Waging of Welfare: All Work and No Pay?

Kimberly Thomas, University of Michigan Law School


In Joslin, Illinois, welfare recipients come from Modesto, California at the expense of a meat packing company, which hires them to fill jobs that once belonged to unionized local workers earning over twice the pay. While the company, which has paid millions in fines for workplace safety violations and an injury suit settlement, claims it hires welfare recipients out of a sense of civic duty, a spokesman for a local union claims the industry "has been looking for a compliant low-wage workforce that has limited ability to exercise their rights under law.'