Late post: April 20th–4 Exploitation Templates

In Fast Food Nations (specifically chapter 3), Eric Schlosser discusses the trends found within localized fast food chains, as well as said chain’s overall growth, and disservice to its own employees. He states, “the employees whom the fast food industry expects to crawl are by far the biggest group of low-wage workers in the United States today,”to which he later adds to, explaining that, “the need to retain any individual worker is greatly reduced by the ease with which he or she can be replaced.” In other words, low waged employees, specifically those found in large fast food chains, are expendable, because there’s so many of them, not only lowering the need to train and maintain said workers, but effective robbing them of their worth.

In Fast Food Nations (chapter 8), Eric Schlosser gives insight on the deeper end of the labor trail, specifically into the slaughterhouse business, to which he says “… I met dozens of workers who’d been injured. Each of their stories was different, yet somehow familiar, linked by common elements — the same struggle to receive proper medicare, the same fear of speaking out…,” and he then adds, “We are Human beings, more than one person told me, but they treat us like animals.” I firmly believe both these articles maintain the idea the idea of morality and overall compassion seems, nonexistent in these industries. In both industries, it is shown very clearly to the reader by Schlosser that exploitation of those who can’t defend themselves is a serious ordeal that shouldn’t be ignored

In Wage Slave, Mac McClelland integrates herself into the world of warehouse labor, and gradually realizes the intensity of demand found in the work field, where the only reward for good work is more work, in other words, another form of exploitation that’s just a little short of abuse. She states “At lunch, the most common question, aside from “Which offensive (penis)-shaped object did you handle the most of today?” is “Why are you here?” like in prison.” In other words, this job is seemingly so awful that even its workers compare it to prison, which is not exactly somewhere you’d be if you had a choice on the matter. She even adds, ““Just look around in here if you wanna see how bad it is out there,” one of the associates at the temp office said to me, unprompted, when I got hired. It’s the first time any has ever tried to comfort me because I got a job, because he knew, and everyone in this industry that’s growing wildfire fast knows, and accepts that its model by design is mean.”
In Food Chains, Director Sanjay Rawal, and several other authors, actors, and mostly, fed up low wage workers try to show the true face of many big businesses, and to (try to) bring an end to exploitation in the work place. One low wage worker states (to paraphrase), “we are not poor, we are screwed”. In layman’s terms, low wage workers, especially those with undocumented statuses, are far worse off than anyone’s current idea of poor, as they’re not only living off scraps (to which one character says something along the lines of “why are we working if we’re still starving?”), they’re actually in a pit dug so deep by (most) big corporations, that it’s impossible to get out without a mutual aid/agreement between all sides; consumers, business owners, workers, etc.


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