Chapter

Laboring on the Land

David Igler

in Industrial Cowboys

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780520226586
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520938939 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520226586.003.0006
Laboring on the Land

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This chapter describes Miller and Lux's workforce. It notes that in order to fill its constantly changing labor needs, the firm employed migrant, low-wage workers and divided them along racial and ethnic lines, adding that the racial and ethnic segmentation reflected the company's attempt to organize a large and potentially unwieldy male population. The chapter explains that Miller and Lux, like industrial employers nationwide, capitalized on immigration trends, and separated their workers as a way to prevent strikes. It narrates that Miller and Lux's largest labouring group had little direct contact with livestock but instead found themselves employed in reclamation activities, and notes that the laborers spent long hours of arduous work for low wages. The chapter explains that human labor was the integral link between resource exploitation and large-scale production, and that the company's power ultimately derived from the ability to tap both human and natural energy for its own ends.

Keywords: Miller and Lux; workforce; migrants; low-wage workers; immigration trends; segmentation; human labor

Chapter.  9936 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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