Food Worker Justice

A call for it.

It would be nice to think that, just as elite chefs and advocates had to lay the groundwork for the mass organic movement, so too will worker justice eventually make it onto the foodie table. Which sounds good, especially if you’d like to go back to that restaurant with the halibut that you love and not think about this any more.

But if it disturbs you that an estimated 79 percent of food-service workers don’t have paid sick days, 52 percent don’t receive health and safety training from their employers, 35 percent experience wage theft on a weekly basis, and 75 percent have never had an opportunity to apply for a better position, maybe it’s time to put down your fork and open your mouth. After all, these food-service workers are disproportionately black and Latino. Many are undocumented immigrants.

For more, go here.

One thought on “Food Worker Justice

  1. This is very true! But of course, though, it’s important to avoid taking the nearby ideological misstep to think that advocating for sustainable farming practices isn’t already to advocate for the working poor. It feeds off the idea that environmentalism is advocacy for the environment as such, as a specific moral object that remains in abstraction from its relation to people, rather than viewing people as fundamentally ecological creatures, and so environmentalism as just an oblique way of advocating for people, individuated merely by procedural considerations. Still, it’s worth pointing out that ways of fighting for people that aren’t as environmentally mediated should supplement those that are. And good things will come of it. But the ideological distinction between environmentalism and workers’ justice that this call comes from plays a part in sustaining the very problem.

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