Local business hiring Mexican workers for $18.00 an hour

Camille Briggs BUNA BASED SOUTHEAST TEXAS INDUSTRIES SAYS IT HAS EXHAUSTED EFFORTS TO FIND QUALIFIED WORKERS IN SOUTHEAST TEXAS.
COMPANY REPRESENTATIVES SAY THEY'VE BEEN FORCED TO GO ACROSS THE BORDER TO SEEK OUT EMPLOYEES.

THE COMPANY'S ATTORNEY PETITIONED THE VIDOR CITY COUNCIL TONIGHT TO ALLOW THEM TO HOUSE UP TO 100 DOCUMENTED MEXICAN WORKERS ON SITE ... TO FILL ITS NEED.
REPRESENTS FROM LOCAL LABOR UNIONS EACH TOOK TURNS VOICING THEIR DISAPPROVAL OF SOUTHEAST TEXAS INDUSTRIES DURING THURSDAY'S VIDOR CITY COUNCIL MEETING.

Jerry Wayne Pillsbury/Pipefitters Union

"It's 2006 and we are setting up concentrations camps. They work 12 hour days ... 7 days a week ... Have we progressed to that."


SOUTHEAST TEXAS INDUSTRIES' ATTORNEY ... JIM WIMBERLEY IS ASKING THE VIDOR CITY COUNCIL TO ALLOW HIS CLIENT TO HOUSE DOZENS OF MEXICAN WORKERS IN A FENCED IN AREA ON SITE.

Jim Wimberley/Southeast Texas Industries

"There's going to be a communication problem. This is not something my client wanted to do. This is a last resort."

WIMBERLEY SAYS THE COMPANY HAS WORKED FOR MONTHS TRYING TO HIRE LOCAL SKILLED LABOR, BUT HAS COME UP SHORT.

Jim Wimberley/Southeast Texas Industries

"Just to be clear $18 an hour is what you are paying them right? For steel workers, yes ma'am."


SO THE COMPANY WANTS TO HIRE UP TO 100 MEXICAN WORKERS UNTIL THE JOB MARKET IMPROVES OR UNTIL THE JOB IS DONE.

Jim Wimberley/Southeast Texas Industries

"The maximum they could stay here is 10 months. You can bring in another crew in for 10 months then our contract would be up."


Camille Briggs/Reporting

"The company plans to house up to 100 Mexican workers on the property next to its main building. Their food, lodging and utilities would be paid for by the company. Union members say if they are paying them $18 an hour ... That just doesn't add up."


Jerry Wayne Pillsbury/Pipefitters Union

"I would believe he is paying a handful of guys $18 an hour, but I would bet you the average wage is $14."


PILLSBURY BELIEVES THERE ARE PLENTY OF LOCAL WORKERS AVAILABLE AND WILLING TO WORK IF THE COMPANY IS PAYING A FAIR WAGE.

HE BELIEVES THE MEXICAN WORKERS ARE BEING EXPLOITED AND NEIGHBORS ARE CONCERNED THAT VITAL REVENUE IS LEAVING THE AREA.

RIGHT NOW THERE ARE SEVERAL TRAILERS LOCATED NEXT TO THE COMPANY AND NEIGHBORS SAY ABOUT 50 MEXICAN WORKERS ARE ALREADY THERE.

RIGHT NOW THE COMPANY IS TRYING TO FIND THE TYPE OF HOUSING THAT WILL MEET THE CITY'S REQUIREMENTS.

For more listen to: Talk Show America 5/18/2006

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