Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Coming home to roost

As part of my job here at Land Line, I check different government Web sites to find stories tied to trucking. Occasionally the straight-laced headlines on news released here or here are comical, whether they’re meant to be or not.

When I searched this morning and found this story, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.

Five workers at the Richard Bolling Federal Building in downtown Kansas City were indicted for using false Social Security numbers. Yes, it’s the very same 18-story building that houses 4,000 federal employees who are everything from

human resources to the Department of Commerce to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

It seems five employees of the building’s cafeteria used Social Security numbers that weren’t their own, and each was charged with Social Security number fraud, identity theft and making false statements to the government.

The federal government’s refusal to formally address how to handle illegal immigration has come back to embarrass Uncle Sam.

Another headline at the ICE news release site showed that 23 workers were recently arrested at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. A temporary employment agency apparently helped the 23 workers get unauthorized access to secure areas at the airport including the tarmac. That story is available here.

When U.S. companies and apparently the U.S. government profited from cheap labor while looking the other way, the demand for illegal labor and competition between firms artificially deflated services and salaries immeasurably.

We can only hope that the congressional repudiation of Mary Peters’ bid to implement cross-border trucking between Mexico and the U.S. will prevent similar deflation to hurt trucking.

Mom and pop trucking operations are counting on it.