Regarding the staffing trouble Luke’s Lobster co-founder Ben Coniff expressed concern about in his July 6 column, I think the heartwarmingly disguised “help wanted” ad was lacking. First off, I am in full support of expediting the work permit process and making the immigration process more efficient and easier – we are and always will be a nation of immigrants. But I am not in support of expediting the work permit process solely so businesses can have more access to inexpensive labor.

Coniff states that Luke’s Lobster has not reached 75 percent of its full production capacity in the last two years but customer demand has remained strong since opening. To better remedy Coniff’s labor concerns, perhaps he should focus on why people have left Luke’s Lobster’s employment instead of finding ways to acquire new employees. Simply, why not pay workers more? It is no business secret that workers will stay at a place where they feel they are being compensated fairly. If Luke’s Lobster has had strong customer demand while not having to pay a full staff, there should be some money that can be used to bump that hourly wage up.

Having asylum seekers take jobs that citizens aren’t taking because of their dislike of the job’s pay does nothing to help the inequality in our economy. Asylum seekers and immigrants won’t always be willing to work for less than current citizens. Improving the process of getting asylum seekers into the workforce is a noble pursuit, but it is only a band-aid for the developing labor shortage.

MacKenzie Hoglund

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