Houston based Encompass Services Corp ESR on the New York Stock Exchange said

Houston based encompass services corp esr on the new

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Houston-based Encompass Services Corp (ESR on the New York Stock Exchange) said in 2000 that it is the largest building maintenance contractor in the $67-billion-a-year US janitorial services business. However, janitors employed in buildings for which Encompass holds cleaning contracts are not Encompass employees; instead, they are employees of subcontractors that Encompass hires to satisfy its cleaning contracts. These subcontractors compete with each other to clean the buildings for which Encompass has the cleaning contracts, just as farm labor contractors compete with each other for the business of picking the raisin grapes in a particular vineyard. Some of the subcontractors complain that Encompass offers them the equivalent of $7 an hour for janitors, which barely covers the minimum wage and required payroll taxes. According to the California Economic Development Department's underground economy task force, janitorial services have joined garments and agriculture as industries in which labor and tax law violations are common. Janitorial services were added to the Targeted Industries Partnership Program in 1999, which has 45 investigators to focus on labor law violations in targeted industries. The regulatory system that is evolving to try to get janitorial contractors to abide by labor laws is similar to that used to police farm labor contractors. Under proposed legislation, janitorial contractors would have to be licensed by the state. If Encompass or a building owner hired an unlicensed janitorial contractor, Encompass or the building owner would be jointly liable with the contractor for any labor and tax law violations (Migration News, August, 2000) There is no magic bullet policy that can convert illegal workers into legal guest workers and make everyone better off. Many of those who look at the presence of an estimated six million unauthorized foreigners in the US, including up to 5 million unauthorized workers in the US labor force, think that there must be a better way, and they propose amnesties, guest worker programs, and stepped-up labor law enforcement. The lessons of history suggest caution. History suggests that it may be easier and wiser in the long run to encourage labor-saving mechanization rather than to try to upgrade and manage the wages and working conditions of low-skilled immigrant workers. 2.3.12
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NAFTA and the Migration Hump In 1990, Mexican President Salinas proposed a free trade agreement with the US. Canada, which had entered into a free trade agreement with the US in 1989, joined the negotiations for what became the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA went into effect on January 1, 1994, 8 with the goal of lowering barriers to trade and investment and thus spurring job and wage growth in the three member countries. Although general agreements on migration were not part of the NAFTA, the hope that NAFTA-led economic development would reduce the volume of unauthorized Mexico-US migration was a major reason why some wavering US Congressional representatives in the end voted for NAFTA.
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