Agribusiness Is Using the COVID-19 Crisis to Slash Food-Worker Wages

Three ways you can stop it now

Photos: Klaus Vedfelt/DigitalVision/Getty Images

Rather than acknowledging the need for greater fairness to these workers, the agricultural industry is brazenly capitalizing on the COVID-19 crisis to make things worse.

In an April 2 podcast, Perdue profusely purported to thank all involved in keeping the food supply chain functional “all the way up and down.” But he didn’t include farmworkers. His only acknowledgment that such people exist was his assurance that he is working with the State Department to assure farmers won’t see a disruption in their labor supply. It’s clear that he regards food-chain workers not so much as essential workers, but rather as costs to be reduced. Nothing makes exploitation as explicit as telling human beings: “We value your labor, but we don’t value you.”

What we can do

We need to protest directly to the key decision-makers, a literal handful of people, who believe that the obscurity of these issues will protect their brutality. And we need to expose the grifting, venal industries taking advantage of the moment. Here are three ways to bring the heat to these people: