Wisconsin official says seasonal jobs should go to locals instead of foreigners

Posted Monday, August 9, 2004 10:11 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Summer visitors to Wisconsin may be noticing accents beyond the usual cheeseland variety as hundreds of foreign teenagers are staffing tourist magnets like the Dells and Door County. Wisconsin's tourism secretary wants to start a new effort to promote the state's seasonal tourism jobs to its own out-of-work residents. Gurnee's Six Flags Great America in neighboring Illinois also employs foreign workers.

Read more from AP via The Chicago Sun Times.

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Monday, August 9, 2004 10:34 AM
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Monday, August 9, 2004 11:16 AM
Thats a nice gesture. Too bad there are not enough of us who live in the tourist areas. And those who live there won't work 2 jobs, and some are just plain 'above' some of the jobs parks offer.*** This post was edited by Agent Johnson 8/9/2004 4:48:01 PM ***
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Monday, August 9, 2004 11:17 AM
I can't see it. Local teens and college students, yes. But not adults with families who are out of work. They want jobs with benefits, and a seasonal job doesn't provide them.
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Monday, August 9, 2004 11:29 AM
Hello post that didn't show up...

Anyway, as I was trying to say...

Folks seem to take offense to foreign workers filling the job openings that show up around local amusement parks. My question is "who else will fill them?"

Locals don't always want just a seasonal job and somebody has to fill the openings, right?

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Monday, August 9, 2004 11:32 AM
That's what kills me about the "anti-foreigner" attitude that people have. If they're going outside of the country to hire people, it's because the locals won't or can't take the jobs! I worked with a ton of Chinese and Indian immigrants at my last job, and they moved here for the work. The company couldn't fill the jobs with us "white boys," so they had no choice.
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Monday, August 9, 2004 12:21 PM
The companies wouldn't go through the hassle of hiring foreign workers if they didn't have to. It's a pain in the booty (with visas, work permits, and whatnot).

Anyway, my experience working with the exchange students (as opposed to foreign workers) was a very positive one. We made a lot of friends from all over the world and learned a lot about other places and cultures.

If anything, it is a form of education for the local kids. Perhaps the taxpayers should pay the parks to bring them over. ;)

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Monday, August 9, 2004 12:36 PM
Maybe the tourism secretary should have a chat with the state employment secretary to figure out why foreigners are being employed.I wonder what he would suggest these out of work employees do when the season is over?
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Monday, August 9, 2004 1:01 PM
Agent J hit the nail on the head. The locals won't work service jobs, especially for minimum wage. Trouble is there isn't much else to do around there.
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Monday, August 9, 2004 1:39 PM
The hiring of foreign workers by many companies in the US is not a coincidence. It is done for a reason - the bottom line. Foreign workers tend to be more willing and accepting to work for minimum wage (or lower); they are also less familiar with the laws regarding workers right in this country allowing companies to make them overtime without overtime compensation. Work forces comprised of foreigners can make a huge impact on the bottom line of a company.
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Monday, August 9, 2004 4:57 PM
I think there is a little more to it when it comes to parks though. The work is seasonal and foreign exchange students only live here for a limited time. I think it is a good thing for parks.

For other types of companies though, you do have a point. I worked for a company with several foreign workers who were regularly threatened with being layed off if they didn't put in overtime (and since they were salaried, they were paid less for their hours). The problem with the H1 visas was that if you lose a job, you only have a few weeks to find a new one or say goodbye. The managers knew this and took full advantage of it.

It wasn't fair for the workers and it wasn't fair for the workers who did not get jobs because someone was forced to work hours that should have gone to a new employee.

What should be done about it? Perhaps the branch of the government responsible for issuing the work visas (Immigration?) should monitor the working conditions more closely (including hours and wages). Companies should be penalized for doing this.

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Monday, August 9, 2004 5:56 PM
I was at the Dells in July. It was amazing how many foreign workers there were. At the motels and restaurants I noticed this most. The parks seemed to have a majority of American workers. Did not have any problems with service the entire time. I asked a local what the population of Dells was and she told me 1200-1500. This seemed reasonable since there were not a lot of residential housing tracks seen in the area. Needless to say, there is no possible way they could have this tourist trap (I love tourist traps by the way) unless these foreign workers stepped in.

P.S. Most of these workers were white by the way. Seemed like a Scandinavian accent. I'm terrible with understanding accents though......

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 12:31 AM
Could be Scandinavian, but I was thinking more like Romanian. I noticed this at Mt. O back in early June and was wondering if their employees might all be somehow related. I have no problem with them other than that they weren't very friendly.
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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 10:02 AM
At My Olympus, nobody was friendly. Down the road at Timber Falls they were as nice as can be. The restaurants were filled with nice employees.

P.S. Paul Bunyans (sp?) is a family style restaurant that is awesome IF you like family style!

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 12:41 PM
I don't care if you're an *alien* from Eastern Europe or from Tralfamadore, if you do a good job, work hard, and smile often, you're a great person to work at an amusement park. If it hadn't been for the in-migration of "the best and the brightest" before and during WWII, we'd probably all be speaking German right now!

Seriously though, I'm ALL for Americans having jobs, but more and more I see that a lot of younger Americans (not OUR posters, mind you) who believe they EARN their paychecks by punching the time clock...let's set the bar a BIT higher than that, huh?

I interact with LOADS of Asians at my work, and ENJOY the differences in cultures....much like when I travel OUR country to find different *cultures*...:)

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Tuesday, August 10, 2004 1:46 PM
Or you could always have the doctor swab the back of your throat. ;)

By the way, VERY nice KV reference. ;)

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