A possie in Aussie

February 20, 2009

Don’t bash immigrants: They make our food!

Filed under: Immigrant workers — Nayano @ 8:16 am
Tags: , , ,

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the economic climate is causing sales of beef and lamb to suffer while people opt for cheaper proteins: Steak out, snags in as shoppers cut grocery bills. As I said in a post a couple of days ago, it is recent immigrants who inevitably bear the brunt of financial downturns, and I don’t like the implications of Coles’s sales. The Chinese on 457 visas in Murray Bridge work at a lamb and beef processing plant, as do thousands of others across Australia and who are also desperately hoping for permanency. They may be made redundant, which for them means being sent home, before their hopes have a chance of being fulfilled.

Immigrants provide the great majority of food production in Western nations. The blogger at Imagine 2050 says in a post with the great title Don’t Bash Immigrants With Your Mouth Full:

“From the ground to the grocer, low-wage immigrants, refugees, and other workers of color are the very backbone of the nation’s food system. There is virtually nothing that is produced, picked, processed, packaged, and purveyed that does not have their touch. 62% of the workforce in the US meatpacking and poultry processing industry is Latino/a and Black.

There is no one in this country who eats unless immigrant workers provide the food.

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