Organized Slaughter

Falling carcasses and untreated injuries: Meatpackers at Dakota Premium Foods were driven to form a union. But not even that got the company's attention.

Espinosa, Hesse, and Olvera head back to the union office. The frustration is palpable. After 15 months of organizing the union is no closer to representing the workers at Dakota Premium than it was the day employees refused to work. Hesse is supposed to be dedicating his energies to the Local 789's chief goal for the year: organizing workers at giant retail chains such as Target and K-Mart. But because of the ongoing stalemate at Dakota Premium, much of his time has been spent dealing with slaughterhouse issues.

Alex Ostroy

"Obviously this is a social justice issue for us," Hesse insists. "We're not gonna walk away from these guys."

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