Renewable Resources

What Do Our H2B Workers Earn?

There is a lot of miss information running around about how H2B workers are treated and how they are paid.

Our H2B workers are highly experienced and professional. They are clean, non-alcoholic, non- drug users, and none of them use tobacco. They come from remote, rural areas in Mexico and grew up working in the forests and farms of Mexico. This young man does not drink or smoke, his body is toned and he clearly understands what a row is.

If you contrast this background with low skilled American workers who often smoke, have been raised in the joystick environment of computer games, often in environments that are negatively effected by drugs and alcohol abuse; you have a contrast in human resources.

This is not to say that when I was a teenager planting trees across America that lower skilled American labor did not have similar issues. They often did, but with one major exception; they were physically fit.

They were fit, healthy and were often just good old county boys looking for fun, adventure, and earnings to pay for their excitement. And of course we had a few that saw tree planting as a way to step up and out of tough economic situations. These men were the ones who packed their seedlings the night before, turned in for a night's rest shortly after the sun had set and were the ones who had coffee ready for the rest of the crew at dawn. If the average planter finished 2,000 seedlings by 3:00pm, these men were on the hill until twilight and regularly planted 3,000 trees, a full 50% more than the fun loving core of the crew.

More often than not, the Americans who are now available for this work are out of shape, most use tobacco, and it is common for Americans seeking this low skilled labor work to have had issues with drugs and alcohol abuse. Not only are they unable to work at a productive rate, they are at risk for heart attacks, heat exhaustion and broken legs.

While I am over 50 years of age, I can still plant 2,000 quality seedlings a day and at a piece rate price of $40 to $50 per 1,000 seedlings planted, I can earn $8 to $12 per hour. This meets both our minimums for wages and production.

Program Issues

Enforcement of the Labor Laws that govern The Migrant Seasonal Worker Protection Act (MSPA) is very one sided. To drive this point home the state of Georgia has been either #1 or #2 in the total number of trees planted by state for years. Yet for the upcoming 2012/2013 season, the state does not even rank in the top 10 states applying for tree planters. What does this mean? No one is legally applying for visas to work in our state. This means that H2B Visa holding workers do not have a legal right to work in this state this coming winter. It also means that despite the state passing its own law against the use of undocumented workers, the state still has an underground illegal workforce.

It is worth noting that when we have reported crews of undocumented workers to the US DOL, the primary enforcer of MSPA, none of the offending operations have ever been caught. This despite us supplying the DOL with named Federal Contracts and actual housing and site locations.

It is a double standard for our company because we have been in one location and have had the same bank for the last 35 years. We are audited on a regular basis like sitting ducks.

We have been required to submit “Certified Payrolls” on many of our Federal Contracts in order to document that we are in compliance with our contracts and the Law. We were also required to provide I-9 Identity Verification forms for all of our employees that included copies of visas of our foreign workers.

Please see the following Certified Payrolls we offer as samples of what our workers, foreign and American, have earned on our contracts. We have paid for and received the best these men could give.

Certified Payrolls for Little Calumet Mitigation

Certified Payrolls for Key West Naval Air Station

Certified Payrolls for Acadia National Park

Past Performance Surveys

Renewable Resources
2222 Boyt Road
Yatesville, GA 31097
478.319.7278
info@renewforest.com
 
 
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