Smithfield, NAFTA, and Mexico
Bacon's well-researched article looks at efforts to unionize the Tar Heel plant and the anti-immigrant climate and crackdowns by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that have subsequently driven many of these Mexican workers from North Carolina. The photo above, one that accompanies the on-line version of Bacon's article, is of a market in North Carolina named for and catering to these Mexican migrants, although many of these businesses have lost customers as they have fled the state.
Although it is less central to the article, Bacon also examines the environmental and economic effects of large scale pig farming operations in Mexico, especially those at the plant known as Granjas Carroll de Mexico in Veracruz's Perote valley, one now owned and operated by Smithfield. Throughout he is interested in activism on both sides of the border dedicated to improving people's living and working conditions, activism that has to be transnational because it is responding to global trade and transnational corporations. Overall, this is a great read and contains material I wish I'd been able to include in PIG, although I do tell similar stories about the implications of the expansion of industrial-scale pig farming for local communities and traditions in North America and throughout the globe.