The New Yorker has a piece by Jane Mayer about the working conditions at a poultry plant in Selby, Delaware, owned by the Mountaire Corporation.
"The jobs at Mountaire rank as among the most dangerous and worst paid in America. Government statistics indicate that poultry and meat-processing companies report more severe injuries than other industries commonly assumed to be more hazardous, including coal mining and sawmilling. Between 2015 and 2018, on average, a slaughterhouse worker lost a body part, or went to the hospital for in-patient treatment, about every other day. Unlike meatpackers, two-thirds of whom belong to unions, only about a third of poultry workers are represented by organized labor—and those who are unionized face mounting pressure. The industry, which is dominated by large multinational corporations such as Mountaire, has grown increasingly concentrated, expanding its political influence while replacing unionized employees with contract hires, often immigrants or refugees. These vulnerable workers are technically hired by temp agencies, relieving poultry plants of accountability if documentation is lacking."
While the pandemic actually has made things worse, this is just part of the wild story that Mayer tells, encompassing government, politics, money, religion, and families tied and untied.
It is a long one, but if you've got the time and interest, you can read it here.
- KC's View:
When I say "long," I mean it … this article is close to 9,000 words.
That's par for the course at The New Yorker. In another life, like 40 years ago, I did public relations for the the magazine, and we used to have to promote things like 5,000-word pieces about bread.
This one is fascinating, and timely as hell.