90% of Food Workers Basically Starving New study finds lousy conditions for workers By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Jun 6, 2012 11:39 AM CDT 56 comments Comments A culinary student rushes through the kitchen with greens during a class for aspiring professional chefs in this file photo. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Mamas, don't let your babies grow up to be line cooks. The food industry is a pretty terrible one to work in, a new study from the Food Chain Workers Alliance argues, with nearly nine out of every 10 workers earning less than a "livable wage." The report looked at people across the food industry, surveying employees at such disparate places as farms, slaughterhouses, grocery stores, and restaurants. Together, such workers comprise a fifth of America's private sector workforce, the LA Times reports. The common denominator for all of those jobs: They kinda suck. Among the report's findings: The median wage is $9.65 an hour. Some 13.8% depend on food stamps. The vast majority—83%—don't get health insurance through their employers, and 79% either don't get sick days or don't know if they do. Most (81%) have never received a promotion, and that's especially true of minorities and immigrants, who typically languish in low-level jobs. A majority (57%) have gotten hurt or sick on the job.