On Tuesdays of each week the so-called Landscapers visit my community (Glen Oaks Ridge), and the neighbouring community (Glen Oaks Manor).
It's a day for ear plugs.
First the mowers, then the trimmers, then the edgers, then the grass and leaf blowers. I can look forward to ten hours of horrid noise.
The landscaping companies use those enormous ride-on mowing machines, equipped as they are with two stroke engines: notorious for their noise and their stinking exhaust fumes.
The company which services my community also uses a "ride-on" leaf and glass blower. It sounds like a Sherman Tank (sans tracks) being driven down the street. It's a ghastly noise. This machine is also highly inefficient. I watched as one driver took three passes on my driveway, yet still left "un-blown" grass.
See my Facebook page for photo's of these noise making, fume spewing machines,
The noise on "Terrible Tuesdays" sets me on edge.
The machines they use are based on late 19th Century technology. They are big, inefficient, clumsy, and horribly noisy.
Why is it that in this high-tech age the lawn mowing machines are so primitive? Is it beyond the wit of engineers and designers to create quiet, eco-friendly lawn care machines?
Beyond that edge, I get very angry as I consider the lives of the workers.
Most of them are immigrants from Mexico (whether legal or undocumented I do not know, nor do I care).
They are paid $8 per hour, ( or $12 per hour if they are the truck drivers - and such drivers are few and far between for most landscaping companies).
It seems that in Florida such workers have no mandatory legal health-care protections, which means (for example) that their employer is not bound to issue ear-plugs or face masks: thus building up future health care problems.
They work for up to ten hours per-day in hot and steamy weather. Should it be a rainy day when lawn mowing is impossible - then they do not earn a single cent.
Let's suppose that a worker is lucky enough to get the standard 40 hour week. (That would unlikely in Florida's rainy season).
She or he would net about $320 per week (before deductions for social security and income tax). He or she would have no health care insurance.
He or she would be more than lucky to find an apartment at a monthly rental of less than $800 per month, i.e about 80% of income.
That is why our essential immigrant workers are deserving of our support. They do the work which we distain. They are under-paid and under-protected.