Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wages and conditions in American slaughterhouses

Right after the Summit of the Horse earlier this year I read one of SW's missive about a thousand new jobs created with the return of horse slaughter to the USA. Yes, one thousand new jobs. Very good jobs, too, she wrote. Just wish I had remember to save a link but can't find it now so I don't know if she continues to spew this misinformation.

Last week, while listening to NPR on the new Alabama legislation aimed at illegal aliens, one of the guests spoke about how, since the 1980's real wages for slaughter house work in Alabama had actually fallen by 45%. While I can't imagine how returning slaughter to the US would create 1,000 new jobs unless SW is planning to slaughter nearly a million horses a year ((remember Cavel slaughtered 60,000 horses per year with 70 (??) employees)) so a thousand jobs equates to 800,000 or 900,000 horses slaughtered every year). I guess she doesn't plan to let any animal die a natural death .. old, sick, injured .. she will cheerfully kill them all to save them any real or imagined pain or suffering.

Recently, I decided to do some Yahoo research on real wages and conditions in slaughterhouses and it's pretty much as expected, if not worse If Sue expects the plant owners to pay Americans more than they would pay an illegal for the same job, that is more than naive, well, it's just plain stupid.

I'll add to this entry from time to time as I find more articles. People can use them or not when speaking to legislators about the "jobs" that pro-slaughter people think be created with the return of sanctioned horse slaughter to the United States.

Part of the article below:

"Mentally, the chicken plant was pretty depressing. One of my jobs was to tear apart chicken breasts by hand. It sounds pretty nasty, and it was: I would go through more than 7,000 breasts a shift. Chicken fat and blood is everywhere, and my coworkers would often have to point out pieces of chicken that were stuck to my face. Like how you would point out a piece of spinach lodged between a friend's teeth. I'd come home reeking each morning -- I worked the graveyard shift--and take a long shower to get the smell of chicken carcasses off me.

I've been a vegetarian for twenty years, so that was pretty gross. But the truth is that I got accustomed to it very quickly, because it is so monotonous and fast paced. That's what I learned by doing the work for a number of weeks -- the real difficulty isn't the grossness factor, but not going crazy due to boredom and pain. You're wearing earplugs to block out the noise, so you can't talk to people, and you're standing in place for hours making the same motion. Like one co-worker told me, "A trained monkey could do this work." After a week, half of the folks that went through orientation with me had quit."

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