Fruit-picking jobs not so plentiful

In response to the letters “Ag jobs show guest workers needed” and “How many willing to pick fruit?”:

After reading the article about pickers needed in “Northwest Briefly” on Oct. 17, I decided to drive over to Wenatchee to see about picking apples. I am an unemployed carpenter so hard physical labor is not new to me. I also knew that making $150 a day was not likely. That is what the top pickers make and I am far from a top picker. I had a place to stay over there and figured if I could make at least $80 a day it would be worth my while.

There was no contact information in the article so off I drove. I got a number to contact at a convenience store in Cashmere. They had taken down an advertisement Sunday and I was the second person to ask about picking Monday. The number they gave me was for Wenatchee Work Source. They needed pickers. They asked me if I had any experience. I told them I had picked on weekends in college 30 years ago. They told me they wanted pickers with at least a season of experience. (Three months.) They couldn’t help me.

I drove back to Dryden to NW Wholesale Inc. They packed pears but gave me numbers to contact.

•Blue Star: I called and they told me they were pretty much done.

Stimilt: They also told me they were pretty much done. But gave me a number to

Stimilt East Unit: I got an answering machine and left a message.

I then drove from Dryden to Wenatchee on all the back roads looking for any “pickers needed” signs. I saw none. I called Stimilt again at 4:30 p.m. and got an answering machine and left a message. It is now Wednesday and I am here in Mountlake Terrace still waiting for a return call.

I am a U.S. born Anglo American willing and able to climb those ladders and pick that fruit.

I did not get the chance.

Daniel E. Thrasher
Mountlake Terrace

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