Poultry Plant: Race and Ethnicity in the Employment Structure
Poultry Plant: Race and Ethnicity in the Employment Structure and Workplace Tensions
From the course reader, it is evident that the employment structure and tensions that arose at the poultry plant were influenced by race and ethnicity. In the employment structure, the poultry plant had almost completely substituted local labor with immigrant workers. The immigrants were taking up jobs that did not appeal to ordinary white Americans. This claim is supported by the fact that the secretary was surprised that a white person was hoping to work in a poultry plant. Most of the production line jobs had been left to people from Latin America and Micronesia. This substitution indicates the growing labor conflict in the plant.
The poultry plant willfully contracted illegal immigrants. Although one cannot ascertain if the aim was to replace, displace, or supplement local or American labor force, the move led to a shift in racial and ethnic employment structure. The author points out that while there were very few whites, the majority of the people were Spanish. Additionally, there were other foreign languages being spoken including Lao. The workplace tensions at the poultry plant can be closely explained in relation to the employment structure. The immigrants were subjected to devastating work by the white supervisors. While the firm preferred immigrant workers because of their readiness for work and devotion to schedule, the complaints they raised in relation to working conditions were ignored. Since those doing the work were immigrants and non-whites, safety regulations and standards were not upheld. Moreover, the workers were subjected to rigorous routine work without being given enough breaks. Moreover, the supervisor conducted training in a language that the majority of the workers did not understand. The tension between Michael and the women after the training session point to the fact that although the immigrants were ready to work, the working conditions were extremely poor and most of them were overworked.Poultry Plant: Race and Ethnicity in the Employment Structure and Workplace Tensions