The New Yorker
In These Times
Working Class Perspectives
Focusing on places like McDowell County, West Virginia, perpetuates the image of rural America as populated primarily by people of white Western European origins, a narrative that fit the media’s interest in white rural working-class voters. But while the economic suffering in McDowell might reflect the experiences of many working-class people outside of major metropolitan areas in the Trump era, McDowell’s whiteness is less representative.
In These Times
The meat and poultry industry remains exceptionally dangerous, despite a decline in reported injuries and illnesses over the past 10 years, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report. Further, says the report, the injury and illness rates reflected in Department of Labor numbers are significantly underreported.
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Poultry worker average about $11 an hour, or between $20,000 and $25,000 a year. For every dollar spent on a chicken product, a worker sees just two cents. That kind of pay qualifies a poultry worker with two children for food stamps and free school lunches. And they still might not see all of their promised pay. They often working more than 40 hours a week — they’re required to stay at most plants until all chickens are processed — but rarely get overtime pay.