Breaking Back Work

Multi-American shares an article that describes the experiences of a journalist working  jobs “most Americans won’t do.”  Based on the book, Working in the Shadows: A Year of Doing the Jobs (Most) Americans Won’t Do, it’s a shocking narrative of what migrant workers still endure.

He did, working in menial jobs alongside predominantly foreign-born Latinos, some with papers, some without. The grueling jobs ranged from lettuce harvesting in the Yuma, Arizona sun to separating chicken parts in a frigid Alabama poultry processing plant. His challenge, Thompson writes, was “to keep showing up for the next shift,” in spite of a perpetually sore body.

In Yuma he harvested lettuce with Mexican guest workers, earning $8.37 an hour. Upon asking why harvesting broccoli paid less, a supervisor explained. “Broccoli grows higher up. So you can cut it higher. For lettuce you have to cut it near the ground, so you bend over more.”