Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Wayne Harrison

Second Advisor

Carey S. Ryan

Third Advisor

Jessiline Anderson


What are Latino immigrants’ beliefs about the obligations of their employers in the meatpacking industry? How fairly do they feel they are treated as workers? This study explores these questions in the context of U.S. meatpacking history and theories of psychological contract and organizational justice. Perceptions of informational justice, interpersonal justice, procedural justice, safety, satisfaction, and psychological contract of 429 line workers in five Nebraska communities were assessed. Differences by union status, gender, and work site were explored. Evidence of low procedural justice and high injury rates confirm reports of dangerous working conditions for both men and women. Advantages of union membership were found for some measures of justice. Similarly, working conditions and perceived fairness differed by work site. Findings provide a rare glimpse into the perceptions of these Latino immigrant workers. Survey measures of organizational justice can benefit workers and the industry in clarifying rights and contracts.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Psychology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment Of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts in Industrial/Organizational Psychology University of Nebraska at Omaha.

Copyright 2012 by María Teresa Gastón.