Cutting Into The Meatpacking Line

Decent Essays

Deborah Fink’s book “Cutting Into the Meatpacking Line” was an important contribution to the increasing literature on the working-class life in the rural Midwest. It focused on how Iowa’s meatpacking industry affected rural workers and also communities. Fink’s study proves facile examinations of the rural population growth that failed to convey the economic underpinnings. She focuses her analysis on a four -month period working in the IBP pork packing plant in Perry, Iowa in 1992. Fink’s participant-observer perspective, she uses an interview testimony and her survey of the recent historical and social literature on the industry. She focuses on three themes, the significance of rural workers in the making of Iowa, and the articulation of gender, race and also ethnicity and class in the rural Midwest. Many rural workers, desperate for the insignificant waged provided in an industry that only union-organized by the largely ineffective and compliant United Food and Commercial Workers had a couple months before workers were burned out by the rapid pace and injurious work environment. Fink, who only worked for four months at Perry’s IBP plant, lasted longer than many of her coworkers. Since 1960, increased employment of nonwhites changed for the meatpacking industry. In Perry’s IBP plant in the early 1990’s, Fink explains that about one-third of the rural workers were Latino, about one-tenth were black, and lastly the other one-tenth Asian. The majority of these workers were not

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