The poultry industry has a long history of tapping vulnerable populations to do the jobs that no one else will do. The latest workforce targeted to work in these arduous and exhausting conditions? Refugees.
Being a tipped worker poses a number of challenges, and even some dangers. But one slight upside is that if you know how to play the game and hustle, you can take home pay above the minimum /poverty wage of $7.25 an hour. However, if the restaurant industry has its way, even that meager advantage would be gone.
As we look toward tonight's State of the Union speech, Oxfam's policy experts weigh in with our perspective on the state of things for people living in poverty.
Advocates for poultry workers in the US have long reported on the “climate of fear” inside the plants that keeps workers from blowing the whistle on all manner of abuse. Recently, the federal government confirmed our findings, and called for proactive moves from OSHA and FSIS to protect workers.
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While movie stars and Members of Congress are blowing the whistle on high-profile perpetrators of sexual harassment and abuse, millions of women in low-wage jobs watch and wait. Afraid of what could happen – from job loss to deportation to threats on their lives – they feel compelled to deal with the assaults privately, despite the toll on safety and dignity.