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deminks Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-29-11 06:18 AM
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The Jungle - 21st Century edition
Scanning the headlines, it becomes apparent how little we have done in 100 years.

How the Meat Industry Turned Abuse into a Business Model

http://motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2011/06/spam-factor...

As a long-time student of the meat industry, I read Ted Genoways' extraordinary article on conditions at the "head table" of a factory-scale pig-processing plant with delight. As a human being, my reaction was revulsion.

In a single long piece, Genoways lays out the crude history of US meat over the past 80 years. We get the unionization of the kill floor in the wake of Sinclair's The Jungle, the post-war emergence of meat packing as a proper middle-class job, the fierce anti-union backlash of the '70s, followed by corporatization, scaling up, plunging wages, and then, well, all manner of hell breaking loose, graphically documented by Genoways. All I can add to the story is to emphasize how forces in the broader economy turned the meat industry into one that profits not by putting out an excellent product, but rather by relentlessly slashing costs.

In his story, Genoways reports that Quality Pork Processors sped up its kill line by 50 percent between 1989 and 2006, while the plant's workforce "barely increased." The strange malady acquired by those workers in Austin, Minn., makes for an eye-popping story; but the rough conditions they worked under aren't the exceptionthey're industry standard. By 2005, things had gotten so dire for meat-packing workers that Human Rights Watchtypically on the lookout for atrocities in war zonessaw fit to issue a scathing report on their plight. The report's title says it all: "Blood, Sweat, and Fear."

(end snip)



Five Remain In Intensive Care Following Gas Leak at Springdale Tyson Plant

http://www.arkansasbusiness.com/article.aspx?aID=127438...

Five people injured in Mondays chlorine gas leak at a Tyson Foods Inc. plant in Springdale remain in intensive care and dozens are still hospitalized, Donnie King, senior group vice president of poultry and prepared foods, said at a news briefing Tuesday afternoon.

(An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the speaker.)

About 300 employees at the Berry Street plant were evacuated around 9:15 a.m. Monday after workers noticed fumes in the part of the building where fresh chickens are processed.

Of the 172 workers taken to five area hospitals for decontamination and assessment, 58 are still hospitalized, King said. Most are dealing with respiratory issues, he said, but he didnt have any specific information on their injuries.

Chlorine gas exposure can result in damage to moist tissues such as the eyes, throat and lungs, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention in Atlanta.

(end snip)

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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-29-11 06:32 AM
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1. K & R
I loved that book.
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