Sakada Corner, Fil-Am Observer December 2010 Issue
Sakada Feature, Page 8
VICTORIO Palaslas Layaoen came all the way from Batac, moved to Oahu, then to Kauai, then to the Big Island, and then finally to Maui, and never left until he passed on to the next life.
It is a story of courage. It is also a story of a life lived to the fullest.
Born on August 28, 1908 in then a very rural Batac, a town south of Laoag City, in the Philippines, at 19 and restless for something bigger and grander than what Ilocos in those days could offer, he took the plunge to go to Hawaii.
That was in 1928. From Port Salomague in Cabugao, he took the S. S. President Lincoln, and in the rough seas, thought of a peaceful, productive life somewhere in the islands yonder where sugarcane plants and pineapples grew in abundance.
He landed in Oahu, worked there some time; he moved on to Kauai, worked there for some time; he moved to the Big Island, worked there for some time; and then finally, moved to Maui where he worked forever until he retired in 1974 at 65.
Maui was his kadagaan—that Ilokano mindset that talks about the land that is yours for the keeping, at least metaphorically, if not literally. He worked for the HC&S and lived at McGerrow Camp. Later on, he transferred to Maui Pineapple Company at Haliimaile.
The legacy of a long past vibrant agricultural community in Haiku Maui are the remaining building that were involved in the canning of Pineapple. These structures have become one with the landscape as if they were giant mushrooms with doors and windows. They’ve been used for industrial purposes and storage for years. The industry has been small scale mostly concentrating on had crafted products such as cabinets and surfboards.
Little prepares the visitor to the Nelson Factory, in the Pauwela Cannery, for the sight of their CNC (computer numerical control) machine. Open a small nondescript door and suddenly you are in the engine room of the star ship enterprise. The scale of this 8000lb. machine is mind-boggling. It can carve a 16 foot piece of anything: aluminum, wood and foam for surfboards, sailboards and stand up paddle boards. It is so big it can shape 3 short boards at once and even pieces of canoes to be assembled later into full size canoes. But despite the display of industrial strength and brute force the devise is surprisingly sensitive: able to shave to a wafer delicate foam for the ultra thin noses of modern short boards while a regular planer would snap the nose off instantly.
The industrial uses are limitless, “Do you need a part for your yacht, race car, telescope or nuclear submarine?” The machine has digital probes which can scan almost any shape to the highest tolerances. And it is in the Pauwela Cannery on West Kuiaha!
The Nelson Factory website is as impressive and high tech as their CNC mill. Click Here to view a video of the CNC Milling machine in action. The website, the videos and 3D displays of the products have all been produced by Photographer Christian Gröger. Be sure to view his striking Haleakala Maui sunrise Pano (choose the full screen view) and his latest project the Kunsthalle Bremen Virtual Tour.
Here is the PDF file for the *Hawaii Agricultural Labor* Report.
Please visit the website for more information: http://www.nass.usda.gov/hi/
USDA NASS Hawaii Field Office
1421 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96814-2512
Hawaii Agricultural Labor
In Cooperation with the Hawaii Department of Agriculture
Number of hired workers down 10 percent
Hawaii?s agricultural hired work force totaled 6,300 during the July 8-14, 2007 survey week, down 10 percent from a year ago. Diversified agricultural workers accounted for 81 percent of all farm labor and at 5,100 workers, it was down 5 percent from July 2006. Pineapple and sugarcane workers were combined to avoid disclosure of individual operations and totaled 1,200 workers (does not include mill or cannery workers) during the July 8-14, 2007 survey week, down 27 percent from July 2006.
Average wage rate up 7 percent
The average wage paid to all hired workers during the July survey period was a record-high $12.87 per hour, 56 cents higher than July 2006. The combined average wage for field and livestock workers also reached a new record high at $10.89 per hour, up 51 cents from July 2006. Hawaii farms employing from 1 to 9 workers paid an average of $10.90 per hour for all hired workers, while the combined average wage for field and livestock workers was $10.28 an hour.
U.S. hired workers up 1 percent from a year ago
There were 1,205,000 hired workers on the Nation?s farms and ranches during the week of July 8-14, 2007, up 1 percent from a year ago. Of these hired workers, 847,000 workers were hired directly by farm operators. Agricultural service employees on farms and ranches made up the remaining 358,000 workers.
Farm operators paid their hired workers an average wage of $10.04 per hour during the July 2007 reference week, up 32 cents from a year earlier. Field workers received an average of $9.31 per hour, up 38 cents from last July, while livestock workers earned $9.80 per hour compared with $9.49 a year earlier. The field and livestock worker combined wage rate, at $9.44 per hour, was up 37 cents from last year.
The number of hours worked averaged 41.6 hours for hired workers during the survey week, up 1 percent from a year ago.
Source: Farm Labor, August 17, 2007, National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Agricultural Statistics Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Hawaii?s agricultural hired work force totaled 7,000 during the October 8-14 2006 survey week, 3 percent more than a year ago, but unchanged from the previous survey week of July 9-15, 2006. Diversified agricultural workers accounted for 77 percent of all farm labor and at 5,400 workers, it was up 1 percent from July 2006. The sugarcane industry employed 650 farm workers (does not include mill workers) during the survey week, unchanged from July 2006. Farm workers in the pineapple industry decreased 5 percent from the previous quarter to 950 (does not include cannery workers).
Average wage rate up 6 percent
The average wage paid to all hired workers during the October survey period was a record high $12.47 an hour, 74 cents more than October 2005. The combined average wage for field and livestock workers also set a new record high at $10.69 an hour, 51 cents above a year ago.
Farms employing from 1 to 9 workers paid an average of $11.16 per hour for all hired workers, while the combined average wage for field and livestock workers was $9.78 an hour.
Full Report Here