November 11, 2005


Wooing Workers for New Orleans (GARY RIVLIN, 11/11/05, NY Times)

Burger King is offering a $6,000 signing bonus to anyone who agrees to work for a year at one of its New Orleans outlets. Rally's, a local restaurant chain, has nearly doubled its pay for new employees to $10 an hour.

On any given day, contractors and business owners pass out fliers in downtown New Orleans promising $17 to $20 an hour, plus benefits, for people willing to swing a sledgehammer or cart away stinking debris from homes and businesses devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Canal Street, once a crowded boulevard of commerce, now resembles a sparsely populated open-air job fair.

Ten weeks after Katrina, government officials and business leaders worry that a scarcity of able-bodied workers is hampering the area's recovery. In their desperation, they are using a variety of tactics to attract workers.

"I'd say I'm paying two to three times as much as I would in normal circumstances," said Iggie Perrin, the president of Southern Electronics, a supplier in New Orleans, who has offered as much as $30 an hour when seeking salvage workers on Canal Street.

We all know where they can find plenty of good and willing workers.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2005 9:56 AM

Any one who takes a $6000 signing bonus should be indicted for "price gouging" and subject to a "windfall profits tax."

The bastards! Taking advantage of some one's misfortune!

Posted by: Bruno at November 11, 2005 10:05 AM

I remember when Rally's started up in the mid-1980's in New Orleans. They sold burgers for something like $.25. Good stuff when you are drunk and Popeye's was passed up.

Posted by: pchuck at November 11, 2005 10:29 AM

Of course the big story on the morning news was about hurricane victims suing FEMA because they weren't getting paid fast enough for having decided to live in a flood zone.

Posted by: Lou Gots at November 11, 2005 10:58 AM

The law of supply and demand. Doncha just luv it.

Posted by: erp at November 11, 2005 11:23 AM

If those asking for handouts would work, this wouldn't be a problem. Since that isn't going to change, we need the immigrants. I have two immigrant employees that are thinking of going to NO for the high wages.

Posted by: Patrick H at November 11, 2005 12:28 PM

Wish them luck and send them on their way.

Posted by: tefta at November 11, 2005 2:09 PM