Work for foreign immigrants in steel works

There has been much controversy over the use of foreign immigrants for jobs in western steel works to build stainless steel pipes for example. Up until the use of immigrants these jobs were usually done by men or women who lived in houses close to the steel works. Immigrants
are usually brought in when there is a high demand for a product and not enough workers to fulfill the task. For the employer bringing in immigrants to do these jobs usually cuts down on the amount they have to pay out in wages, as immigrants often offer their services at a far cheaper rate.

CF&I is a good example of this. CF&I was a firm which in the late 1800’s was of high industrial importance and played a crucial role in Americas history. The firm was established in 1872 and was the first vertically integrated steel mill, which could be found west of the Missisippi River. CF&I as the only mill of its kind at the time needed thousands of employees to keep the company in operation, so with the promise of work within the mill immigrants flooded in. The workers and there wives traveled from all over the globe to the steel mill – African-Americans, Japanese, Greeks, Germans, Mexicans, Croatians, to name but a few. The immigrants families were provided with homes, schools, shops and were even allocated their own doctor.

This obviously caused controversy within the local community, as it does in todays society. CF&I did there best to keep relationships with locals and immigrants on an even keel, but the atmosphere around the mill was tense and often ended in conflict.

All steel manufacturers that take on foreign immigrants for cheaper labour, are faced with often hostile workers that have lived and worked within the community all their lives, and feel that standards of immigrants work isn’t to the same as their own, like some researches on pipe clamps (Rohrschellen) show. While ever immigrants are migrating to chase the money in western society we as a nation are going to be faced with this problem. It is an age old problem not one that has just got worse in recent years, this has always happened.

Sheffield in the United Kingdom once renowned for its production in steel has this problem now. Immigrants from Poland are now coming in and taking jobs from tradesman who have trained hard to get where they are today. Often working for 3 times less than an English tradesman would work for. This is causing problems for people who live in Sheffield trying to find work and they are often having to travel to find work (much as the immigrants are). But while ever the immigrants are willing to work at a cut cost this problem is going to continue.

Most of the western countries have been affected by the influx of immigrants into their country. The steel works is just one of the chosen places of work for migrant workers, but as the steel industry isn’t as affluent as in the past then immigrants are now choosing jobs which are often unskilled and easier to find.