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A California Oil Patch Worker Says Not All The Aliens Are In The Fields
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May 12, 2006, 05:00 AM
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05/11/06 - A California Reader Says Immigration-Free Japan Is The Model To Follow

From: [Name Withheld]

I hear all the time about illegals in agriculture and the restaurant businesses.

What I never hear about is one other place they are employed: the California oilfields.

Here in Kern County, our Mexican friends do the majority of the unskilled and semi-skilled labor in the oil patch.

Many, many truck drivers are not citizens. As the oil companies squeeze their sub-contractors and service providers to make ever-growing cuts in their costs, alien labor becomes the only way to survive.

Trust me, the operating allowances given the Aera Energy, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum employees who operate the leases in Kern County are not increased even though the parent company makes more money every year.

The cost-cutting mantra is everywhere.

What`s an honest trucking company or other contractor to do? If he wants to stay in business, he pares his costs to the bone.

Enter the alien truck driver. They work cheaply, safely enough and rarely cause trouble. And they will work long past their Department of Transportation safety limits and never complain about it.

Eventually only cheating will keep your costs low enough to stay even with competitors, since all working relationships are based exclusively on a price/cost ratio.

Remember that the next time you read about a semi truck from the oilfields involved in a head on collision.

What I also see is that many of the Mexican lower class workers and their families have no desire to become American in any way, shape or form. What they want is Mexico with American wages.

The writer requested anonymity because he still works in the oil patch and would like to "keep his job."