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Disposable Jobs & Unsafe Food?

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Touch the Soil News #750 (feature photo – A Fast Food Employee – CC SA 3.0) As we’ve always said, the food chain is ripe with insights about ourselves and the economy. The restaurant business is considered part of the larger “hospitality” industry that includes lodging and resorts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that annual employee turnover rates in the restaurants and accommodations sector peaked in 2007 at a whopping 80.7 percent. It is hard to imagine the training and learning challenges of an industry in which almost 81 employees out of a 100 at the beginning of the year will leave for a number of reasons. The…

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The Food Chain – A Landscape of Power Struggles (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #365 While it is not common knowledge, many of the struggles hitting the media headlines over food and food employees are also agitating within corporate structures. It is not uncommon for stockholders to express social justice changes to the board of directors – Tyson Foods not being spared the internal controversy. What is interesting are the types of shareholder proposals that come up in a company like Tyson Foods. Called the “Proxy Statement,” public companies use this document to communicate company issues and items stockholders need to vote on. In the most recent Tyson Foods “2015 Proxy Statement” several shareholder proposals came up. In each of…

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The Financialization of the Food Chain

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Touch the Soil News #338 Years ago, there was a time when most people had a hand in raising their food. Now, with steady migrations towards cities and mega-metropolis’, food has become a virtual reflection of the financial system. Access to food is essentially the story of access to dollars. The triumphs and failures of the financial system – which to a large degree determines the volume and placement of dollars – are reflected in the food chain. Back in 2012, a group of fast food workers congregated to tell their stories and woes: 1) Taking the subway to work only to be sent home before a shift started. 2)…

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America’s Food-Chain Workers – At the Forefront of Global Financial Change

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Touch the Soil News #258 On November 29, 2012 over 100 fast-food workers from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Domino’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut walked off their jobs in New York in strike for better wages and working conditions. These strikes have increased in number and are snowballing to include child care, home healthcare and convenience store workers. The movement is now national and under the banner of Fight for $15 – that is $15 an hour minimum wage across the board. The whole issue of a $15 minimum wage has become a focus of the Democratic Party in the 2016 elections. Understandably, America’s food-chain workers are focused on…

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