June 2, 2015. Clarendon County, South Carolina. According to today’s Bloomberg Business news, 300,000 chickens were deliberately killed by an unknown perpetrator, all on farms located in Clarendon County. Authorities have linked the murders to a chicken farmer in the area though no physical evidence has been apparently found to substantiate those charges.
Regardless of the actual person responsible, the true villain in this story would appear to be Pilgrim Pride, the second largest poultry company in the U.S.. This article explains how the poultry business operates with contract farmers and how Pilgrim Pride pays those farmers based upon a sinister “tournament” system where bonuses at the top come directly out of the very pockets of farmers at the bottom of their measurement system. It’s a tale of woe, hardship and human cruelty.
It’s also an example of how industry lobbying at the federal level subverts the political process and ultimately allows a large corporation to act against it’s own workers.