Workers Comp Zone


The car turns down a side road, off a fine highway onto a somewhat-rutted track.

Next we pull into a small courtyard. In the small office sits a 6 foot long fish tank. A big white fish, all alone, lounges dreamily. Its yellow eyes seem to reach out in communication.

Meanwhile, the TV blares a sit-com as some Ching dynasty nobles verbally joust with a prisoner of war who finds their soft spot, humorous antics.

The Chinese tea ceremony starts. Tea is poured as a symbol of courtesy. This time it is boiling hot, poured into small plastic cups that seem wiggly to the point of melting.

I know if I lift that sucker I am risking severe groin burns.

It’s all a preface to going into the plant, where various forms of plastic grocery bags, collected from recyclers, are being run through some sort of compressors and melters and then processed into bigger conglomerations . From there they are then pelletized into little white sprinkles just about the right size for cupcakes.

A handful of cheerful workers keep the stream going, as others scoop the pellets out of the hopper and bag it and pelletize it.

This is being done in Southern China’s Guandong province, but I’m told that today’s run is being shipped to Northern China where it will be processed into carpets.

Seeing all this occur in this foreign land makes me realize how few of us in the “comp community” have any real connection with the workplaces of our clients.

Our clients run the machines, stand at the conveyor belts, do the quality control, pick, pack and palletize. From the folks making candy to the folks turning out small electrical goods, hundreds of thousands of Californians do these jobs too.

It’s good to get out of the office and see what’s going on.

Julius Young

Category: Political developments