The Ugly Side of the Food Industry

Contributor
Few American food industries provide living wages and benefit

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

There are more employees in the food industry than healthcare, education, and manufacturing, but according to a new report released by The Food Chain Workers Alliance, food industry workers have fewer benefits than other service fields. Employees who work in food production, processing, distribution, retail, and service sectors, produce about $1.8 trillion in goods and service a year, but the average wage for these employees is $9.65.

The Food Chain Workers Alliance interviewed 700 workers from small and mid-size food corporations and concluded that more than 75 percent of food workers say they never had a raise, they do not get paid for sick time, and their employers do not provide healthcare benefits.

Food Industry executives have begun to focus more on productivity instead of employees, by stressing their bottom line, which ultimately lowers the cost of labor. According to the author of the study, the food industry is a high stress environment, which leads to dissatisfaction for employees.