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Brooklyn, NY - Agriprocessors Asking U.S. Supreme Court to Rule That illegal Immigrants Can't Join Labor Unions

Published on: September 1, 2008 09:41 AM
By: NY Times
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Photo Credit: Forward - A delivery truck waits outside the Agriprocessors warehouse in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn.Photo Credit: Forward - A delivery truck waits outside the Agriprocessors warehouse in the Sunset Park area of Brooklyn.

Brooklyn, NY - Agriprocessors, the Brooklyn-based company that is the nation’s largest kosher meat producer, is well known for the labor troubles at its meatpacking plant in Iowa — federal agents detained 389 of its workers as illegal immigrants in May, and labor officials in Iowa have accused it of employing 57 under-age workers.

But Agriprocessors is also having labor troubles closer to home, with the company asking the United States Supreme Court to overturn a vote to unionize at its distribution center along the Brooklyn waterfront.

If successful, the company’s appeal could have repercussions at companies across the country: it is trying to persuade the Supreme Court to rule that illegal immigrants do not have the right to join labor unions.

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In September 2005, the company’s Brooklyn employees voted 15 to 5 to unionize, with one ballot challenged. The workers, most of them immigrants from Mexico, complained of low pay, not receiving time-and-a-half for overtime and not having health insurance or paid holidays.

“It was a dirty place to work, and they treated some of the workers real bad,” said Lucilo Brito, a former Agriprocessors truck driver.

Days after the vote, Agriprocessors stunned its employees by announcing that it would not recognize the union because, it said, it had just discovered that 17 of the workers were illegal immigrants.

The National Labor Relations Board nonetheless ordered Agriprocessors to recognize the union, Local 342 of the United Food and Commercial Workers, citing a 1984 Supreme Court ruling that affirmed the right of illegal immigrants to join unions.

Agriprocessors appealed the labor board’s order, with one of its lawyers, Richard Howard, telling the board, “This should not be a valid vote for representation” because “they’re not documented workers and not allowed to work.”

After Agriprocessors refused to deal with the union, 14 of the workers went on strike for seven weeks. The company responded by firing the strikers. (During the strike, union officials said, management hired day laborers from a nearby street corner, many of them illegal immigrants.)

The labor board continues to insist that Agriprocessors recognize the union. Lawyers for the board and union argue that it is foolish for the company to appeal the 1984 decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that illegal immigrant workers fall within the definition of “employee” in the National Labor Relations Act and thus have the right to join unions.

“Whether people are undocumented or not, they deserve to have some union represent them,” said Lisa O’Leary, executive vice president of Local 342, which represents 10,000 meat, poultry and seafood workers in the New York area. “That will help reduce the abuses that undocumented workers face.”

The Agriprocessors distribution center is one of 20 or so meat wholesalers at the Brooklyn Terminal Market at First Avenue near 56th Street in Sunset Park, where there are two long rows of low-lying buildings with meat hooks hanging above the loading docks. All but a handful of the meat companies are unionized.

Connected to the Agriprocessors center are two refrigeration trailers that hum 24 hours a day, and parked outside are trucks painted with the company’s main retail logo, Aaron’s Best.

Ante Vulin, a butcher at International Glatt Kosher Meats, a unionized wholesaler directly across from Agriprocessors, said belonging to the union meant higher pay and better benefits.

“What’s the purpose of leaving here when you don’t get more at another place?” said Mr. Vulin, who earns $20.25 an hour after 20 years on the job.

David Young, an organizer with Local 342, said it was easy to get Agriprocessors’ workers to vote to unionize because they had talked with workers at other distribution centers and seen the fruits of unionizing.

The manager of the Agriprocessors distribution center refused to comment about workplace conditions or the litigation. A company lawyer, Arnold Kaufman, said it would be inappropriate to comment during litigation — the company is hoping the Supreme Court will hear its appeal.

During the organizing drive in 2005, Agriprocessors fought hard to defeat the union. One worker said managers told him: “The union is not good. Everything they say is a lie.”

The company, the labor board asserted, improperly fired two workers for supporting the union. Moreover, the board said, management sought to block the workers from voting for the United Food and Commercial Workers, by announcing one day that a majority of its drivers had signed up with a union known for working closely with employers, Local 17-18 of the United Production Workers.

Several workers said management representatives had pressured them to sign cards supporting Local 17-18, and had done so after management told the labor relations board that a majority of workers had already signed cards backing that union.

Labor board officials dismissed the company’s efforts to steer its employees into Local 17-18 as a charade. It ordered the secret-ballot vote to proceed, and the workers voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers.

When Agriprocessors said it would ignore the vote because it had discovered that most employees were in the country illegally, the union insisted the company was acting in bad faith.

“They knew all along they were hiring undocumented workers,” said Mr. Young, the organizer. (He wondered why, if the company was suddenly so concerned about employing illegal immigrants, it did not conduct similar checks at its Iowa plant.)

Agriprocessors officials said they had no idea their Brooklyn employees were illegal immigrants, insisting that they had been fooled because the workers presented fraudulent documents. Agriprocessors officials said the same thing after the immigration raid at its Iowa plant in May.

Mr. Howard, the company’s lawyer, said it should not be possible to join a union “if you are not legally allowed to work, if your working for this employer results from the perpetration of a fraud upon this employer and results from a crime against the country.”

The National Labor Relations Board in Washington and the United States Court of Appeals in Washington rejected Agriprocessors’ argument that illegal immigrants should not have the right to join unions. In a decision last January, the appeals court, echoing the 1984 Supreme Court decision, wrote that allowing illegal immigrants to join a union “helps to assure that the wages and employment conditions of lawful residents are not adversely affected by the competition of illegal alien employees.”

Nathan Lewin, the lead lawyer in Agriprocessors’ appeal to the Supreme Court, said the issue should be reconsidered because there are so many more illegal immigrant workers now than in 1984 and because a federal law passed two years after that ruling made it a crime for companies to hire illegal immigrants.

“The attitude of federal and local laws towards illegal immigrant workers has undergone a sea change,” the company’s appeal says. “Federal policy regarding the employment of undocumented aliens is far more prohibitive today.”

Alvin Blyer, regional director of the labor board’s office in Brooklyn, said he was not surprised by the company’s appeals.

“Many times employers are anxious to put off the day that they have to deal with a labor union and bargain collectively,” Mr. Blyer said. “Even in cases where their legal position is unlikely to succeed, they find it economically worthwhile to delay that day.”

Last Thursday, a butcher who had just finished the midnight-to-9 a.m. shift at the Agriprocessors distribution center said that the company had improved wages and conditions somewhat since the unionization vote three years ago. The worker said he was paid $8.50 an hour, got one week vacation a year and received time-and-a-half pay for overtime.

“We don’t get health insurance,” said the worker, who insisted on anonymity for fear of retaliation. And in a candid moment, he acknowledged that he was an illegal immigrant.


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Read Comments (61)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Sep 01, 2008 at 09:50 AM Anonymous Says:

Look at the last 2 paragraphs. If I can read this, then ICE can read this. Looks like Rubashkin will never learn.

2

 Sep 01, 2008 at 09:53 AM Anonymous Says:

Ante Vulin, a butcher at International Glatt Kosher Meats, a unionized wholesaler directly across from Agriprocessors, said belonging to the union meant higher pay and better benefits.

“What’s the purpose of leaving here when you don’t get more at another place?” said Mr. Vulin, who earns $20.25 an hour after 20 years on the job.
****************************************
If Agri is smart enough to hire these people and International is stupid enough to hire union butchers, then who would want to pay more for International meats?

3

 Sep 01, 2008 at 09:59 AM AuthenticSatmar Says:

He is illegal and doesn't get health insurance. What nerve. Let him go back to Mexico where he didn't have food.
Besides, since when is health insurance an employer's responsibility? Walmart - America's favorite store does not give their employees health insurance either. Where is the public outrage?

4

 Sep 01, 2008 at 10:42 AM Daniel in the Forest Says:

Rabbi Ben Zion Uziel (1880-1953), Israel's first Sepharadi Chief Rabbi, viewed unionization as common sense and even went so far as to say that the Torah grants “the full and legal right to organize, even though it is possible that will result in a financial loss for the employers" (Mishpetei Uziel, Hoshen Misphat, 52:6). Without the power of collective bargaining, he said, an individual worker would be alone, unable to defend his or her own interests against the weight of the market. Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Kook (1865-1935), the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of Israel , said that unions are “formed for the purpose of guarding and protecting working conditions” and that doing so engenders “righteousness and uprightness and tikkun olam" (Yaron, Zvi, Mishnato shel ha-Rav Kook, 1986, p. 164.).

5

 Sep 01, 2008 at 10:48 AM Anonymous Says:

the first time someone does a mistake its not his fault the second time he does a mistake.........

6

 Sep 01, 2008 at 10:58 AM EinOidMilvado Says:

Basically the point here is that the government is punishing an employer with both ends of the stick.
On one end, the government insists (aggresively) that the employer somehow verify, or investigate, the employee's immigrant status.
On the other hand they want you to NOT look at the employee's immigrant status, when it comes to unionizing. All of a sudden the government sticks up for the same person they want us to put down?
I don't think the government can have it both ways.

7

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:00 AM Anonymous Says:

AuthenticSatmar Says:
He is illegal and doesn't get health insurance. What nerve. Let him go back to Mexico where he didn't have food.
***************************************
Rubashkin will never learn. He is still hiring illegals. When will we learn not to trust him??


Besides, since when is health insurance an employer's responsibility? Walmart - America's favorite store does not give their employees health insurance either. Where is the public outrage?
09-01-2008 - 9:59 AM
****************************************
Walmart relies on the government for the employee health benefits. translation - welfare
As for benefits in general - small companies cannot compete with larger companies. The economies of scale gives the larger companies more profit, so they can offer more benefits to attract better employees, to get mor profuts, etc.

Rubashkin is the exception to the rule. He generates tremandous profits, but for some reason, cannot use them wisely. He is fined left and right in the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars for osha violations, for example. If he put his money back to the employees, he would attract a better class of employee that is motivated. That would make the employees his eyes and ears and would help him run the plant, for example, by telling him that the band saws have no safeties on them and should be fixed.

8

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:19 AM Anonymous Says:

I have news, Agri has NO butcher's in there Brooklyn warehouse. All meats come packeged from Iowa....

9

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:21 AM Milhouse Says:

What's so hard to understand? It is not an employer's job to investigate his workers. If they present documents that appear to give them the right to work then he's entitled to take them at face value. So Rubashkin knew it was likely that some of their workers were liars, but they never had a reason to find out which ones, until the union vote came around. Once the workers had voted for the union it made sense to hire an investigator to look into them, and they found out which ones were illegal. It's quite likely that some or many of the new workers are also illegal, but nobody can know that for certain without investigating them, and so far Rubashkin has no reason to do so. The worker quoted in the article admitted he was illegal, so now they know they have at least one illegal working for them, but they still don't know which one, so what good does that do them?

As for the quoted worker, he contradicts himself when in one sentence he says the union will mean higher pay, and in the next he says he has no reason to go work anywhere else because he won't get better than he has at Rubashkin. Make up your mind, cholo.

10

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:23 AM JBC Says:

While I have reiterated over and over again that workers need to be treated fairly, allowing illegals to join unions is a very dangerous thing. They need to be deported and Rubashkin fined for hiring them. This is where I strongly disagree with the unions. Their legal workers would be better protected in the workplace in general if the unions would not allow illegals membership. This would mean the good jobs can only go to people here legally. I believe that most unions don't allow this.

To the poster who wrote:
" If Agri is smart enough to hire these people and International is stupid enough to hire union butchers, then who would want to pay more for International meats?"

Apparantly Agri's "smart move" cost them in the long run. They wanted to undercut everyone so that they can corner the market, (hurting alot of small "frum" kosher butchers during that process), and now their greed has caught up with them. The price difference between them and International, if there is one is minimal. They were penny smart, but pound foolish.

11

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:31 AM Skeptical Says:

Hmmm - In Iowa Agriprocessors is innocent of knowingly employing illegal immigrants. And in Brooklyn, only after losing the unionization vote, all of a sudden it "discovers" that the majority of the voting employees are illegals, when it suits them in there attempt to void the vote. Really now - Rubashkin must think the world is stupid. Disgraceful.

12

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:41 AM Anonymous Says:

I have a suggestion. All of you who are in favor of Agriprocessor: tomorrow morning when you return to work, ask your employer to cut your wages to $6.50 an hour , and take away your health benefits and vaction/sick days. If it's good enough for their employees, it's good enough for you!!

13

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:42 AM bird in sky Says:

If walmart can rely on the governments health coverage, why do companies have to pay 20.25 an hour for workers? I think it's about time that all companies are allowed to get away with what Wal Mart does.

I think all of you who are busy bashing other employers should wake up and smell the coffee.

14

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:54 AM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous Says:
I have news, Agri has NO butcher's in there Brooklyn warehouse. All meats come packeged from Iowa....
09-01-2008 - 11:19 AM
******************************************
Tell that to the NYTimes.
"Last Thursday, a butcher who had just finished the midnight-to-9 a.m. shift..........". It appears that he was working at night. Why have illegal workers there at night? It is not a meat plant so they do not have to clean up. He is an illiterate Mexican so he cannot make up orders. What is left for him to do? Butcher, perhaps?

15

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:56 AM Anonymous Says:

We already know that the goyish drivers have extra labels on the trucks. What is wrong with a butcher trying to work at night without USDA there?

16

 Sep 01, 2008 at 12:43 PM Mark Levin Says:

Oy he doesnt have health insurance???!! Hey bhaima, you are not ENTITLED to health insurance. If the boss wants to give it to you, they can but they DONT HAVE TO. If you dont like it or you dont like other parts of the compensation, GET OTHER JOB!

Of course Illegals shouldnt be allowed to join a Union. That should be common sense but the problem is Unions = libs = open borders etc. If you are not legal not only dont you belong in a union you DONT BELONG in my country either so GET THE #$#@$#@ OUTTA HERE! If you want to come to the USA, come in legally.

17

 Sep 01, 2008 at 12:49 PM Anonymous Says:

JBC Says: ..................

To the poster who wrote:
" If Agri is smart enough to hire these people and International is stupid enough to hire union butchers, then who would want to pay more for International meats?"
*************************************
I was being sarcastic. Sorry.

18

 Sep 01, 2008 at 12:52 PM Anonymous Says:

Milhouse Says:
What's so hard to understand? It is not an employer's job to investigate his workers.
*************************************
Obviously, in Agri's case, it is. What happened to E-verify on that Mexican butcher? How did they let that one slip in? And the NY times told the rest of the world?

PS - Cholo is really not allowed in an intelligent conversation, if you get my drift.

19

 Sep 01, 2008 at 12:59 PM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous Says:
We already know that the goyish drivers have extra labels on the trucks. What is wrong with a butcher trying to work at night without USDA there?
09-01-2008 - 11:56 AM
**************************************
Cutting meat must have a license either from local (NYC), state (NYS gave it up in the 1960's to the federal govt) or federal (USDA).

All butcher stores in the city are visited by the health inspector once a year. If you sell more than $38,000 a year to another place or places (like a nursing home) or you ship across state lines, you must have federal.

Rubashkin ships millions across state line each year from Ny. They must have federal.

20

 Sep 01, 2008 at 01:42 PM Anonymous Says:

Rubashkin's has NO BUTCHER'S in there warehouse. All they do is pack orders, most off there trucks leave bet. 4:00 $ 7:00. You probly never picked up meat there so you dont know.

By the way it was last week reported on VIN
that meal mart has no union either so anybody just mocking Agri how about the other company's.

International could be that they have a union, maybe thats why there sale is so down

21

 Sep 01, 2008 at 01:48 PM Mark Levin Says:

Anon 1259,

If you PROCESS & ship meat over state lines you need USDA inspections at the processing site. Depending on the operation they dont have to be present 24/7.

22

 Sep 01, 2008 at 01:55 PM Anonymous Says:

What a stupid comment. Rubashkin has NO butcher in their warehouse.DUUUUUUUHHHHH On 14th AVe the FDA inspector stands there almost all day. Every tume Im there I see the inspectors there. AND... RUBAHKIN does give Health benefits. THey even have in Iowa a special dept dealing with it. As long as you dont work there or know someone working there DONT BUY ANYTHING FROM ANYONE.......... And for all of you out there that cry give better pay checks and let then unionize, Well if you'll add to my income to spend more for food maybe ill agree with you till then sorry food is expensive enough.

ZEITS GHEZINT

23

 Sep 01, 2008 at 01:57 PM Anonymous Says:

the USDA HAS ITS OFFICE IN THE BROOKLYN MEAT MARKET, THEY CHECK EVERY COMPANY THE SAME AS AGRI,THEREFORE THERE IS NO FEAR THAT THEY FORGOT ABOUT AGRI...

24

 Sep 01, 2008 at 02:16 PM Anonymous Says:

zeits ghezint
Iam sorry, but Rubashkin is much bigger then a small butcher on 14th Ave, please go check by the warehouse we r talking about and check it out.

25

 Sep 01, 2008 at 02:38 PM Anonymous Says:

I find it amazing that Rubashkin only finds out that some workers where illegal after the union vote. Does Rubashkin really think the government is so stupid and the Yiddisha public so naive or brainwashed to believe him.

I see there are some people, who would excuse any so called frum Yid from ant wrong doing no matter what the evidence is. If that where the case that frum people can do no wrong, one would not need any asserim (wrong doings) in the Torah or talmud and there punishments since it (simply does not happen amongst us)

26

 Sep 01, 2008 at 04:06 PM Tzaddik Ben Torah Says:

If illegal aliens can get permission to work in the USA and pay taxes and SS taxes under their OWN name,only then should they be allowed to join a union.The country has laws on the books and officers who enforce them ,so the union really is not necessary.It just adds to the cost of the product and gives gangsters an income.

27

 Sep 01, 2008 at 04:20 PM anonymous Says:

Milhouse Says:
....................
As for the quoted worker, he contradicts himself when in one sentence he says the union will mean higher pay, and in the next he says he has no reason to go work anywhere else because he won't get better than he has at Rubashkin. Make up your mind, cholo.
09-01-2008 - 11:21 AM
****************************************
Where does it say that he won't get better than he has at Rubashkin?? I read the article and I can't find it? What article have you read?

28

 Sep 01, 2008 at 05:00 PM aanon Says:

YOU could see the hate on agri processors ,everyday its in the news ,their is somebody or mabey a few organations that are out to get agri ,.... but hashem wants otherwise ,they are good people and the end of the day they will prevail ,better then before ,rubashkin keep up the good work ...
since the raid i ONLY buy meat & poultry from the 14th ave butcher ,to show my support

29

 Sep 01, 2008 at 05:44 PM anonymous Says:

aanon Says:
YOU could see the hate on agri processors ,everyday its in the news ,their is somebody or mabey a few organations that are out to get agri ,.... but hashem wants otherwise ,they are good people and the end of the day they will prevail ,better then before ,rubashkin keep up the good work ...
since the raid i ONLY buy meat & poultry from the 14th ave butcher ,to show my support
09-01-2008 - 5:00 PM
*******************************************
You must be Hashem's accountant to know what he wants and who is a tzaddik in Hashem's eyes.

As for me - I do not hate Rubashkin.

1) I want him to treat his workers not better than all the other glatt companies, just the same. This includes the shochtim and mashgichim that have not been paid for 8 weeks.

2) I want him not to hire child workers, like the other glatt companies.

3) I want him to fix his equipment like his band saws and the holes in the floors so that no one loses an arm or a leg, like the other glatt companies.

As Hashem's accountant, you can tell us who is out to get him and why. As a frum Yid who does not know how and why Hashem operates, I just want the 3 things mentioned above, and then I will join you on 14th Ave. to buy his meat.

30

 Sep 01, 2008 at 06:03 PM Avrohom Abba Says:

They march in here totally against the U.S . government. Then they bring their pregnant wives to American hospitals and then we pay because they say they have no money. Then, they suddenly have a child who is an American. Then, they want the benefits also for free. Then, they want free health insurance. Then, they want to join work unions as if they have always been citizens. All this while millions wait on line to legally become citizens the honest way.

31

 Sep 01, 2008 at 07:25 PM I will only buy Rubashkin from now on Says:

The hatred that spews forth against Rubashkin has compelled me to make the decision, from now on, only to eat Rubashkin meat.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of Agri's competitors are trying to take advantage and kick these good people while they are down.

This is my way of showing solidarity to a fellow Jew under attack. The more shrill the yellers are against Rubashkin, the more I will support them in purchasing their products.

32

 Sep 01, 2008 at 07:38 PM JBC Says:

TO I will only buy Rubashkin from now on:

"The more shrill the yellers are against Rubashkin, the more I will support them in purchasing their products."
--------------------------------------------------

That's some decision making process u have there. Based on that "logic" I suppose then that the more shrills the yellers are against Rebbes that are child molesters, the more children u will put in his class? After all u do want to show solidarity to a fellow jew under attack.

33

 Sep 01, 2008 at 07:49 PM anonymous Says:

To: I will only buy Rubashkin

The more shrill the yellers are against Rubashkin, the more I will support them in purchasing their products.
**********************************
I agree with JBC. You and aanon 5:00 have chosen to call all of those who want Rubashkin to shape up as 'sonei yisroel'.

I suppose that you are also willing to take a pay cut and get $6.50 per hour with no health insurance so that I can have really cheap meat.

34

 Sep 01, 2008 at 09:07 PM Anonymous Says:

TO 2:16 YOU DONT HAVE THE FOGGIEST IDEA OF WHAT YOURE TALKIN ABOUT...........
I work there ..... You obviously DONT. Why not come for a visit.... THERE IS NO BUTCHER ON 1st AVE....... ONLY on 14th Ave.....

35

 Sep 01, 2008 at 09:56 PM Charlie Hall Says:

Mark Levin,

You wrote,

"Of course Illegals shouldnt be allowed to join a Union. "

Beware of unanticipated consequences: If Agriprocessors wins this appeal, every company in America will be looking to hire illegal immigrants in order to bust their unions. And they will have to do so in order to compete.

36

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:51 PM yankel Says:

aanon Says:
YOU could see the hate on agri processors ,everyday its in the news ,their is somebody or mabey a few organations that are out to get agri ,.... but hashem wants otherwise ,they are good people and the end of the day they will prevail ,better then before ,rubashkin keep up the good work ...
since the raid i ONLY buy meat & poultry from the 14th ave butcher ,to show my support
09-01-2008 - 5:00 PM
-------------------------------------------
You should refer to yourself as GODS SPOKES- PERSON not as ANON!

37

 Sep 01, 2008 at 11:51 PM Mark Levin Says:

Charlie,

Allow me to further comment as I certainly understand your point.

My point was in regards to illegals in general. I dont think they should be allowed to join a union and if that means they cant be in a particular job due to their illegalness, then so be it. in fact if they are illegal they should get the heck out of the USA altogether!

Cant have it both ways.

38

 Sep 02, 2008 at 12:02 AM yankel Says:

I will only buy Rubashkin from now on Says:
The hatred that spews forth against Rubashkin has compelled me to make the decision, from now on, only to eat Rubashkin meat.

I wouldn't be surprised if some of Agri's competitors are trying to take advantage and kick these good people while they are down.

This is my way of showing solidarity to a fellow Jew under attack. The more shrill the yellers are against Rubashkin, the more I will support them in purchasing their products.


09-01-2008 - 7:25 PM
===========================================
I sure hope you stocked up on some heavy duty anti biotics for MAD COW DISEASE as well as HEAVY DUTY HEART AND ARTERY CLOGING MEDS.





39

 Sep 02, 2008 at 12:27 AM Charlie Hall Says:

Mark,

Illegal immigrants will continue to come to work in the US as long as employers such as Agriprocessors are willing to look the other way. And in Agriprocessors' case, they had received hundreds of warnings from the government prior to the raid. The claim that they had no idea that they were hiring illegal immigrants just doesn't hold water.


40

 Sep 02, 2008 at 01:58 AM Anonymous Says:

charlie hall do you work there that you know they recvd warnings????? COOL how do you know THE INSIDE INFO if even the workers DONT????????

41

 Sep 02, 2008 at 10:00 AM Anonymous Says:

To 9:07
Thats what I said. There is no butcher on 1st Ave...

42

 Sep 02, 2008 at 10:09 AM Anonymous Says:

Anonymous Says:
charlie hall do you work there that you know they recvd warnings????? COOL how do you know THE INSIDE INFO if even the workers DONT????????
09-02-2008 - 1:58 AM

**************************************
We all knew. There were articles in the newspapers for months before the raid. It was only a matter of time

43

 Sep 02, 2008 at 10:32 AM TO JBC, Come'on Says:

I understand that alot of you are out to get Rubashkin, either out of misinformation, jealousy or just plain hatred.

However, to stoop to the level to compare them to child molesters?

It shows your desperation and your venom.

Enough of this lashon harah, rechilus and motze shem rah.

If there is anybody from the Rubashkins out there, let me assure you: There a lot of people on your side, hoping that this mess ends soon, and that you are able to resume providing the destitute of Klal Yisrael, as you have been doing up to now.

Chazak V'ematz!

44

 Sep 02, 2008 at 10:43 AM JBC Says:

To come on:

Reread my post. Nobody was compared to a child molester. I was just trying to follow the posters line of thinking. Read it again.

45

 Sep 02, 2008 at 11:17 AM yabed Says:



TO JBC, Come'on Says:
I understand that alot of you are out to get Rubashkin, either out of misinformation, jealousy or just plain hatred.

However, to stoop to the level to compare them to child molesters?

It shows your desperation and your venom.

Enough of this lashon harah, rechilus and motze shem rah.

If there is anybody from the Rubashkins out there, let me assure you: There a lot of people on your side, hoping that this mess ends soon, and that you are able to resume providing the destitute of Klal Yisrael, as you have been doing up to now.

Chazak V'ematz!
09-02-2008 - 10:32 AM
*******************************************
Here was the exact quote that he said -
That's some decision making process u have there. Based on that "logic" I suppose then that the more shrills the yellers are against Rebbes that are child molesters, the more children u will put in his class? After all u do want to show solidarity to a fellow jew under attack.

09-01-2008 - 7:38 PM


I did not see him comparing Rubashkin to child molesters. How did you see it?

I did see that Rubashkin hires children. I do see that the children get injured. I do see Iowa Osha citing Rubashkin for faulty equipment. I do not see you saying that behavior like that is wrong.


To misquote you -
It shows YOUR desperation and YOUR venom.
Enough of YOUR lashon harah, rechilus and motze shem rah.

46

 Sep 02, 2008 at 11:36 AM Meatloaf Says:

To JBC, Come'on Says...

Let me see, if you steal from your workers, and steal from the US Government, then give the money to "the destitute of Klal Yisrael," so that makes this a mitzvah?

47

 Sep 02, 2008 at 11:59 AM lazer Says:

This is only the tip of the iceberg of the agri downfall which was brought upon by thier own greed and irresponsibility

48

 Sep 02, 2008 at 01:26 PM aanon Says:

YES i said since the iowa raid I ONLY buy from rubashkin ,now to the 3 dumb question You must be Hashem's accountant to know what he wants and who is a tzaddik in Hashem's eyes.

As for me - I do not hate Rubashkin.

1) I want him to treat his workers not better than all the other glatt companies, just the same. This includes the shochtim and mashgichim that have not been paid for 8 weeks.

2) I want him not to hire child workers, like the other glatt companies.

3) I want him to fix his equipment like his band saws and the holes in the floors so that no one loses an arm or a leg, like the other glatt companies.

al rishon rishon val acron achron
#1 were do you get that "fact" that rubashkin owes his mashgichim or shoctem for 8 weeks ,is it mabey from a diffrent blog that hates rubashkin ??? and who told you that rubashkin mistreads they'r workers ??? as far as i know ,there are many heimisha yidden who are very happy working for rubashkin ,so i don't know were you get your "facts"
#2-In america & in halacha their is something called inisint untill proven guilty ,halacha someone older then 6 years old the father does not have to suport him so l'halocha they did't do anything wrong by hiring miners(not that i'm saying that they did hire miners),but even acording to America law i'm sure if the goverment could they would of allready made some arrest ,child laber is a crime ,& if after allmost 4 month their is still no arrest ,its all rumors...
#3-i don't know what your talking about "fixing band saw ect.. it seems to me that you are digging up some hocus pokes stories that people should read on line & say well i don't know what the guy is saying ,but another problem by agri .... again were do you get your false inf. that they have broken aquitment ,and that workers lose arms and legs ,soon you'l say that agri sells those legs in their stores !!! WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING !!! PLEASE SHARE IT WITH US !!!
you sound like your on drugs !!!
anyways ,people like you should rather not buy by rubashkin ....

49

 Sep 02, 2008 at 02:10 PM yabed Says:

aanon Says:

al rishon rishon val acron achron
#1 were do you get that "fact" that rubashkin owes his mashgichim or shoctem for 8 weeks ,is it mabey from a diffrent blog that hates rubashkin ???
I HAVE FRIENDS WHO WORK IN THE PLANT. REMEMBER WHEN THE MASHGICHIM WENT ON STRIKE? OOPS, MMW SAID IT WAS'NT. LUBINSKY SAID IT WAS. GETZEL RUBASHKIN SAID IT WAS. TAKE YOUR PICK ON WHO IS TELING THE TRUTH.


and who told you that rubashkin mistreads they'r workers ??? as far as i know ,there are many heimisha yidden who are very happy working for rubashkin ,so i don't know were you get your "facts"
SO IT DOESN'T MEAN ANYTHING IF YOU MISTREAT A GOY? GOYIM ARE LESS THAN JEWS IN A WORKPLACE?


#2-In america & in halacha their is something called inisint untill proven guilty ,halacha someone older then 6 years old the father does not have to suport him so l'halocha they did't do anything wrong by hiring miners(not that i'm saying that they did hire miners),but even acording to America law i'm sure if the goverment could they would of allready made some arrest ,child laber is a crime ,& if after allmost 4 month their is still no arrest ,its all rumors...
WHAT KETORES HAVE YOU BEEN SMOKING? THAT IS YOUR ANSWER? CHLDREN UNDER 18 WORKING IN A MEAT PLANT WAS ALWAYS FORBIDDEN.




#3-i don't know what your talking about "fixing band saw ect.. it seems to me that you are digging up some hocus pokes stories that people should read on line & say well i don't know what the guy is saying ,but another problem by agri .... again were do you get your false inf. that they have broken aquitment ,and that workers lose arms and legs ,soon you'l say that agri sells those legs in their stores !!!
\
WHAT ARE YOU SMOKING !!! PLEASE SHARE IT WITH US !!!
you sound like your on drugs !!!
anyways ,people like you should rather not buy by rubashkin ....
******************************************


To quote from above -
It shows YOUR desperation and YOUR venom.
Enough of YOUR lashon harah, rechilus and motze shem rah.

This is still Chodesh Ellul. I have been very areful inwhat I wrote. Have you??

50

 Sep 02, 2008 at 02:32 PM BE FAIR Says:

BE FAIR.

You know full and well that Rubashkin does not hire children. As many illegals do, some underage kids with fake licenses and iDs applied for the job.

Any large company with machines will have some violations. Workers get injured on the job all the time, that why Workers Compensation exists.

What you are claiming is that Agri PURPOSELY violated these rules. What I am saying is that, like all companies, they aren't perfect.

You are ascribing INTENTION to them, which is rather presumptuous.

Any who accuses Rubashkin of greed has never met one. I have.

Rubashkins are the most simple, unmaterialistic people out there. They live in simple homes,wear simple clothes, and drive plain cars. They give a huge amounts of money to tzedaka.

I find the venom against these people troubling.

Any fair minded person out there knows that this story is blown way out of proportion.

Just last week, ICE swamped down on a processing facility in the midwest. 600 illegals were arrested, including underage. Not a peep from the media.

Furthermore, in Canada, one of the largest meat processing plants have had over 15 people DIE, yes, DIE from tainted meat, because they weren't following procedures. Over 75 people are currently quite ill with LISTEROSIS, including many US consumers. Have you heard anything about this? People DIED. Where is outrage?

Apparently, only reserved for some.

51

 Sep 02, 2008 at 02:47 PM JBC Says:

To aanon @09-02-2008 - 1:26 PM:

It took me a few minutes to understand what u wrote. I usually go to dictionary.com if I am not sure how to spell a word or use it in a sentence. I suggest u do the same.
1-As far as the Yidden being happy there, explain the walkout during production time. Yes, they trie to say it wasn't a walkout and it was just a coincidence that they all needed coffee at the same time, whatever.
2-I don't know where u or how u were raised, but if u do have any six year old children, do feel sorry for them. We also have a Halachah to obey the law of the land of which we live. I do not believe that child labor laws conflict with the Torah at all. The fact that there were no arrests doesn't mean that there was no wrongdoing. It just means that the investigation has not been completed yet to warrant a grand jury proceeding.
3. If u read some of the articles on this very board, that is where u'll find the information regarding the saws and other equipment.

Granted, u need to take everything that the media says with a major grain of salt; however, there is a pattern of dishonesty with the Rubashkin family and some family members have been convicted of crimes in a court of law. This is all public info that can be researched, (hopefully better than ur painstaking research on proper spelling, grammer and punctuation).

52

 Sep 02, 2008 at 04:37 PM yabed Says:

BE FAIR Says:
BE FAIR.
You know full and well that Rubashkin does not hire children. As many illegals do, some underage kids with fake licenses and iDs applied for the job.
***********************************
All the people in the plant can tell a 13 year old child from an 18 year old. Do not assume that the oilem or the labor department or the USDA ir immigration are idiots. They caught the underage in the plant. We saw pictures of them. I believe the pictures.



Any large company with machines will have some violations. Workers get injured on the job all the time, that why Workers Compensation exists.
****************************************
Workers Comp is there is all else fails. It is there for accidents. Read the complaints. Safeties on machines (bandsaws) that were not fixed. Holes in the floor by the shechita area, where someone could fall down.



What you are claiming is that Agri PURPOSELY violated these rules. What I am saying is that, like all companies, they aren't perfect. You are ascribing INTENTION to them, which is rather presumptuous.
******************************************
With all that is going on with them for years, they have to be perfect. They are runnung a multi million dollar enterprise with peoples lives at stake. This is not a joke. If they cannot run it, they should either get someone who can or get out of the business.

They had to sign off that they fixed the items. They said that they were fixed, but they were not. What would you call it? I call it an accident waiting to happen.

Sho'ged or mai'zid??

53

 Sep 02, 2008 at 04:43 PM anonymous Says:

Just last week, ICE swamped down on a processing facility in the midwest. 600 illegals were arrested, including underage. Not a peep from the media.
//////////////////////////////////
That is because that company did not have a history of flagrantly violating the law like Agri did. That is because there were not life-threatening jobs in the plant.



Furthermore, in Canada, one of the largest meat processing plants have had over 15 people DIE, yes, DIE from tainted meat, because they weren't following procedures. Over 75 people are currently quite ill with LISTEROSIS, including many US consumers. Have you heard anything about this? People DIED. Where is outrage?
///////////////////////////////////
There is plenty outrage in Canada.
Meanwhile, Agri already had 2 recalls. One was for undercooked meat, one was for undeclared allergans in the product. Did you hearof this? Where was your outrage? Only by the grace of Hashem was no one sick or injured.

54

 Sep 02, 2008 at 05:07 PM Meatloaf Says:

The state Attorney General's Department of Criminal Investigation has been in Postville taking testimony from child workers. This should not be confused with the 31 violations OSHA brought against Agri last month, or other violations previously discussed here. State officials conducted a search of the Agri plant five days ago, taking pictures and computer information.
I am confident the government is building a case against Agri, brick by brick, being careful that each piece of information supports the previous piece of information and serves as a platform for the next piece of information higher up the ladder.
Don't worry. Take your time. Solid evidence will lead to arrests, charges, prosecution and convictions if/when they are found guilty.

55

 Sep 02, 2008 at 05:51 PM aanon Says:

2:32 PM

JBC Says:
To aanon @09-02-2008 - 1:26 PM:

It took me a few minutes to understand what u wrote. I usually go to dictionary.com if I am not sure how to spell a word or use it in a sentence. I suggest u do the same.
1-As far as the Yidden being happy there, explain the walkout during production time. Yes, they trie to say it wasn't a walkout and it was just a coincidence that they all needed coffee at the same time, whatever.
2-I don't know where u or how u were raised, but if u do have any six year old children, do feel sorry for them. We also have a Halachah to obey the law of the land of which we live. I do not believe that child labor laws conflict with the Torah at all. The fact that there were no arrests doesn't mean that there was no wrongdoing. It just means that the investigation has not been completed yet to warrant a grand jury proceeding.
3. If u read some of the articles on this very board, that is where u'll find the information regarding the saws and other equipment.

ANSWER #1 its not a spelling b ,mabey in that subject your better then me ,but in common sence you can't compete
#2 as far as walking out for 1 hour ,doesnt mean they are mistreat it ,their was a miscomuncation which could happen all over ,for example look at the union theyr allways striking when they don't get their way & not only for 1 hour ,& what do you think they work their knowing that this is how agri works that they are behind 8 weeks ,mabey now agri hade some finacial problems .....be "dan l'caf z'cus "
#3 you would of have wished to be raised by my father ,he still suports me & thats why i still learn in kollel 5 years after i married ,but i am talking "HALACHA" it has nothing to do with your feelings!!!!!!! SORRY !!!! mabey go home take out your shilcon urech and wrip out all those odd & funny or insensitive halachas ,mabey that will make you feel better ,but in the mean time that is the halacha !!!
#4 you say the investgation is still not finished ,well good so untill then he is insint ,oh by the way last week alley processing also had a union problem ,and workers voted against the bosses ,and some workers even said they are mistreat it ... go read the articale ,so i guess for the time being go home & eat fish ...(now go take out your dictionary and figure out what i wrote)

56

 Sep 02, 2008 at 07:59 PM critical Says:

Agriprocessors is a scummy company. This is horrible story is another reason that the OU should pull its Hashgacha.
Nathan Lewin's tactics are unethical and disgusting. Instead of paying his hundred's of thousands of Dollars in legal fees, Agriprocessors should pay this money to their workers. His money is coming at the expense of the workers suffering.
The argument itself is not even logical. If the worker's are illegal, why are they even working for your company in the first place?
I hope the union arranges a picket line at a kosher restaraunt or catering hall that serves Rubashkin meat. Imagine if you go to a simcha and you have cross a picket line to get in. How many simchas would serve Rubashkin after that?
I think many Orthodox jews, including myself, would join the picket lines to protest if the Union arranged for a boycott.

57

 Sep 02, 2008 at 09:27 PM To Meatloaf Says:

You seem to know an awful lot for a layman.

Who are you working for?

58

 Sep 03, 2008 at 07:05 AM yabed Says:

To Aanon:
A letter like your begs to be answered.


ANSWER #1 its not a spelling b ,mabey in that subject your better then me ,but in common sence you can't compete
****************************************
Common sense? What common sense? We all want Agri and the Rubashkin family to succeed. You want them to continue to do exactly what they have been doing all along. Abuse workers? Short pay workers? Bad working conditions? All in a day's work, according to you. (Not you, specifically, chos v'chalila. It is the gyst that I get from the blogs.)

We want them to treat all workers fairly. If they did that, there would be no union problems.



#2 as far as walking out for 1 hour ,doesnt mean they are mistreat it ,their was a miscomuncation which could happen all over ,for example look at the union theyr allways striking when they don't get their way & not only for 1 hour ,& what do you think they work their knowing that this is how agri works that they are behind 8 weeks ,mabey now agri hade some finacial problems .....be "dan l'caf z'cus "
*******************************************
You obviously never had to pay for food to feed a family. You never had rent to pay and yeshiva bills to pay. Car payments? Clothing? If you are 8 weeks behind in salary, then something is drastically wrong.

The boss borrowed money from you to conduct his business? Did he ask? Did he save money by not going to a bank? Did he get paid in that time? Did he give other people tzedaka with your money?


#3 you would of have wished to be raised by my father ,he still suports me & thats why i still learn in kollel 5 years after i married ,but i am talking "HALACHA" it has nothing to do with your feelings!!!!!!! SORRY !!!! mabey go home take out your shilcon urech and wrip out all those odd & funny or insensitive halachas ,mabey that will make you feel better ,but in the mean time that is the halacha !!!
*****************************************
Ah! SO you never had to work for a living. While it is very admirable to learn for 5 years, it explains how you are not able to comprehend how business works or what busines ethics or Torah ethics as related to business are.
Please quote for me those halachos that you feel relevant in this case. As an expert in Choshen Mishpat, you should know about about loans that are taken without the lender knowing about it. (Look under gezayla)




#4 you say the investgation is still not finished ,well good so untill then he is insint ,oh by the way last week alley processing also had a union problem ,and workers voted against the bosses ,and some workers even said they are mistreat it ... go read the articale ,so i guess for the time being go home & eat fish ...(now go take out your dictionary and figure out what i wrote)
09-02-2008 - 5:51 PM
********************************
The investigation on illegal immigrants were complete. There were 380 guilty pleas. The investigation on the 2 supervisers are complete. There were 2 guilty pleas. The OSHA investigation is complete. There were multiple violations in the plant that were addressed after the July 15 investigation.

What does ALLE have to do with this?

59

 Sep 03, 2008 at 11:05 AM anonymous Says:

TO Aannon -
I finally got it! you ARE for Rubashkin cleaning uptheir act, but you just acted sarcastic to make a point!

Do not continue your line of reasoning. It looks like 5WPR at work, but in reverse. And it makes Kollel boys look stupid. They are smarter than that.

One last point -
"#4 you say the investgation is still not finished ,well good so untill then he is insint"

I interpret this as 1 of 2 ways:
a) You say the investigation is still not finished. Well, good. So, until then, he is innocent.
or
b) You say the investigation is still not finished. Well, good. So, until then, he is in sin.

60

 Sep 03, 2008 at 02:56 PM anonymous Says:

I interpret this as 1 of 2 ways:
a) You say the investigation is still not finished. Well, good. So, until then, he is innocent.
or
b) You say the investigation is still not finished. Well, good. So, until then, he is in sin.

***************************************
I am making a wedding next month and need a bachan. They use only Alle meat. Are you available???

61

 Sep 03, 2008 at 03:02 PM Meatloaf Says:

Some of the evidence against Agriprocessors is prima facia. That is, it is clear on the face of it - or it is beyond refutation by the mere fact that is now public and open for all to examine. Case in point: undocumented workers and child labor, a violation of dina malchuta dina.
A business owner is expected to make reasonable precautions against wrong doing by an employee. For example, when a co-worker accuses another co-worker of sexual harrassment, the business owner has an obligation to investigate and take action when made aware of such a situation. In the case of Agri, numerous individuals as well as ICE approached Agri management and owners with information about both child workers and illegals. Agri did nothing.
Noe, AFTER the raid, they are having the recruiting firms put all job applicants data through the e-verification computer program (not foolproof by the way) which is considered a "reasonable precaution." Why didn't they do it before? You'll have to ask them.

62

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