This story ran in the LA Times. Its another nail in the coffin of the radical right that says a guest worker program is not needed. A landscape company, willing to pay people, with experience, is offering $34 an hour. The owner isn't getting any takers. She is even willing to pay people off the street,without ANY experience, $14 an hour. The owner is a republican, her name is Cyndi Smallwood. She even has a signed photo of the Shrub hanging in her office from the RNC thanking her for her financial contribution. The author of the Times article asked her if she was going to vote republican again. This is the response printed in the paper: "Not hardly."
Cyndi has gone toe to toe with her local congressional representative regarding his stance against the guest worker program, Rep. Gary G. Miller (R-Diamond Bar). At one point Rep. Miller said his own son would work for the advertised $34 bucks an hour. Cyndi called his bluff and told him to send his son over, Miller agreed. Miller's son never showed up. According to the LA Times article...Miller declined to be interviewed.
Cyndi is one of the few landscaping companies that refuses to hire illegal's. She states on all her ads and flyers that documentation allowing a prospective employee to work in the U.S. is required. She states that as far as she can determine all her employees are here legally. She works for local and federal governments and schools districts. She must pay a "prevailing" wage when she works for the federal government on contracts such as highway beautification or drainage projects. She is having to pay overtime for the employees she does have because she is so short-handed. One of her supervisors is currently making over $52 an hour because of the overtime she must pay to finish her contracted jobs.
A conversation she had recently sets the tone for Cyndi's frustration. A car detailer, who states he makes around $60K a year refused a job with her even though he too works in the hot sun all day. He even admitted he would make more an hour working for Cyndi...but he also told her .."I don't want to work that hard".
Cyndi has posted her flyers at over half a dozen landscape supply stores, which would be seen by employees from other companies, legal or not. That one clause on the flyer "no application would be accepted "without verification of proper identification that allows you, by law, to work in the USA.", keeps her still waiting for a prospective applicant. She has had no takers as of the articles printing which is dated yesterday, May 18th.