It is disappointing that some of your colleagues are pushing for returning H-2B visa holders to be exempted from the H-2B cap as part of the new spending bill. If they are successful, young and less-educated Americans who depend on these jobs will find be more likely to join the ranks of the permanently unemployed. Please do all you can to ensure that the next spending bill does not increase H-2B numbers.
Recently, the AFL-CIO expressed concern with the continued misuse of the H-2B program. William Samuel, the director of the AFL-CIO’s government affairs department, recently wrote to Congress:
“The recent experience of landscaping and groundskeeping workers provides a telling example of how [2015’s] H-2B riders exacerbate[d] the situation for workers by driving down wages and facilitating the shift away from permanent jobs toward temporary, contracted work. In FY14, employers saved, on average, between $2.59 and $3.37 per hour per worker by hiring H-2B landscaping workers, while the average unemployment rate for the industry was 12.7 percent during the same period. Similarly, construction laborers faced unemployment rates as high as 14.7 percent in 2013-2014, while employers continued to hire H-2B workers at a savings of an average $4.47 per hour per worker.”
H-2B visas don’t provide workers for jobs Americans won’t do, they provide workers for jobs Americans won’t do for substandard wages. Congress shouldn’t be in the business of making any Americans unemployable. Please do all you can to ensure that the next spending bill does not increase H-2B numbers.
Call me if you want to talk about this,
Greg Raven, Apple Valley, CA