Thursday, April 30, 2009

Capitalist swine manure lagoons

So now the swine flu outbreak may have an interesting link to "manure lagoons" at gigantic pig farms in Mexico on land stolen from campesinos and run by US agribusiness. There's a shocker! A big international corporation like Smithfield Farms involved in a catastrophe of Bhopal proportion?

Oh, yeah. Bhopal was a catastrophe caused by a big international corporation. So was this whole "recession". (Well, not by one.)

Smithfield Farms, by the way, has been on labor's naughty list for several years, too. The company has even become the Baby Face Nelson of union-busting, poster boy of the need for the Employee Free Choice Act:

" ...At a Smithfield Farms plant in North Carolina, the company actually formed its own police force, in cahoots with the local sheriff, to scare away the union with guns. The Wagner Act was supposed to end that kind of corporate criminality more than 70 years ago, but it is still happening today. ..."

And speaking of the recession, how does Smithfield Farms coming out smelling before this swine flu thing? (You can probably guess the apropriate simile from the first line of this post.)

" ...Workers soon to be let go from Farmland Foods have learned there will be no severance money to go with them.
Smithfield Farms Inc. announced in February it was closing the New Riegel plant April 17, along with five other plants around the country in a reorganization effort.

"...Some of [the workers] have been there for more than 30 years. They came to us two months ago and told us they were going to close the facility as well as four or five other plants owned by Smithfield.

"...At this point, he said they are not really bargaining with Smithfield, they are begging.

"...They [Smithfield] agree that they are making money ... They just won't pay a severance package. It's really a slap in the face to the people who made their livelihood there for better than 30 years."

Nice, huh?

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