19 January 2006

Photo du Jour: Our Best Guys Are On It

I took this picture last week on Jefferson Highway near Causeway--in the parking lot of the still closed Picadilly Cafeteria. Care to guess how many contracted individuals are local? Care to guess how many of these individuals speak English? Care to guess how many of these individuals are likley not American citizens? The title of this post is in refence to that commercial a few years ago where a guy is calling a repair shop to check on the status of his car. The guy at the shop on the phone looks up the man's car--and these two workers are sitting ontop of the car eating their lunch and he repsonds: "My best guys are on it . . ." This picture sorta reminds of that . . . Not breaking news, but the majority of the big time "no bid" type contracts for the New Orleans cleanup effort were given to a handfull of politically-connected corporations which in turn hire predominately non-American workers to physically do the work.

Myself and a couple of friends went over to Fellini's on North Carrollton for lunch today--they got about two feet of water inside the building during the flood, but have renovated and are open. The subject of the Red Cross and Salvation Army came up in regards to both of these continuing to hand out free lunches. One of my friends made a good observation: everytime he passes the Salvation Army or Red Cross "chuck" wagon parked at the Mid City intersection of Tulane/South Carrollton (this spot has been used nearly every day by both for its apparent central location) the majority of the queue waiting in line for free food is not legitimate, needy local residents, but instead out-of-town/out-of-country contract laborers. So just like the Wal-Mart method of not offering affordable insurance/health care to its employees and instead forcing that burden upon the social/health programs of cash-strapped state governments, legitimate charity organizations meant to help the victims of a disaster instead are basically a free catering service for the contract-holding corporations and their contract laborers.


At January 20, 2006 7:48 AM, Blogger Schroeder said...

Yep! Right on the money. I've wanted to say something about those food trucks catering to out of town contractors for weeks. I'm glad you did it!

At January 20, 2006 8:58 AM, Blogger Mr. Clio said...

Funny. I haven't seen anything about this in the national media. Well done.

At January 20, 2006 9:07 PM, Blogger Steve said...

Let me first say; dang I miss me some Picadilly,

Secondly; the contracted workers & corporation thing as far as I've ever seen, was only handled by NPR and once NBC did a very small bit on it. They talked with a contracter who said the jobs he and his crew could do were taken up by big companies (I THINK Haliburton was directly mentioned) and all the city could offer him was trash detail.

Thirdly; are they (Red Cross)denying locals meals? Are they giving these out in an area where locals cant access them? Im kind of fuzzy on this point.

At January 20, 2006 9:42 PM, Blogger Seymour D. Fair said...


The Red Cross is NOT denying locals meal--by any means. Needy (and non-needy) locals are getting food from them--my point is that in many cases there are more contractors in line regularly getting the free food than local needy citizens for which it is intended.

I've got a personal story about the Red Cross trucks from a couple of weekends ago that I've been meaning to post. Stay tuned . . .

At January 21, 2006 9:34 AM, Blogger Steve said...

Oh, ok, thanks for clarifying that Seymour, I wasn't exactly sure what you meant! Yeah, thats not cool if theyre keeping people from getting food they need just to save a buck.

I wonder if there is some way the RC can regulate that sort of thing? I mean, as someone who went out and raised money and help for Katrina relief, that pisses me off to think that someone might be freeloading off of my hard work. You know, that really gets my goat; I dont live close enough to offer physical help (otherwise I would have been there from the begining), and being in North Carolina means that I basically have to do what I can from up here.

Seymour, keep us posted on this, and let me know when you do your post, as I'll cross post it across all the blogs and boards I run around.


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