ESSAY ON HISTORY 4
Inwhat ways did the meat packing industry in Chicago abuse its workers?
Themeat packaging industry in Chicago abused workers by making them workfor long hours in poorconditions.The workers would suffer psychologically and physicallyas aresultof working in the meat packaging plants. For instance, Elzbieta wasstationedin a workstationin which she controlledmachines that chopped meat. The meat that was chopped would bemixedwith spoilt meat and sausages from Europeand elsewhere. According to the narrator, the environment made herinsensitivebecause of the exposure to the inhumane working conditions.The workers were also overworked and paid less. The workers were madeto work even when pregnant. For instance, Ona was made to work duringher pregnancy, therefore, making her sick. As the writer says,
“…thata woman was subject to such things when she was pregnant but he washardlyto bepersuaded,and would beg and plead to know what had happened. She had never beenlike this before, he would argue–it was monstrous and unthinkable.It was the life she had to live, the accursed work she had to do,that was killing her by inches. She wasnot fittedfor it–no woman was fitted for it, no woman ought to be allowed todo such work if the world could not keep them alive any other way itought to kill them at once and be done with it…”(Sinclair, & Barrett, 1988).
Inwhat ways did the meat packing industry in Chicago defile the meatthey were in chargeof?
Themeat was treated will little care. The meat and its products thatwere seen to be below standard for consumption by humans was broughtback to the factories and mixed with goodmeat and repackaged for the American market. Themeatwascontaminatedby unhealthyforeignmaterial like rats and poison used to kill the pests. Dirty waterfrom the roofs was also allowed to leak into the meat and contaminateit. Thebadmeat was flavored and colouredto cover the scent and sold to people. As the writer explains, spoiltmeat was treated with red hot iron and sold to the people as bonelessmeat. The sausages that were contaminated wererepackagedinto packages labeled differently and sold back to the people asdifferent grades, thereby lying to the people about the qualities.The meat wasalsoexposed to manychemicalsto cover the stale smell and wrongcolors and sold to people. In some cases, he spoilt meat wasmixedwith abigratio of goodmeat to cover the smell. Asthe writer says,
“…Therewas never the least attention paid to what was cut up for sausagethere would come all the way back from Europe old sausage that hadbeen rejected, and that was moldy and white–it would be dosed withborax and glycerine, and dumped into the hoppers, and made over againfor home consumption.There would be meat that had tumbled out on the floor, in the dirtand sawdust, where the workers had tramped and spit uncountedbillions of consumption germs. There would be meat stored in rooms,andthe water from leaky roofs would drip over it, and thousands of ratswould race about on it”(Sinclair & Barrett, 1988).
Sinclair,U., & Barrett, J. R. (1988). Thejungle.University of Illinois Press.