Employees Need Labor Unions Essay

987 words - 4 pages

Horrible working conditions in factories have been around since the industrialization era. Although most conditions have changed for majority of the industries, the meat packing industry has yet to experience these improvements. Fast Food Nation publicizes the problems for the employees inside meat packing plants. The affects of the terrible working conditions that employees are put in due to careless employers are shown in Fast Food Nation, which can be addressed by stronger labor unions.
The book exposes every aspect of the fast food industry, good and bad. Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation uses these aspects to present all of the problems going on throughout the country. In chapter eight, he exposes the side of the fast food culture that no one ever bears in mind, the employees’ well being. In order to raise awareness, he interviewed workers, went inside a packing plant and viewed the average day of meat packers. The most grotesque descriptions of the fatalities and thoughts from their insensitive employers’ are exhibited.
Schlosser depicts the horrid working conditions employees are in while on the job, ones that can have safer regulations through stronger labor unions. Employees’ lives are constantly being put at risk, day by day: “ Lacerations are the most common injuries suffered by meatpackers, who often stab themselves or stab someone working nearby” (Schlosser 173). No matter what time of day, both meatpackers and cleaning crewmembers suffer from all types of injuries that occur on the job. Employees are forced to work side by side as they cut and clean the meat. They deserve to have a safe working environment, without having the constant fear of being killed. A strong job union formed by the employees is the ideal way to solve this problem. In order to better their working conditions, the employees in the job union can negotiate with their employers to get better and safer working conditions.
Before the employees’ solution to obtain better working conditions can be done, they must first come together as one. Over the past few years, not only have the types, but also the quality of workers has changed. The book notes, “During the same years when the working conditions at America’s meatpacking plants became more dangerous- when line speeds increased and illegal immigrants replaced skilled workers- the federal government greatly reduced the enforcement of health and safety laws” (Schlosser 179). The employees that work in the meatpacking plants are all different, the most common barrier being language. Now, illegal immigrants the most common employees can’t speak English, and they work for low pay. Although they work in the terrible conditions, they would rather support their family and work in a death trap than to not have a job at all. Overall, most employees don’t have any other options. Employers know that the employees that they hire are afraid of nothing being to have...

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