The family has barely managed to scrape by during the winter.
Marija has totally given up getting married, because the family needs her too badly.
She's also just about lost hope that the canning factory is going to reopen, and she has almost run through her savings.
So, none of them know what is going to happen in the future.
They keep getting slammed by unanticipated expenses for both home repair and taxes.
Winter ends, and they think that they are at least free from the horrible cold.
But every season has its own troubles: spring brings heavy rain, summer brings heat and stench from all of the blood of the slaughtered cattle – everything is filthy in Packingtown, no matter what the time of year.
Marija's canning factory starts up again in the late spring, but a month or two later, Marija is suddenly fired.
Marija believes that this is because she is a union member.
What is more, she makes a (legitimate) fuss over being shortchanged on her pay. Even though all of her friends tell her to drop it, she keeps bothering the management about her money.
Finally, her immediate supervisor tells Marija that she is fired.
This is a really bad time for Marija to lose her job, because Ona is just about to have a baby.
Jurgis is saving up money for a doctor (not a midwife; he wants someone more expert).
Marija spends a month looking for work.
Finally, she finds it: a man hires her to trim the meat of diseased cattle so that it can be reprocessed for canning.
Her new boss hires her because he sees how muscular Marija is. He fires the guy who had the job before and then hires Marija for about half the cost.
Marija has really been brought low – she would never have done this kind of hard, stinking work when she first arrived in Chicago.
She also keeps postponing her marriage to Tamoszius, even though they are both eager to get hitched.
Ona is also having work troubles.
Her boss hates Ona, and Ona can't figure out why.
Eventually, Ona hears from the other girls that Ona's boss, Miss Henderson, was once the mistress of one of the superintendents.
They are no longer sleeping together, but he gave Miss Henderson this job at the meatpacking plant to keep her quiet.
Miss Henderson has close ties to a brothel downtown, and a lot of the girls who work for her are also former prostitutes.
The reason Miss Henderson hates Ona is because Ona is a "decent married girl" (10.14). Miss Henderson resents Ona's purity.
One morning, Ona gives birth to a healthy baby boy. They name him Antanas.
Jurgis scarcely gets to see his baby, even though he adores him, because he absolutely has to work.
Ona has to work, too – in fact, she goes back to Brown's factory a week after giving birth.
They leave Baby Antanas in the care of Teta Elzbieta, who feeds him watered down milk from the local grocery store.
The two of them work even harder so that they can give Baby Antanas a better life than either of them have had.
Yet, in going straight back to work after giving birth, Ona has damaged her health: it's unclear what exactly she has (since they don't have the money for a doctor), but she basically never recovers from the childbirth.