Low-Wage Legacies, Race, and the Golden Chicken in Mississippi: Where Contemporary Immigration Meets African American Labor History [EXCERPT]

Interesting thoughts on the interconnections between human and nonhuman exploitation. They come together in a place where labor is dangerous and terribly low wage. In a place where all animals (human and nonhumans) are commoditized (in labor or the flesh of their bodies). In a place rooted in historical, racial oppression. We need more scholarship on these interconnections.

Species and Class

Authors: Angela Stuesse, University of South Florida and Laura E. Helton, New York University
Published: 31 December 2013

“The labor’s here but the jobs don’t want to pay”:
Why This History Matters in the Present

Consider the visceral realities of chicken plant jobs. Poultry slaughter, dismemberment, and packaging represent some of the country’s lowest paid and most dangerous work. Over the years, companies have “deskilled” plants and sped up production through technological advances. The average worker now repeats the same movement up to 30,000 times per day. The deboning of a chicken thigh that used to take three cuts of a knife, requires just one. It’s not any easier, especially with a dull knife; just faster. Virtually every worker who has labored in a chicken plant ten years or more can vouch for untreated repetitive motion injuries and can show permanent deformities caused by the work.61 Plants are often…

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