October 14, 2017

Becoming a Steelworker Liberated Her. Then Her Job Moved to Mexico.

Farah Stockman – The New York Times:

Shannon and her co-workers had gotten the news back in October: The factory was closing. Ball bearings would move to a new plant in Monterrey, Mexico. Roller bearings would go to McAllen, Tex. About 300 workers would lose their jobs.

Long read, not well-placed for the short attention span crowd, but still demonstrative of an idea knocking around my mind. Note the divergence of attitudes and outcomes between black and white workers, once collegial, but torn by job displacement.

At a factory where black and white workers bowled together on Tuesday nights, where at least two romances crossed racial lines, a subtle divide emerged: Many white men like John refused to train and shunned those who did; many black men like Mark openly volunteered.

This reminds me of phrases I’ve heard the last couple decades, referring to Hispanic workers grooming lawns and cleaning bathrooms. “They do the work white Americans refuse to do.”

#employment #race #American #culture

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