Mother Jones recently wrote an article about Hormel foods that had me rethinking eating bacon. I love bacon. I cringed reading the article. (More)
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The headline is, “The Spam Factory’s Dirty Secret.” The summary blurb reads, “First, Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned.”
If you are squeamish, that may be all you want to know. As a progressive and a person unable to stop reading, I read the whole thing.
Meat packing was once upon a time a good union job with a living wage and good benefits. It was impractical to offshore the operations but profit help arrived in the form of undocumented workers willing to work for minimum wage.
Through a corporate shell game, the new owners of Hormel rapidly distanced themselves from a proud progressive tradition of a family owned business. During the depression, Hormel had made deals with the unions that had Forbes magazine calling him “the Red Capitalist.” We might call the new owners greedy, unconscious bastards” and that would be an understatement.
They hired immigrants with documentation but when the workers got seriously ill with a neurological disease directly related to their working conditions, they were fired. Not just one worker, but several. Did I mention that I love bacon? After reading the Mother Jones’ piece, I was rethinking the whole pork, bacon consumption way of eating. Tough choice.
Then a friend recommended I watch Louis CK’s video Of Course, But Maybe. I am so guilty. I am still thinking about bacon but I did write to Hormel telling them to clean up their act. Some salve for my progressive soul, but is it enough?