Refugee Resettlement Watch

Progressives: Tyson Foods exploits immigrant labor, destroys small towns

Posted by Ann Corcoran on December 18, 2013

It is not often I agree with anything from “Progressives,” but when a reader sent me this piece from Progressives for Immigration Reform I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It is more on the report we posted the other day on Noel, Missouri and the poverty the town is experiencing as it is flooded with mostly REFUGEE laborers for Tyson Foods.

How on earth our federal CHURCH contractors can be aiding and abetting this travesty continues to be beyond my understanding.

From Progressives for Immigration Reform (emphasis mine):

In her NPR news story, In A Small Missouri Town, Immigrants Turn To Schools For Help, writer Abbie Fentress Swanson chronicles the plight of newly arrived immigrants to the small, rural town of Noel, Missouri. It seems that longtime residents there are not dealing well with sudden demographic changes. Consequently, immigrants from Mexico, Myanmar, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, and the Pinglap region of Micronesia are among those feeling unwelcome and isolated in this formerly white community, which saw its population double to 2,000 in just two decades.

Many of these immigrants are so poor they cannot afford housing or healthcare. Their children often lack shoes and clothes. As Swanson notes, about 90% of the community’s children would go hungry most of the school day, if they didn’t qualify for free or low-cost meals. With such an influx of people, Noel has not been able to keep up with providing social services. There is a long wait list for units from the local housing authority, and building more housing would strain the town’s sewer system, already at 80% capacity.

Immigrants are attracted to Noel by jobs at the chicken processing plant of Tyson Foods, which employs 1,600 people. The starting wage is a paltry $9.05 per hour, which comes to $362 a week before taxes for an eight-hour, five-day week. Despite health and injury risks to workers in this industry, Swanson calls this a “decent” wage and declines to hold Tyson culpable for perpetuating widespread misery in the cash-strapped town.

The nation’s largest U.S. meat processor by sales can easily afford to pay its employees in Noel a living wage, but prefers to have the community subsidize the resulting human wreckage. After all, profit is the overriding goal, even if it must be achieved by driving wages so low that most American citizens no longer can afford to work at its processing plants. No matter – the continuous stream of cheap, compliant foreign labor will do just fine. The results are compelling….

Read about the profits Tyson Foods is making.  Then this:

Assimilation is not the real problem facing Noel, Missouri nor is it street-level bickering about matters of race, religion and values. The larger issue is what to do about rogue corporations that run roughshod over small communities in pursuit of profit, little of which is invested locally. Of greater concern is that our government wants to overload the job market even more through mass immigration policies, which will lay waste to many more small communities throughout America.

And, what do you do about federal contractors for the US State Department wearing the white hat of do-gooderism while helping Tyson Foods make the profit!

Just a reminder, Senator Jeff Sessions called out the meatpackers as being one of the driving forces behind so-called “comprehensive immigration reform” when S.744 passed the Senate in June.

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2 Responses to “Progressives: Tyson Foods exploits immigrant labor, destroys small towns”

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