Grapes of Wrath Chapter 27
There are signs along the highways advertising for cotton pickers. Those who do not have sacks to hold their cotton can buy one for a dollar or borrow a dollar from their first one hundred and fifty pounds picked. A picker gets eighty cents for the first time across the field and ninety cents for the second time over. Sometimes the men who weigh the cotton have weighted the scales against the pickers and sometimes the pickers put rocks in their bags to add weight. The workers have to keep track of how much they have picked so that the days total will not be added up incorrectly. The pay is not bad, but there are so many workers that the work rarely last long. Sometimes a man can't even pick enough to pay off the price of his bag. Workers can afford to eat meat every night, but they can rarely save any money for the fast approaching winter when no work can be found in California.