Big Dairy Treats Workers Even Worse Than Its Cows

SorrentinoFrom Joseph Sorrentino, for In These Times and The Santa Fe Reporter, an investigation of working conditions at diaries in New Mexico. Workers routinely work overtime without extra pay, and are subjected to dirty, dangerous conditions. But since most New Mexico dairy workers are undocumented immigrants, they are afraid to complain. Sorrentino tells the story of a worker who, despite suffering a fractured bone after a cow stepped on his foot, was unable to take sick leave, and another worker who was kicked by a cow, which broke his leg, then fired after he took three months to recover. Dairy farms in New Mexico are “strongly encouraged” but not required to get workers’ compensation insurance. Dairy workers tell Sorrentino that the owners treat the cows better than they treat their employees.

[Reporting sponsored by The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.]

Photo credit: Joseph Sorrentino