The Jungle Chapter 11
When summer arrives, the packinghouses are once again in full swing and Jurgis makes more money-though not as much as he made last summer. The bosses are training new workers, overpopulating the workforce. They are training strikebreakers. The extra workers cause wages to drop, and the grumblings become louder. It seems something is set to happen against the backdrop of the union and packinghouses.
At Marija's old factory, the girls' wages are cut in half and they walk out on the job, striking. A new union emerges out of this difficulty, but their strike fails as the rush of new labor fills their positions. As he witnesses all these difficulties, Jurgis comes to realize that the factories are really one firm: the beef trust. All are in collusion with each other, fixing prices. Voting time comes around again and Jurgis accepts the bribes for his vote, though he knows by this time it is wrong. But, he thinks, his refusal will not make a bit of difference and the extra money will. The seasons turn and winter approaches again. The deadly cold and snow of winter returns and Jurgis is once again struggling through gigantic snowdrifts, carrying Ona and Stanislovas to work. Then, one day, a terrible blow: Jurgis has an accident at work. The company doctor tells him that he'll be laid up for months with a severe ankle and foot injury. The accident poses a terrible problem for the family. Without Jurgis' wages, they might starve.