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United Kingdom

Good morning!
I īve got this excerpt from the book NorthStar: Building Skills for the TOEFL iBT and I couldn īt understand the meaning, could anyone help me, please?

"...There are not exactly people here, but what amounts to canned labor, being preserved between shifts from the heat."

This text is about poverty in the USA.

I īd appreciate if you could help me... 

Thanks a lot! 

22 Jun 2011      

United Kingdom

my understanding is that the workers were not treated as people but as commodities brought out to work then sent indoors during the hottest part of the day.  

canned referring to tin cans used to preserves such as sardines

22 Jun 2011     

United States

Yes, it is a metaphor comparing the trailer park tin homes of the lower class working poor to tin cans that the poor workers retire to to sleep between their two jobs. The workers are preserved between jobs in the tin trailers.

source : http://www.nytimes.com/books/01/05/13/reviews/010513.13gallagt.html

22 Jun 2011