White House Used Pandemic To Weaken Safety Regulations, Reporter Says - 2020-07-15
This is FRESH AIR. I'm Dave Davies in today for Terry Gross. Meatpacking and poultry processing have long been among the most dangerous and low-paying occupations in America, and now they've become hotbeds for the coronavirus, with thousands of workers getting sick. You've probably read about outbreaks of the coronavirus at plants in recent months.
Our guest today, New Yorker staff writer Jane Mayer, has a new article about one of the nation's largest poultry processing companies and how its workers have fared since the pandemic erupted. The Mountaire Corporation's owner, Ron Cameron, is a major donor to organizations supporting President Trump's campaign. Mayer writes that the Trump administration has weakened federal oversight of the industry, and the U.S. Labor Department is effectively supporting an effort to drive the United Food and Commercial Workers out of one of the company's Delaware plants after that union has represented the plant's workers for four decades.
Jane Mayer is chief Washington correspondent for The New Yorker, where she's been a staff writer since 1995. Her reporting has earned a host of prestigious awards. Her most recent book is the 2016 bestseller "Dark Money: The Hidden History Of The Billionaires Behind The Rise Of The Radical Right." Her story in the current issue of The New Yorker is titled "How Trump Is Helping Tycoons Exploit The Pandemic." Jane Mayer spoke to me via an Internet connection from her home in Washington.