This is one more in a long sad line of American towns and cities changed forever due to the needs of greedy global corporations (not just meatpackers!) and their appetite for cheap immigrant labor. They get the cheap labor, we get the poverty and extra welfare expenses, not to mention the cultural upheaval!
And, don’t miss my post of only a couple of weeks ago about foreign-owned companies like JBS Swift changing America by changing the people.
“Taking food out of our [American] mouths!”
From Philly.com thanks to a reader:
The blue-collar city, which has shed manufacturing jobs, epitomizes the economic squeeze of the American middle class. And Marshalltown has grappled for years with immigration, the issue that fires up conservative GOP base voters almost as much as terrorism.
Today, about a quarter of Marshalltown’s population of 28,000 is Latino. By contrast, Hispanics make up about 6 percent of Iowa’s population. A number of Burmese and Sudanese immigrants also have settled here.
In the 1980s the meatpacking industry mechanized production, boosting output and slashing wages. Meat processors already faced a labor shortage as the U.S. rural population shrank and fewer Americans wanted the repetitive, dangerous jobs, the industry says. Packers turned to Mexico and the rest of Latin America for workers. [B.S. they could have paid a decent salary and kept American workers!—ed]
“It’s like they’ve got a sign on the border, ‘Come to Marshalltown,’ ” said Mike Foreman, 66, who worked at the meatpacking plant until 2000, when a back injury forced him to retire.
“The company paid them less than they paid us,” he said last week at the city’s senior citizens center. “The way I look at it, they’re taking food out of our mouths.”
See all of our posts over the years about meat packers by clicking here.