SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Wages & seasonal hiring practices
By Joey Garcia


March 11, 2011
Friday PM

First of all I wanted to touch on the subject on the wage separation of the City of Ketchikan and the Borough concept in seasonal job budgetary functions and to learn better in order to keep my mouth shut I guess.

The City of Ketchikan hires the seasonal Port Security Officers, a summertime job, with an hourly stipened of $15/hour. The same, but lesser hours, also has opened for the Ketchikan Gateway Borough, they call as "Airport Ambassadors", whose job mainly is a watchdog for sports fishermen coming to Alaska during the summertime, coordinates with the Airport Police in vehicles illegally discharging their passengers and leaving their vehicles unattended, but the bulk of their job are being watchdogs for the fish baskets from concessions like local airline services.

The $12/hour budget layout is being shared by float plane concessionaires who seemed to overstep the functions of the Borough Administrative Staff in their own power-play scheme to priotized the airport ambassadors limited time duty to their own concession customers, or else, a report goes to Adam Archibald that airport ambassadors are leaving their fish baskets unattended when a personal call of nature are made by hired ambassadors.

Regretfully, because of the need of the earnings by the latter, these are but stuffed into the ambassador's sense of deafness.  Just toying with a $64 dollar question - if the coffers of the City of Ketchikan can support a payrate scale of $15 an hour for Port Security people, why is it the Ketchikan Borough just can afford a $12 an hour scale, which is also shared by  like sports fisherman concessionaires?

The second thought regards the hiring by local fish processing companies os so called students from European countries. I made a 2 month study since the USCIS has included the Philippines as one country that can avail of the J visas, which was inadvertently misunderstood by a certain local person that they don't want to deal with the USCIS except to open their overseas student needs to agencies who handles the hiring for them?

The Phil agencies have sent a notice that students per se just could not afford being hired on what this local person termed as J visa's because school openings starts in June and in the European countries, they start September, thereby the Phil agencies, just could not quality, if a rule of law has got to be followed. The Phil agencies, in accordance to hiring protocol, can only qualify for the needs of some local fish processing companies if the student has studied fishing courses and is below the 35 year old student qualifications, otherwise, an H2B visa will be in order, but local management says a big NO NO to what is on the table.  

Question is, does the students coming from Ukraine, Turkey, Mexico, Jordan, China, who are hired by this local company study the required fishing courses in their countries? How many students have worked with this local company and returned to their countries short of what they earned as the hiring agencies are making a big killing in charging the students a round trip airline tickets, passports, and other expenses like paying for the daily local bunkhouse leases, but are assigned to work in a less hours a day at $8/an hour job?

What is the purpose of some local fish processing companies overseas hiring just forgetting the overseas workers if they cannot issue a regular H2B visas, and insists on a J visa?  

I will rest my case and I would like to help out those students in the Philippines whose parents are victims of worldwide disenfranchisement due to recent wars and catastrophies and have returned home awaiting for another overseas contract to work.

Is there a difference why this local fish processing company insists on a J visa rather than an H2B visas?  Or are they just exploiting these students because they need to wrap up their fishing contracts with the State of Alaska, even if valid grounds for assistance with the USCIS through a legitimate H2B visas can take the place of the J visas?  

Thank you.  

Joey Garcia
Ketchikan, AK


Received March 06, 2011 - Published March 11, 2011



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