There is a big snowstorm and Ona and Stanislovas are unable to get to work. They fear they have lost their jobs, and Jurgis starts beating Stanisolvas in order to get him to go to work in the cold.
The unfeeling cruelty of the capitalist industry has begun to make the family treat each other with unfeeling cruelty as well.
The family is running out of money and Jonas disappears one day without a word, probably to seek a better life for himself. The two younger boys, Vilmas and Nikalojus, are taken out of school and sent into the city to sell newspapers.
Jonas's disappearance illustrates yet again that the stresses of the labor system undermine the natural bond of family. Jonas realizes that obligations to a family will only weigh him down in this unfair and exploitative world. Jonas's abandonment of the family also foreshadows Jurgis's eventual abandonment of the family.
Jurgis becomes well enough to go back to work, but discovers that he has been replaced at the plant. He joins the throngs of unemployed men, but this time he is damaged goods, no longer the strongest in the bunch, and has difficulty finding a job.
Jurgis's loss of work shows that a chance misfortune is all it takes to undermine an entire family's livelihood in Packingtown.