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(Bloomberg)   America's worst graveyard shift is grinding up its workers. Literally   ( bloomberg.com) divider line
    More: Sick, Tyson Foods, Occupational safety and health, workers, OSHA, sanitation workers, Meatpacking, Packers Sanitation Services, undocumented workers  
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3763 clicks; posted to Business » on 30 Dec 2017 at 1:20 AM (3 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



30 Comments     (+0 »)
 
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2017-12-29 07:07:44 PM  
Who cares?

I don't mean that facetiously. We've known for many years about the hell of such places, and the article once again reminds us that such places own not just the people, but the government as well. No one's outraged enough, it seems, to give OSHA powers broad enough to tell owners, "no, you can't escort me through the goddamned plant with a box on my head in case I might see something that doesn't immediately pertain to the narrow scope of the one accident about which we found out." No one's angry enough to find out why it is that these places have judges in their pockets capable of telling the watchers to look away.

All we do seem to care about is ensuring that meat remains cheap. This is how they do it. If you like cheap meat, then all we need to do is continue to do what we've been doing about it for decades.
 
2017-12-30 12:10:03 AM  

FormlessOne: Who cares?

I don't mean that facetiously. We've known for many years about the hell of such places, and the article once again reminds us that such places own not just the people, but the government as well. No one's outraged enough, it seems, to give OSHA powers broad enough to tell owners, "no, you can't escort me through the goddamned plant with a box on my head in case I might see something that doesn't immediately pertain to the narrow scope of the one accident about which we found out." No one's angry enough to find out why it is that these places have judges in their pockets capable of telling the watchers to look away.

All we do seem to care about is ensuring that meat remains cheap. This is how they do it. If you like cheap meat, then all we need to do is continue to do what we've been doing about it for decades.


They're... they're grinding up the workers for meat?!
 
2017-12-30 12:43:28 AM  
Tukka tukka tukka tukka tukka tukka
Tukka tukka tukka tukka tukka tukka
Tukka tukka tukka tukka
Eeeeeeh Macerator
 
2017-12-30 12:50:16 AM  
Yeah? Well, I once scratched myself pretty bad opening a container of tofu.

BSAB so eat meat.
 
2017-12-30 01:24:56 AM  
"So Martha reached under the moving belt to get at the smudge and lost her balance"

First rule of moving machinery club is don't stick your appendages into the moving machinery.
 
2017-12-30 01:57:46 AM  
I worked at a country club in Garden City, Kansas. It was disgusting. There you had the upper management of the meat packing industry, white trash pretending to be part of some exclusive set out on the boring plains of freakin' western Kansas. Though mixed in with them were a few bonafide barons, the owners who'd need to be in town every so often and had a golf club built to accommodate them. Meanwhile, in town, there was a virtually unseen population of Mexican and Vietnamese workers, most of them illegal, getting paid less than I was as a waiter to work the plants and the pits. Save for one pretty awesome Mexican restaurant and a tacky Vietnamese general store that didn't like outsiders, there was literally zero cultural exchange to go with those populations. Garden City was as white and Republican as you'd expect a small town in Kansas to be.

/first thing that hits you on the way in is the smell, same as any feed lot town. My first thought stepping off the bus was, "How can anyone fall in love in a place that smells this bad?" Even when you get used to it, you know it's there. An overwhelming funk of sh*t and guts and death.
//and then there's the tornadoes
 
2017-12-30 02:40:35 AM  
Upton Sinclair's ghost should come back to beat the shiat out of people who run these places.
 
2017-12-30 03:10:03 AM  
I see a lot of work comp cases in my job.  We have Tyson plants here in my state.  Most of their cases are slips and falls, repetitive stress injuries, the like.

I've never had to sit in on a case like that, though.  God, that's horrible.

My heart goes out to these folks.  They have to earn a living somehow, and the options are crap, more crap, and this.
 
2017-12-30 03:10:33 AM  
I have mixed feelings about AI & robots replacing workers, but when it comes to stuff like meatpacking/slaughterhouse work, I'm A-O.K. with it...
 
2017-12-30 03:24:24 AM  

Forbidden Doughnut: I have mixed feelings about AI & robots replacing workers, but when it comes to stuff like meatpacking/slaughterhouse work, I'm A-O.K. with it...


Last thing we need is to turn robots and AI into remorseless killing machines.

First they came for the cows... and i did not speak up, because they were delicious.
 
2017-12-30 03:51:19 AM  
There have been some... impressively disgusting deaths in Oregon in recent years. One was a guy cleaning out one of these industrial meat grinders (then re-soiling it again when it turned on). Then there was the lucky near-miss of the guy who was nearly thrown into an industrial wood chipper by a coworker who just flipped out one day.

Just last month (a story I just read about because apparently things like this don't make the news anymore), an electrician apprentice was working (by himself for some reason...) at a log plant near Klamath Falls and fell into a vat of heated, caustic liquid used to soften wood for processing into plywood. God...
 
2017-12-30 03:59:20 AM  
J. Larry Stine, the Wimberly Lawson partner in charge of the poultry litigation, says that in preventing OSHA from conducting broad inspections, his clients "are asserting their rights under the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures." Putting boxes on the heads of inspectors, he says, is "a little hyperbole to illustrate the point."

Fark you, you waste of flesh. Saying that OSHA inspections are unreasonable searches and seizures is saying that other things like car inspections are unreasonable searches and seizures. But let's subject you and your clients to the same standards they required for that plant inspection; from now on, all your vehicle inspections can be done with shrouds placed over your car covering all portions of it that are not explicitly required to be checked to pass inspection...

Doesn't that make you feel all SAFE inside?

/not condoning/suggesting any illegal actions against these farkfaces
 
2017-12-30 04:17:14 AM  
Isn't that one of those places that's an industrial slaughterhouse by night...
     ...and a school by day?

♪ All and all it's just a... ♪
     ♪ ...nother brick in the wall! ♪
 
2017-12-30 04:18:04 AM  
Oh, the story covered the meat grinder guy. I didn't know his hose had drug him into the thing (I knew he was working on the cleaning crew), but there you go... a horrible, horrible death.
 
2017-12-30 05:24:03 AM  
This is absolutely sickening, both what the workers are put through and the fact that OSHA doesn't have enough teeth to make an impact.

After reading this, I'm glad I work for a company where safety is priority #1, to the point where they issued me a set of yak tracks for walking around the yard before someone gets into to run the sand truck around.

I work for a company that manufactures HVAC duct & fittings, and I'm one of four truck drivers and about 90 people in the company.
 
2017-12-30 07:13:43 AM  
I work in a food processing plant, and first rule of sanitation is that everything is powered down and locked out. I Iiterally change blades on machines that cut up food, these machines have guarding covering every point when running and during cleaning or assembly/disassembly the sharp bits should be handled carefully with cut gloves or using special holders. I won't claim my employer is anywhere near perfect but they are many levels above the companies in this article. MANY levels above.

I absolutely agree that OSHA needs more teeth. What saddens me is that even big players get away with safety violations on a huge level. OSHA should be funded and run and have authority like the USDA, which literally walks food processing plants all through the week. OSHA only comes if there are injuries. I have never even seen an OSHA inspector, but I know the faces of three USDA inspectors who regularly tour the plant and inspect every single machine after sanitation. My impression is that they end up doing OSHA's job in the worst circumstances, but they aren't OSHA and don't have that power or authority.

If the USDA can look at everything (they can), OSHA should be able to as well. And if the USDA can shut down a plant for a violation (they can) then OSHA should be able to as well. That we don't take worker safety as seriously as food safety is a sick comment on whose lives are considered important.
 
2017-12-30 07:58:55 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-30 08:49:51 AM  
Mar-Jac's attorney ... said the inspector could walk through the plant to the locker room where the tools were located, but only if he agreed to wear a cardboard box over his head to blind him to any safety hazards. "Mr. Waschack stated that he had previously done this to two [inspectors] in two previous OSHA inspections," wrote OSHA's Robin Bennett in a court affidavit.

Well, I have a new definition in the dictionary next to the work chutzpah.
 
2017-12-30 08:53:02 AM  
Eric Schlosser wrote about this in "Fast Food Nation" back in 2001. IIRC, he named Tyson (among others) back then.

OSHA hasn't got a handle on this in 16 years? Are the lobbyists THAT good?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-12-30 09:11:26 AM  
My first thought was also about Fast Food Nation, except Schlosser wrote about processing rather than cleanup.

Since 2015 cleaners have been instructed not to run blenders and augers while cleaning them

Wow. I thought that was a basic part of maintenance since forever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockout​-​tagout
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-12-30 09:17:34 AM  
Slide10000

One of Schlosser's observations was the processing stage improved as a result of pressure from customers. The fast food industry did not want another Jack in the Box incident. Slowing down the production line made food safer and incidentally made working there safer. Even as the industry fought hard against government regulations, it was accidentally doing some of what regulators wanted.

But none of that applies to these contract cleanup workers.
 
2017-12-30 09:55:01 AM  

ZAZ: My first thought was also about Fast Food Nation, except Schlosser wrote about processing rather than cleanup.

Since 2015 cleaners have been instructed not to run blenders and augers while cleaning them

Wow. I thought that was a basic part of maintenance since forever. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockout-​tagout


He did devote one chapter to the cleanup crews. Most seemed to be illegals brought in by outside contractors.
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-12-30 10:14:15 AM  
Slide10000

I guess I need to reread the book. It's been a decade.
 
2017-12-30 10:26:39 AM  

lindalouwho: FormlessOne: Who cares?

I don't mean that facetiously. We've known for many years about the hell of such places, and the article once again reminds us that such places own not just the people, but the government as well. No one's outraged enough, it seems, to give OSHA powers broad enough to tell owners, "no, you can't escort me through the goddamned plant with a box on my head in case I might see something that doesn't immediately pertain to the narrow scope of the one accident about which we found out." No one's angry enough to find out why it is that these places have judges in their pockets capable of telling the watchers to look away.

All we do seem to care about is ensuring that meat remains cheap. This is how they do it. If you like cheap meat, then all we need to do is continue to do what we've been doing about it for decades.

They're... they're grinding up the workers for meat?!


Cheaper than deporting them.
 
2017-12-30 12:21:17 PM  
If there's one thing I learned at my last job, it's this!

img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-30 02:45:52 PM  
img.fark.netView Full Size
 
2017-12-30 08:25:33 PM  
Why don't we limit immigration to drive up labor costs and these workers could make a more livable wage?
 
ZAZ [TotalFark]
2017-12-30 08:49:10 PM  
knbwhite: Why don't we limit immigration to drive up labor costs and these workers could make a more livable wage?

A lot of the workers are here illegally. The slaughterhouse is too big, or has too many government contracts, to get away with hiring ineligible workers. So the company hires another company to do the work and that company brings in illegal workers.

This is another case of people from south of the border "doing the jobs Americans don't want to." Or can't. There was a comment about how citizens willing to do the work can't usually pass a drug test.

If America could enforce its immigration laws... changes in meat packing conditions would be among the less important effects.
 
2017-12-31 12:49:34 AM  
Holcomb, Kansas...
When the murdered Clutter family was first discovered, the white folk blamed... Mexican immigrants (there working for white folks).
Nothing new under the racist, Caucasian sun.
 
2017-12-31 08:24:52 AM  
The OHSA guy had to be blind folded and led only to specific spots, and everyone agreed to this as being reasonable?!  My god, oh yah its unions that are ruining the working life of americans...oh yah.
 
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