at $15 ,that everyone else's wage is going to stay put, you are very wrong.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrownBear View Post
    A friend offers an interesting insight into the whole illegal immigrant whooptido. Not realistic, but it helps put a measure on the situation.

    All the illegals need to do is leave the states where congressmen oppose anything that smacks of "amnesty." Done. Leave the jobs to legal locals.

    His bet is that it would take less than 6 months of crops rotting in fields, beds unmade in hotels, lawns unmowed, no fishing because the canneries didn't have enough workers to process the catch, and carpenters/laborers only working at a living wage before the congressmen would become religious fanatics for guest worker programs, amnesty or any other way to get all the workers back. No locals taking the jobs, and constituents in full revolt against a do-nothing congress.
    We, as a nation, have shot ourselves in the foot in two ways which has created this problem.

    One, we have created laws that keep our youth from maximizing their involvement in these sort of industries.

    And two, we raise our teenagers to believe this kind of work is beneath them.


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    Up into the 70s the slime line was at least partially, if not largely, filled by American college students. Now they don't have to work for college tuition, because they are getting huge student loans which many will never even pay back.

    True, $10 ph wages won't feed a family, and such positions aren't for heads of households, but there are plenty of unemployed Americans who would rather slack than work, and that should not be so.

    "But what about the children?", you may ask. Well, what in heck are they having children for anyway if they can't afford them? Prophylactics are cheap! The answer is of course that the government safety net makes it possible for them to have- what do they call illigitimate kids nowdays?- without having to work. Then they have those kids which they shouldn't have procreated, and say that they have to be on welfare because they can't work for min wage and raise their kids. Hmmmm..... something's wrong with this picture. No consequences leads to societal breakdown. We're in deep crap right now due to lib... um.. prog.... um.... bad social engineering gone awry. Put them to work. Don't reward them for poor choices. The slime lines, apple orchards and ditches are calling. I did menial labor and survived, and they will too.

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    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Nice. Well we now know the "let them eat cake" crew. So to some this up, people are stupid, people shouldn't breed, it sucks to be them. I feel the caring here........
    "Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure science"

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    The labor cost as a percentage of the final selling price is actually very small for most products.

    For example, for the subject salmon is the selling price is $10.00 a pound and the slime line worker cost is $10.00 for 500 lb of fish, the labor content is only $.02 or .2% of the final price. Thus, if the labor cost were raised to $20, the final product cost would only be a two cents more.

    The same situation applies to many of the things we eat and use everyday.

    Eliminate the cheap foreign workers, eliminate welfare so people have to work or starve, and let the wages rise to a livable level. The money we save on taxes will more than pay for the increase in the cost of the products.
    Your numbers are simplistic and would only work if the fisherman sold his fish direct to the customer for that price.

    The fish processor is just one part of the business chain that gets the salmon from the sea to the grocery store, and every one of those entities has a profit margin, overhead and risks/losses associated with their part of the pie.

    The processor buys the fish, ships it, processes it, stores it, and then sells it to a wholesaler. I'm sure he adds a couple bucks to the per pound price, but I'd expect if he had to double his labor costs that would add a lot more than $.02 a pound, not to mention that would be an increased price to the wholesaler and the supermarket and they make a percentage on their transactions so whatever cost is added by the processor would be added and then some as the product works it's way along the chain.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

  19. #19
    Premium Member kasilofchrisn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sayak View Post
    Up into the 70s the slime line was at least partially, if not largely, filled by American college students. Now they don't have to work for college tuition, because they are getting huge student loans which many will never even pay back.

    True, $10 ph wages won't feed a family, and such positions aren't for heads of households, but there are plenty of unemployed Americans who would rather slack than work, and that should not be so.

    "But what about the children?", you may ask. Well, what in heck are they having children for anyway if they can't afford them? Prophylactics are cheap! The answer is of course that the government safety net makes it possible for them to have- what do they call illigitimate kids nowdays?- without having to work. Then they have those kids which they shouldn't have procreated, and say that they have to be on welfare because they can't work for min wage and raise their kids. Hmmmm..... something's wrong with this picture. No consequences leads to societal breakdown. We're in deep crap right now due to lib... um.. prog.... um.... bad social engineering gone awry. Put them to work. Don't reward them for poor choices. The slime lines, apple orchards and ditches are calling. I did menial labor and survived, and they will too.
    I gotta say you nailed that one.
    When I did Menial labor I too survived. And I never expected my cannery job offloading crab boats on St. Paul to pay enough to raise a family.
    I was broke and $500 a week for the work I did (plus free room and board) allowed me to bank some cash and get a new start in Alaska.
    I had a job offer before I moved but the company went bankrupt and it fell through. I had a place to live but needed a job that did not require a vehicle that would allow me to save some cash to buy one.
    The cannery provided that for me and I did it for 2 winter seasons of 3 months each while working temporary summer jobs until I found the career field I am in now.
    We had foreign workers there. One family was grandma, grandpa,Mom,Dad and their adult kid all working together.Thats what they did go from one cannery season to another.
    How many guys nowdays have multiple kids with multiple baby momma's and can't afford or barely affford the first one let alone the others. Way to many in my opinion.
    Cannery work (other than management)is a stepping stone or a fill in job just like McDonalds or similar jobs.
    "The closer I get to nature the farther I am from idiots"

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    Here's one take on the minimum wage hike from our friends in Seattle:

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/...to_effect.html

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