<뉴욕타임스> 불법 이민 단속의 여파 심각

IMMIGRANT CRACKDOWN UPENDS HISPANIC-HEAVY WORK FORCE
  조회:  3,002   등록 일자: October 11   카테고리: 
타 힐 (노스 캐롤라이나 주) – 작년 11월에 이민국 직원들이 한밤 중에 이곳에 있는 스미스필드 푸즈의 거대한 도살장을 급습하여 21명의 불법 이민을 공장 현장에서 잡아들였으며 숙소인 트레일러에서 묵고 있던 여러 불법 이민들이 잠을 설치게 했다. 그 후 세계 최대 규모인 이곳의 돈육 처리 시설에서 일하던 5200 명의 직원들 중 1100 명 이상의 히스패닉계 직원들이 직장을 떠났다. 이에 따라 이 공장은 직원들을 보충하고 훈련하고 유지하느라 고통을 겪고 있다. (ⓒ 2007 The New York Times) (ⓒ 2007 usabriefing.net) Byline:STEVEN GREENHOUSE TAR HEEL, N.C. -- Last November, immigration officials began a crackdown at Smithfield Foods' giant slaughterhouse here, eventually arresting 21 illegal immigrants at the plant and rousting others from their trailers in the middle of the night. Since then, more than 1,100 Hispanic workers have left the 5,200-employee hog-butchering plant, the world's largest, leaving it struggling to find, train and keep replacements. Across the country, the federal effort to flush out illegal immigrants is having major effects on workers and employers alike. Some companies have reluctantly raised wages to attract new workers after raids at their plants. After several hundred immigrant employees at its plant in Stillmore, Ga., were arrested, Crider Poultry began recruiting workers from Minnesota. So far, Smithfield has largely replaced the Hispanics with American workers, who often leave poorly paid jobs for higher wages at the plant here. But the turnover rate for new workers -- many find the work grueling and the smell awful -- is twice what it was when Hispanics dominated the work force. Making Smithfield's recruiting challenge even harder is the fact that many local residents have worked there before and soured on the experience. As a result, Smithfield often looks far afield for new employees. Fannie Worley, a longtime resident of Dillon, S.C., quit her $5.25-an-hour, part-time job making beds at a Days Inn four months ago to take a $10.75-an-hour job at Smithfield. But Worley remains ambivalent. "It pays a lot better," she said. "But the trip is too long." "The big problem is we lost a lot of people who were there a long time," said Dennis Pittman, a Smithfield spokesman. "We have been facing difficulties in hiring for a number of years because as the economy got better, the labor market became much tighter." The challenge, Pittman said, has been training new employees to handle the highest skilled jobs at a plant that processes 30,000 hogs a day. The way Hector David, a longtime worker from Mexico who quit in February, sees it, Smithfield had been eager to hire Hispanics because they worked so hard. "The Americans just don't work as well," David said. "In Mexico, we work from the age of 5 in the corn fields. We're used to working hard." Pittman said Smithfield did its best to ensure that immigrant employees had legitimate documentation. But many workers said Smithfield did not look too hard at the paperwork. As for the workers who remain at the plant, many wonder why so many new employees come from South Carolina. Gene Bruskin, the director of the unionization campaign, sees a simple explanation: "Thousands and thousands of workers from North Carolina have come through the plant, and they left, saying, 'No way,' because they were injured or didn't want to work in such an oppressive atmosphere," Bruskin said. "This plant burned up a large number of people, and the word got around about their bad experiences." ... (ⓒ 2007 The New York Times) (ⓒ 2007 usabriefing.net)
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