I agree with what you're saying in regards to competition, certainly don't think you're bootstrapping! But surely that many years in the industry you work your way up the chain to some degree - she apparently left the role initially as she was promoted but not given the pay rise she was promised. So she was doing the right thing and getting shafted regardless - the poor thing.
It's just the wages combined with the lack of healthcare and how she works herself off her feet just to keep the lights on. I really can't imagine that life and it's so unsettling knowing people are forced to live like that. If I don't get a payrise in a certain amount of time, I just leave for another role - but that doesn't sound like something she can do in her situation. She's spent years in the industry but wasn't given any training or progression plan to help her in the future.