One of the weekâ€™s big must-reads was How Trump is helping tycoons exploit the pandemic, by The New Yorkerâ€™s Jane Mayer. Specifically, Ronald Cameron, the owner of the massive poultry processing company Mountaire. Cameron is a major Trump donor, and heâ€™s on a White House advisory board about the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, thereâ€™s a campaign to bust the union of the workers at a Mountaire plant and the Trump administration is gutting regulations that protect these workers, whose job was already both dangerous and low-paid before COVID-19. Now, workers are getting sick and the company is keeping its numbers secretâ€”and continuing to get favorable treatment from the Trump administration.
A worker at the plant told Mayer thatÂ a fellow workerÂ ended up on a ventilator with COVID-19 afterÂ she told the company nurse she felt unwell and â€śTheÂ nurse sent her right back on the God-damned line to work. The nurses arenâ€™t worth shit in there.â€ť Mountaire workers got hazard pay of just a dollar an hour, which was canceled in June, while a Trump executive order forced them to remain on the job. â€śWhy are they giving us a one-dollar raise and giving twoÂ millionÂ dollars to Donald Trump? What are we, animals?â€ť the workerÂ told Mayer.Â Read the whole thing.
This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on July 18, 2020. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a Daily Kos contributing editor since December 2006. Full-time staff since 2011, currently assistant managing editor.