Angela Steusse traces the history of the Scott County, MS poultry industry in this article:
1950s: Only white workers worked in the plants.
1960s: As white workers sought better jobs and pay, black workers were integrated into the industry and given the worst jobs at a lower pay
1970s-80s: Black workers organized into unions to fight for better conditions
1990s: After the IRCA employers sanctions was passed, employers went to Guatemala and Mexico to actively recruit undocumented immigrants to work in the MS poultry plants.
2000s: Immigrant workers start organizing with unions for better conditions.
2019: ICE targets poultry workers at Koch Foods plants after they won an EEOC settlement for sexual harassment.
Read more from Angela Steusse’s article in Southern Spaces to see how the poultry industry pitted one race against each other to persistently depress wages and conditions of workers here.