“Meat industry’s use of child labor is more widespread than previously known” – Food Safety News
Billion dollar corporations with million dollar CEOs using child labor! Republicans rail against immigration but do nothing to reform the immigration system while collecting political donations for corporations. Corporations using undocumented workers to deny American workers a living wage and bust unions. What’s going on here?
“The GOP’s Grand Immigration Con Job. Republicans have figured out how to have it both ways. They get cheap labor for their big business buddies, while stoking the hate and fear of their white racist base.” – Hartmann Report
Follow the money behind this GOP scheme with this infographic.
What is wage slavery?
“Wage Slavery refers to a situation where a person’s livelihood depends on wages, especially in a total and immediate way. The term’s analogy between slavery and wage labor may refer only to an unequal bargaining situation between labor and capital, particularly where workers are paid comparatively low wages…” – U.S. Legal
Protected by Federal Child Labor Law
“On Oct. 13, the Department of Labor showed up at the JBS plant with a search warrant. As the investigators toured the facility, they noticed workers who looked like children scrubbing equipment on the kill floor. Investigators interviewed children they found working at the plant. The interviews were conducted in Spanish because the children did not speak fluent English. The Department of Labor did not directly address a question about the immigration status of the children interviewed during the investigation.
“The U.S. Department of Labor is committed to ensure all workers in the United States are protected by federal laws such as the child labor law, regardless of immigration status,” a department spokesperson said in an email.” – KCUR
Meat industry’s use of child labor
The Labor Department has now imposed monetary penalties totaling $1.5 million on a labor contractor who placed more than 100 children into hazardous meat industry jobs. Those jobs were far more widespread than first reported, turning up in eight states in meat plants run by such industry leaders as Tyson, JBS, and Cargill.
Packers Sanitation Services Inc. LTD, based in Kieler, WI, one of the nation’s largest food safety sanitation services providers paid $1.5 million in civil money penalties after the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division found the company employed at least 102 children – from 13 to 17 years of age – in hazardous occupations and had them working overnight shifts at 13 meat processing facilities in eight states.” – Food Safety News
Follow the money
As Thom Hartmann outlines in his excellent newsletter:
> Enabling wage slavery. Reagan and his Republican allies legalized by the 1978 Bellotti Supreme Court decision — wrote the 1986 Immigration Reform Act in a way that made it harder to prosecute employers who invited undocumented workers into their workplaces.
> Lets employers avoid sanctions. Under Reagan’s new law, employers could easily avoid sanctions by simply having undocumented immigrants give them paperwork (often supplied by the employers themselves) that met the new requirement that it “reasonably appears on its face to be genuine.”
> Collapse in wages for American citizens. Reagan stopped enforcing our labor and immigration laws with respect to wealthy white employers, the next 20 years saw a collapse of American citizens working in both the meatpacking and construction industries, among others.
> Corporations use undocumented workers to drive down wages. Forty-dollar-an-hour American-citizen unionized workers were replaced with seven-dollar-an-hour undocumented workers desperate for a chance at a life in America for themselves and their children.
GOP racist hate speech against immigrants
> Rightwing hate. “Without acknowledging that it was Reagan himself who set up the “crisis,” Republicans today hold serious-sounding conferences and press availabilities about how “illegals” are “trying to steal Americans jobs!” They’re all over rightwing hate radio and in the conservative media on a near-daily basis.
> Exploitation. It’s not poor people coming here in search of safety or a better life who are impacting our labor markets, it’s the companies that hire them.
> Stoking racism. Whenever a Democrat takes up residence in the White House literally hundreds of Republican politicians step up to the microphone or tell their local newspapers and radio stations how the Democratic president has suddenly “opened up America’s southern border!!!”
> Racist politics. They did it to Clinton, they did it to Obama, and they’re doing it to Biden now. And every time they do, word travels from these GOP politicians and publications to desperate people south of our border. – Hartmann Report
TakeAway: Stop the Republican exploitation of American and immigrant labor to get corporate political donations.
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