A Sustainable Workforce Starts With You

The Deadline “Majeure” is Looming

We have read and written about immigrants in the construction industry since this blog began. We have argued for and against issues that would improve the industry and would help create a sustainable workforce for the industry. We have watched the economic swings and the impact of technology being introduced into our jobsites.

Today, the heat has been turned up on the issue and all of its dimensions and ramifications. The president, politicians, and people are arguing one side or the other of the immigration factors from the wall to DACA to I-9, to ICE raids on construction sites. The March 5 deadline on DACA looms before Congress. President Trump has offered compromise; actually, he has offered to negotiate. There is a difference.

All sides are still determining their possible “Zones of Possible Agreement,” or ZOPA, where compromise and agreement by all parties are possible. Right now, the parties in Congress are still arguing over how far left or right they can stand on the issues. Interesting that the deadline is set for March 5, the day before the primaries, at least here in Texas.

The dailies and the “one liners” are publishing stories about illegals moving to churches and sanctuary cities for shelter from the impending outcomes.

This reminds me of negotiating with the Japanese. It is a lesson learned early by those who work in the international marketplace. You travel there or to a neutral location for talks and agreements. The businesses and government reps on the other side entertain you and “get to know you” from the moment you hit the ground. You ask, “When are we going to get this approved?” They respond with, “There is plenty of time, enjoy this great food. We will talk business tomorrow.” Tomorrow turns out to be when you are scheduled to depart and after they have gotten to know that you are expected to take back a negotiated agreement to your company or government. That is when they turn up the heat, turn off the charm, and often turn into real tough negotiators.

Congress is in that position right now with respect to NAFTA, DACA, the wall, and the other immigration and trade issues. Isn’t it time that we make a reasoned decision on these issues so that we can count on our workforce in the industry? I should think so. What do you think? How can we help Congress make the right decision?