Tuesday, May 6, 2008

AZ Guestworker Bills: Update

According to Truthout, Arizona lawmakers are now considering weakening laws designed to protect teen workers as a way to address the growing agricultural worker shortage. According to me and others who know way more than I do, the growing ag worker shortage is the result of actions of the same legislature to sanction employers who hire undocumented workers (a generations-old Arizona tradition held in highest regard until NAFTA), and actions of our resident Gestapoman, the Maricopa County Sheriff, Joe Arpaio. Arpaio: He of the immigrant round-ups, baby detentions, and parent deportations.

So anyway, now comes AZ state Republican Senator Jack Harper with a proposal aimed, in my opinion, rather more at trying to save some bone-stupid GOP lawmakers (including Jack Harper) from being bludgeoned by irate growers than at easing the growing shortage of agricultural workers, a synonym for Mexican immigrants of undetermined status.

Tuesday 06 May 2008

Phoenix - State lawmakers are weighing whether to let teens perform jobs now considered too hazardous for them under state law as one answer to the complaints of a labor shortage.

Sen. Jack Harper, R-Surprise, proposes removing current legal prohibitions that keep those younger than 18 from working as delivery drivers. Now those who have a license but have not reached that age can drive only if the duties are "incidental to the employment."

A more far-reaching measure would allow 14- and 15-year-olds to work on ladders or scaffolds up to 10 feet in height. That is double the current state restrictions.

And teens in that same age group could be on ladders 20 feet tall for picking fruit or pruning trees; the current state limit is eight feet.
That last one's a kicker, ain't it?

Read the rest of Truthout's summary here.

Also note well that according to AZ Democrat Marsha Arzberger, sponsor of S1508, one of the AZ slaveworker--er, guestworker--measures, Homeland Security Chief Chertoff has the unilateral power to make waivers in laws determining who can come into the homeland. If the guestworker bill sponsors and growers go that route, Congress's (and I suppose AZ legislators') votes on guestworker legislation would be rendered irrelevant.

Who needs Congress anyway! (That's sarcasm, by the way.)

When are we going to hear about unelected activist Cabinet secretaries? Just askin'.