Wednesday, August 14, 2013

ফাস্ট ফুড নেশন - বাংলা সারাংশ - মেসিনের কগ২, Fast Food Nation - Bengali Summery : Chapter 7: Cogs in the Great Machine2

… Don’t get caught ১৯৮০ থেকে মনফোরটের কোম্পানি ইংরেজি না জানা নানা ভাবে আমেরিকায় ঢুকে পড়া অভবাসীদের কাজে নিতে শুরু করে এরিকের বক্তব্য এদের নেওয়ার নানান কারনের মধ্যে একটা হল, এরা ইউনিয়ন করতে ভয় পায় আর এদের সঙ্গে বেতন নিয়ে, নানা রকম সামাজিক সুরক্ষা নিয়ে সহজেই দরকষাকষি করা যায় এমনকি এদের বাসে করে জবাই কারখানায় আনারও ব্যবস্থা করেছে আইবিপি শ্রমিকদের সে কিভাবে দেখে, সে বিষয়টি আলোচনা করতে এরিক, আমেরিকার কেন্দ্রীয় সরকারের সঙ্গে আইবিপির শ্রমিক ব্যবস্থার প্রধান আরডেন ওয়াকারের একটি আলোচনা তুলে দিচ্ছেন-
During a federal hearing in the 1980s, Arden Walker, the head of labor relations at IBP for the company’s first two decades, explained
some of the advantages of having a high turnover rate:
Counsel: With regard to turnover, since you [IBP] are obviously experiencing it, does that bother you?
Mr. Walker: Not really.
Counsel: Why not?
Mr. Walker: We found very little correlation between turnover and profitability… For instance, insurance, as you know, is very costly. Insurance is not available to new employees until they’ve worked there for a period of a year or, in some cases, six months. Vacations don’t accrue until the second year. There are some economies, frankly, that result from hiring new employees.
Far from being a liability, a high turnover rate in the meatpacking industry — as in the fast food industry — also helps maintain a workforce that is harder to unionize and much easier to control.
একই সঙ্গে তিনি বলছেন ক্যালিফোর্নিয়ার কৃষিতেও আমেরিকার আসা নানান দেশের মানুষদের কাজে লাগান হচ্ছে For more than a century, California agriculture has been dependent on migrant workers, on young men and women from rural villages in Mexico who travel north to pick by hand most of the state’s fruits and vegetables. Migrant workers have long played an important role in the agricultural economy of other states, picking berries in Oregon, apples in Washington, and tomatoes in Florida. Today, the United States, for the first time in its history, has begun to rely on a migrant industrial workforce. Thousands of new migrants now travel north to work in the slaughterhouses and meat processing plants of the High Plains. Some of these new migrants save their earnings, then return home. Some try to establish roots and settle in meatpacking communities. And others wander the country, briefly employed in one state after another, looking for a meatpacking plant that treats its workers well. These migrants come mainly from Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Many were once farm workers in California, where steady jobs in the fields are now difficult to find. To farm workers who’ve labored outdoors, ten hours a day, for the nation’s lowest wages, meatpacking jobs often sound too good to be true. Picking strawberries in California pays about
$5.50 an hour, while cutting meat in a Colorado or Nebraska  slaughterhouse can pay almost twice that amount. In many parts of rural Mexico and Guatemala, workers earn about $5 a day.
এছাড়াও শ্রমিকেরা ন্যুনতম সামাজিক সুরক্ষাও পায় না কোম্পানিগুলোর কাছে আমেরিকার কংগ্রেসের সদস্য টম ল্যান্টোসের বক্তব্য তুলে ধরছেন এরিক Congressman Tom Lantos, whose subcommittee conducted the meatpacking inquiry, called IBP “one of the most irresponsible and reckless corporations in America.” A Labor Department official called the company’s behavior “the worst example of underreporting injuries and
illnesses to workers ever encountered in OSHA’s sixteen-year history.” Nevertheless, Robert L. Peterson was never charged with perjury for his misleading testimony before Congress. Investigators argued that it would be difficult to prove “conclusively” that Peterson had “willfully” lied. In 1987 IBP was fined $2.6 million by OSHA for underreporting injuries and later fined an additional $3.1 million for the high rate of cumulative trauma injuries at the Dakota City plant. After the company introduced a new safety program there, the fines were reduced to $975,000 — a sum that might have appeared large at the time, yet represented about one one-hundredth of a percent of IBP’s annual revenues.
এর তিন বছর পর আইবিপির এক কর্মী কেভিন উইলসন কোম্পানির বিরুদ্ধে মামলা করে বলে কোম্পানি তাকে যথোপযুক্ত চিকিৎসা ব্যবস্থা প্রদান না করার জন্য মিথ্যের আশ্রয় নিচ্ছে শেষ পর্যন্ত সুপ্রেমে কোর্ট, নিচের কোর্টের রায়ই বহাল রেখে কেভিনকে ২০ লক্ষ ডলার ক্ষতিপূরণের নির্দেশ দেয় বিষয়য়ে সুপ্রিম কোর্ট আইবিপির বিরুদ্ধে যথেষ্ট করা মন্তব্য করে The court found that seriously injured workers were required to show up at the IBP plant briefly each day so that the company could avoid reporting “lost workdays” to OSHA. Some workers were compelled to show up for work on the same day as a surgery or the day after an amputation. “IBP’s management was aware of, and participated in, this practice,” the Iowa Supreme Court noted. কোর্ট সরাসরি মন্তব্য করে কোম্পানি জেনেশুনে, বুদ্ধি করে কর্মীদের বঞ্চিত করছে, The Iowa Supreme Court concluded that the lies she told in this medical case, as well as in others, had been partly motivated by IBP’s financial incentive program, which gave staff members bonuses and prizes when the number of lost workdays was kept low. The program, in the court’s opinion, was “somewhat disingenuously called ‘the safety award system.’”
তিনি শুধু আইবিপিকে একা দোষী করছেন না, বলছেন আমেরিকার পুরো জবাই ব্যবস্থাটাই শ্রমিকের শ্রম লুঠ করার নীতির ওপর দাঁড়িয়ে রয়েছে IBP’s attitude toward worker safety was hardly unique in the industry, according to Edward Murphy’s testimony before Congress in 1992. Murphy had served as the safety director of the Monfort beef plant in Grand Island. After two workers were killed there in 1991, Monfort fired him. Murphy claimed that he had battled the company for years over safety issues and that Monfort had unfairly made him the scapegoat for its own illegal behavior. The company later paid him an undisclosed sum of money to settle a civil lawsuit over wrongful termination.

Murphy told Congress that during his tenure at the Grand Island plant, Monfort maintained two sets of injury logs, routinely lied to OSHA, and shredded documents requested by OSHA. He wanted Congress to know that the safety lapses at the plant were not accidental. They stemmed directly from Monfort’s corporate philosophy, which Murphy described in these terms: “The first commandment is that only production counts… The employee’s duty is to follow orders. Period. As I was repeatedly told, ‘Do what I tell you, even if it is illegal… Don’t get caught.”’
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