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Sold for Parts: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

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  • Part 1: Sold for Parts
    • One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.
  • Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?
    • Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest 

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Part 1: Sold for Parts

One of the most dangerous companies in the U.S. took advantage of immigrant workers. Then, when they got hurt or fought back, it used America’s laws against them.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/story-opener-A-8x10-1200*960-9a4cdc.jpgMay 1, 2017 | By late afternoon, the smell from the Case Farms chicken plant in Canton, Ohio, is like a pungent fog, drifting over a highway lined with dollar stores and auto parts shops. When the stink is at its ripest, it means that the day’s 180,000 chickens have been slaughtered, drained of blood, stripped of feathers and carved into pieces — and it’s time for workers like Osiel López Pérez to clean up. On April 7, 2015, Osiel put on bulky rubber boots and a white hard hat, and trained a pressurized hose on the plant’s stainless steel machines, blasting off the leftover grease, meat and blood.

A Guatemalan immigrant, Osiel was just weeks past his 17th birthday, too young by law to work in a factory. A year earlier, after gang members shot his mother and tried to kidnap his sisters, he left his home, in the mountainous village of Tectitán, and sought asylum in the United States. He got the job at Case Farms with a driver’s license that said his name was Francisco Sepulveda, age 28. The photograph on the ID was of his older brother, who looked nothing like him, but nobody asked any questions.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

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Part 2: Can Low-Wage Industries Survive Without Immigrants and Refugees?

Case Farms’ history shows how many sectors like meatpacking depend on immigrants and refugees. Now business leaders fear President Trump’s policies will create a labor shortage.

Michael Grabell, ProPublica 

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/generated/case-farms-spot-illo-02-900*549-3952a8.pngMay 5, 2017 | One afternoon this fall, I knocked on the door of a redbrick apartment building in Akron, Ohio, looking for a Bhutanese refugee who’d lost the tips of his fingers at a Case Farms chicken plant in a vacuum-pressure machine known as a “fat sucker.”

In the apartment’s tiny living room, a young man told his story in halting English. As he spoke, I realized that his name was different from the one I had, and, instead of losing his fingertips in a fat sucker at the company’s Canton plant, he’d lost his pinkie to a saw at its plant in nearby Winesburg. I had the wrong guy, but I’d stumbled on yet another Bhutanese refugee who’d sacrificed part of his body for the company.

https://static.propublica.org/projects/case-farms/assets/images/michael-grabell-200x200.jpg Michael Grabell covers economic issues, labor, immigration and trade. He has reported on the ground from more than 30 states, as well as some of the remotest villages in Alaska and Guatemala. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times and on Vice and NPR. He has won a Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism and an IRE Medal for investigative reporting and is a three-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.

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Section(s): 

So Much for "Draining the Swamp": Wall Street's Power Soars Under Trump

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  • Today we bring you a conversation with Renata Pumarol, the deputy director of New York Communities for Change.
  • Related: Special Project | The Resistance Now: Week Ending April 29, 2017

Sarah Jaffe, Truthout

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Friday, April 21, 2017 | Sarah Jaffe: You guys had an action on Tuesday at Goldman Sachs on official Tax Day. Can you tell us about that and about what the theme of that action was?

Renata Pumarol: On actual Tax Day, April 18, we headed to the headquarters of Goldman Sachs here in New York to call them out for avoiding $10 billion in taxes, or for rather extracting $10 billion from our tax dollars. [They do this] by exploiting loopholes or their roles in company mergers and acquisitions. We really wanted to send a message that it is not only about Trump releasing his taxes, but it is also about the 1% and companies like Goldman Sachs that really continue to exploit tax loopholes and avoid massive amounts of taxes that could be going to pay for basic services.

Sarah Jaffe is a reporting fellow at The Nation Institute and has covered labor, social and economic justice and politics for Truthout, The Atlantic, The Guardian, In These Times and many other publications. She is the cohost of Belabored, a labor podcast hosted by Dissent magazine, and the author of Necessary Trouble: Americans In Revolt (Nation Books, 2016)

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Related:

Special Project | The Resistance Now: Week Ending April 29, 2017, Compiled by David Culver, Ed., Evergreene Digest

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  • Resistance starts with the simple but revolutionary act of refusing to accept what you are told by those with power. Evergreene Digest is extensively covering the people, ideas, and actions driving protest movements globally. Follow along with us.
  • 7 New Items including:
    • So Much for "Draining the Swamp": Wall Street's Power Soars Under Trump
    • Trump's First 100 Days: Workers Get Pummeled, People Fight Back
    • What does it take for activists to get your attention?
    • "We Are Going to Shut It Down on May 1": Caravan Against Fear Mobilizes the Masses
    • 'These issues affect all of us': this is what the resistance movement looks like
    • May Day to have immigrant tilt as workers plan to protest against Trump
    • The Resistance Now: Science Gets Its Own March

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Section(s): 

The Deeper Scandal of That Brutal United Video

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The footage is shocking. So is the law.

Derek Thompson, the Atlantic

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Apr 10, 2017 | It is the “re-accommodation” heard ’round the world: A passenger on an overbooked United flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday night was ripped out of his seat by uniformed officers and dragged down the aisle on his back like carry-on luggage, as several horrified passengers captured video footage of his bloodied face on their phones.

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The incident created a firestorm online, which only intensified after United published a mealy-mouthed statement on Monday morning that seemed to blame the bruised customer and apologized only for “the overbooking situation.” After several hours, punctuating the sordid event with the least human-sounding statement in crisis-PR history, United CEO Oscar Munoz apologized "for having to re-accommodate” customers, as if the brutalized passenger had merely been asked to switch from an aisle seat.

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at the  Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the media. He is the author of the book Hit Makers.

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Series | A Living Earth Economy, Part 9: The Superrich Have Profited From a Broken System—And Their Money Alone Won’t Fix It

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  • Giving back requires humility. It will be a true test of learning new skills.
  • 9th in a Series
  • Related: Capitalism's war on climate science

David Korten, Yes! Magazine <http://www.yesmagazine.org>

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Mar 22, 2017 | Congratulations, you won—you are the last and richest person on Earth. In the security of your sunless underground bunker, you will be the last to die in a dying Earth’s paroxysm of fire and flood.

In a recent column for YES! Magazine, Chuck Collins, “born on third base” social activist and commentator, has a message for the superrich who are buying “bug out” survivalist escape homes in Kansas missile silos, mountain fortresses in the Rockies, and getaway farms in New Zealand: Your money won’t save you from the social and environmental collapse now unfolding. Join with other members of your class who are investing in “community, regional, and global efforts to address the climate crisis and extreme inequalities.”

http://www.yesmagazine.org/people-power/trump-played-to-anger-but-we-dont-have-to-fall-for-divide-and-conquer-20161214/Korteninset.jpg David Korten wrote this article for YES! Magazine as part of his new series of biweekly columns on “A Living Earth Economy.” David is co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, president of the Living Economies Forum, co-chair of the New Economy Working Group, a member of the Club of Rome, and the author of influential books, including When Corporations Rule the World and Change the Story, Change the Future: A Living Economy for a Living Earth. His work builds on lessons from the 21 years he and his wife, Fran, lived and worked in Africa, Asia, and Latin America on a quest to end global poverty

Full story … 

Previously in this series

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Related:

Capitalism's war on climate science, James Plested, Red Flag / SocialistWorker.org

A system that puts profits above humanity can't address an existential threat to our future. 

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Trump’s One Trillion Dollar Infrastructure Boondoggle. Handing Over Public Assets to Private Corporations

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Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy.

Mike Whitney, Global Research / CounterPunch / Greanville Post

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15 March 2017 | Donald Trump’s $1 trillion infrastructure plan is not an infrastructure plan and it won’t put $1 trillion of fiscal stimulus into the economy.

It’s basically a scheme for handing over public assets to private corporations that will extract maximum profits via user fees and tolls. Because the plan is essentially a boondoggle, it will not lift the economy out of the doldrums, increase activity or boost growth.  Quite the contrary. When the details of how the program is going to be implemented are announced,  public confidence in the Trump administration is going to wither and stock prices are going to plunge.   This scenario cannot be avoided because the penny-pinching conservatives in the House and Senate have already said that they won’t support any plan that is not “revenue neutral” which means that any real $1 trillion spending package is a dead letter.  Thus, it’s only a matter of time before the Trump’s plan is exposed as a fraud and the sh** hits the fan.

Here are more of the details from an article at Slate.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). 

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