By C. Michael Forsyth
SAN MATEO, Calif. — Most ordinary folks see the widening zombie epidemic with fear — but corporate America sees big profits! Agribusiness giants are gradually replacing migrant workers with zombie farm workers who can pick fruit, lettuce and other crops at a fraction of the cost.
“There are many jobs that living Americans won’t do, and undocumented aliens will do but only if compensated financially,” explained an industry insider. “Zombies don’t demand pay, don’t require rest breaks, don’t need healthcare or other benefits and don’t burden an employer when injured on the job. If they lose a hand on a piece of farm equipment they just keep going.”
Legislation now wending its way through Congress will help smooth the transition from illegal alien to zombie labor. If signed into law, House of Representatives Bill 8263, The American Protection of Personhood Act, would define a person as “a human being not capable of sustaining life when shot through the heart or other vital organs apart from the brain.”
“The language excludes zombies from labor laws,” the insider explained. “That means that zombie laborers are exempt from the minimum wage, workplace safety rules, limitations on hours, the Family Leave Act and other cumbersome Federal regulations.”
Not having to worry about government red tape will help the farm industry compete with foreign food producers, analysts say.
“This is just the kind of boost the U.S. economy could use right now,” says economist Gerard N. Lunkster.
The first known use of zombie labor in the western hemisphere was in Haiti in the early 1800s when they were commonly seen harvesting sugarcane. The Haitian government imposed a ban on their use in the 1960s.
“Contrary to what you may have seen in the cinema and on TV, real zombies are quite docile when fed and cared for properly,” said an expert. “They are well suited to farm work. Attempts to train them to do jobs requiring more manual dexterity, such as assembly line work, have by and large been unsuccessful.”
Labor leaders are fighting the bill tooth and nail, warning that employing zombies will displace living workers. But farm industry lobbyists dismiss those concerns.
“Don’t worry about jobless people — zombies need to eat don’t they?” joked the insider. “Just kidding. But seriously, if some unemployed vagrant does trespass on a farm trying to steal food or looking for a handout, and winds up a meal, that’s not the farmer’s concern. You can’t prosecute zombies for homicide because they’re not legally people.”
Copyright C. Michael Forsyth
If you found this story by fiction writer C. Michael Forsyth entertaining, you might enjoy his thriller The Identity Thief.