Fast Food Nation

Topics: Meat packing industry, Meat processing, Slaughterhouse Pages: 2 (734 words) Published: June 5, 2005
Many feel that the fast food industry is providing a valuable service by catering to consumer needs; that it is inexpensive and easily accessible. For people who don't have time to prepare meals, for households in which both parents work, there's no question it provides a service. But all of this for what cost? The cost is the lives of those people who work in the meat processing plants. Meat packing is now the most dangerous job in the United States.

The men and women that work in the slaughterhouses now are often low paid, poor immigrants, who have not completely learned English and are practically illiterate. These workers make a knife cut every two or three seconds, which adds up to about 10,000 cuts per eight hour day. One of the leading causes of the high injury rate in the slaughter houses is the speed at which the meat is disassembled. Hearing this, it is no surprise that lacerations are the most common injuries suffered by the men and women working in the meatpacking industry.

Workers are under tremendous pressure to work fast and not report any injuries that may occur. The annual bonuses of plant foremen and supervisors are often based in part on the injury rate of their workers. Instead of creating a safer workplace, the supervisors pressure workers not to report any injuries and as a bonus, they would be moved to an easier job to give them some time to heal. Often, in this industry, supervisor pressure is not the only reason that injuries go unreported; the immigrant workers usually do not know enough English to complete the paperwork that goes along with filing injury reports.

This manner that runs the lives of slaughterhouse workers is completely unethical. In any business, stopping an employee from receiving due compensation for injuries is unfair and unethical. It seems like that in any other business, if a worker is injured, and does not receive fair compensation, they have the ability and drive to enforce the law; but in the case of the...
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