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Unformatted text preview: again, making the
same knife cut thousands of times during an eight-hour shift. The gains that meatpacking workers had made since the days of The Jungle
stood in the way of IBP’s new system, whose success depended upon access to a cheap and powerless workforce. At the dawn of the fast food era, IBP became a meatpacking company with a fast food mentality, obsessed with throughput, efficiency, centralization, and control. “We’ve
tried to take the skill out of every step,” A. D. Anderson later boasted.
In addition to creating a mass production system that employed a de-skilled workforce, IBP put its new slaughterhouses in rural areas close
to the feedlots — and far away from the urban strongholds of the nation’s labor unions. The new interstate highway system made it possible
to rely upon trucks, instead of railroads, to ship meat. In 1967 IBP opened a large plant in Dakota City, Nebraska, that not only slaughtered
cattle but also “fabricated” them into smaller cuts of meat — into primals (chucks, loins, ribs, rounds) and...
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- Spring '08