25 Jun '12, 12pm
Is the Midwest turning into one big cheap meat conveyor belt to the world? My latest:
If you’ve read any of the recent coverage of the meatpacking industry’s treatment of its workers — such as last year’s groundbreaking coverage of a Minnesota-based Hormel factory , or my recent post about workers throughout the food chain — you know that it’s a brutal, often inhumane industry. But it does tend to pay better than much of the other work that new immigrants can find. For that reason, Cargill plants like the one in the article, which is described as “a 430,000-square-foot concrete slaughterhouse that turns almost 20,000 hogs a day into meat,” are more or less changing the face of immigration in this country. The plant and the surrounding community it employs are described as emblematic of the way job-seeking immigrants have begun moving to rural and suburban areas, rather than big cities like Chicago and New York.