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Another Manager At Iowa Kosher Slaughterhouse Charged With Violations Of Child Labor Law

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Purveyor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:22 AM
Original message
Another Manager At Iowa Kosher Slaughterhouse Charged With Violations Of Child Labor Law
Source: Associated Press

January 27, 2009 - 11:02 AM

DES MOINES, Iowa - Nearly a thousand new charges have been filed in the state's prosecution of alleged child labor violations at a kosher meatpacking plant in northeast Iowa.

The 954 new charges were filed Jan. 16 against Jeffrey Heasley, a beef production supervisor at the Agriprocessors Inc. plant in Postville. They include alleged child labor violations of employing minors in a meatpacking establishment and for exposing minors to dangerous or poisonous chemicals.

Last September, the Iowa attorney general's office filed more than 9,000 charges against the plant, its owners and managers. Heasley was not one of the managers charged at that time.

Prosecutors accuse the company of hiring minors and in some cases of having children younger than 16 handle dangerous equipment.

--CLIP
The other defendants include the company itself; plant owner Abraham Aaron Rubashkin; his son Sholom Rubashkin, former plant manager; human resources manager Elizabeth Billmeyer; and human resource employees Laura Althouse and Karina Freund.

Read more: http://tinyurl.com/bm9mny
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I'd like those who argue against labor law enforcement to understand that no regulation
Edited on Tue Jan-27-09 11:34 AM by Romulox
means just that-- no regulation. Neo-slavery, child labor, deplorable conditions, ignoring sanitary regulations,etc. are all the logical consequence of an unregulated labor market.
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Andy823 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:41 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. I totally agree.
We have laws that need to be enforced in order to stop children from being exploited by greedy businessmen. Laws would make sure that the conditions for everyone were the same, and that wages were the same. There is a process to become legal workers, and to gain the proper ID to work in this country. There are also programs that need to bring up temporary workers for jobs that are in need of them, "IF" the employer can not find people to do the job that are legal. The problem with those programs are that the employer has to pay the going wage, has to provide housing and transportation, and make sure living conditions meet standards. Most employers don't want to have to go to all the trouble, and most don't want to pay the going wage, and that's what needs to be addressed.

I agree with you that those who are against enforcing the labor laws need to understand just how those who come here are being abused, and that enforcing the laws will stop the abuse of those workers, as well as make sure that legal workers in this country are given the chance to work!
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:57 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. I think that a lot of folks who argue against enforcement PRETEND it is out of compassion
for the workers, but in reality, they're just shilling for big business.

Allowing children to work in the meat cutting industry is obviously not compassionate!
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Andy823 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. Those arrested
Were illegals from Mexico and South America, around 400 of them. I have had experience with illegals using phony ID and many of those who come here to work using phony ID are minors. There ID says they are older, and many times it's easy to tell that they are not as old as their ID says they are. The problem is that business's like this one try an cut costs by hiring illegals so they don't have to pay benefits, or a decent wage. They don't care how old the person is as long as they are willing to put in long hours and low pay. We need to start going after the business's that hire illegals and abuse them in this way. This company seems to be "one" that will pay the price, but very few end up in court, let alone fined. The Bush administration increased raids to find illegal workers, but in most cases the business go off with a fine and the very most, and not a large one either.

I don't hold it against the people that come here to find work, not since NAFTA was the major cause that many of them lost farms or small business's that they had in their home country. We need stiffer fines, and even jail time for those who hire illegals not tougher punishment for the illegals themselves. If business's did a better job of checking ID we would not have the problem, but for most of the business's that hire them, it's simply a matter of increasing their profits at the expense of the illegal workers they hire, and that needs to stop.
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Politicalboi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:26 PM
Response to Reply #2
11. That would be the simple solution
Edited on Tue Jan-27-09 01:26 PM by Politicalboi
I would put a fine of $100,000 for each illegal they hire. There is no excuse for this. It would stop the illegals from coming here if they know no one will hire them. Problem solved.
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madmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 11:53 AM
Response to Original message
4. I posted this here....
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madrchsod Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
6. all those people who thought they were buying kosher.....
looks like they got conned...
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Quiz Master Donating Member (34 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Indeed. I'm no Talmudic scholar but....
I think this makes the food there effectively trefe.

In any case, this is the kind of case that makes me glad Al Franken is (almost) in the senate. This is the kind of case he'd really do well in (he talked a lot on his show about the horrific Mariannas labor abuses and the Abramoff connection).

Also, appropos of nothing, for those of you who like to remember the funny Al, enjoy.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:19 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Tikkun Olam
I'm neither Talmudic,nor Lurian-but Goyim.

However, a little Tikkun Olam is definitely in order.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:15 PM
Response to Original message
8. Don't sound Kosher to me
Israeli firm is interested in buying Agriprocessors ...Jan 27, 2009 ... An Israeli food company has offered $40 million for the bankrupt Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville and a smaller, ...
www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20090127/NEWS/9012703... - 8 hours ago - Similar pages_____________________________

This is an EXCELLENT article.

What has gotten little "PLAY" is the allegations that a meth lab was allegedly being run at this plant.

Another curious storyline is former Utah Rep. Chris Cannon( a Mormon ,btw) and his personal involvements with a Kosher meatprocessing facilities a few years ago...including personal loans. He was a big proponent of immigration issues,incidentally.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. A little history on Agriprocessors
Biggest immig raid ever much worse than you thinkMay 18, 2008 ... In this case, Agriprocessors had to demonstrate that it could not find an American to pack kosher meat. The employer demonstrates it cant ...
projectusa.org/2008/05/18/biggest-immig-raid-ever-much-worse-than-you-think/ - 102k - Cached - Similar pages_____________________

This is a VERY worthwhile read.
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Jambalaya Donating Member (359 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #10
18. Meth Lab in Agriprocessors

Immigration Raid Reveals Meth Lab At Nation's Largest Kosher Meat Plant
Mon May 19 2008,
According to KCRG, officials discovered a methamphetamine lab within the AgriProcessors meat processing facility in Postville, Iowa during a large-scale immigration raid. 389 arrests were made by federal agencies from what is thought to be one of the largest immigration enforcement actions ever taken in the United States. Details, inside...

AgriProcessors, founded by Aaron Rubashkin, an Hasidic Orthodox Jewish butcher and rabbi from Brooklyn, supplies over half the kosher meat sold in the United States. On May 12th agents executed criminal search warrants for aggravated identity theft and the use of fraudulent Social Security numbers. There were 697 warrants and 389 arrests. Currently, officials aren't certain as to who exactly was operating the meth lab.

One former plant supervisor alleged that over 80% of the floor employees were illegal aliens from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe. Additionally 3 of their rabbis, whose job it is to supervise the kosher slaughter of livestock, were Israelis who were also illegally employed.


AgriProcessors is no stranger to controversy. In 2005 PETA released hidden video footage of inhumane practices within this same Postville facility. Then in 2006, the company was fined $600,000 for environmental damages caused by raw sewage released in the area.
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LanternWaste Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 01:42 PM
Response to Original message
12. prohibition never works...
Prohibition never works (or so I'm often told). I guess the prohibition against child labor doesn't work either. :sarcasm:
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DCKit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
13. Jebus. It's one thing to let the kids run the slicer at a Deli, but Dayum!!!
Wait 'till the managers start rolling over on their bosses.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 02:53 PM
Response to Original message
14. Another argument in favor of unions
This would never have happened in a union shop.
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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 03:01 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. That and a lot of other jobs like that used to be good jobs

Now the cheap labor has put an end to it.
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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #14
17. That's why they got rid of the unions.
Meatpacking jobs used to be mainly union; now, not so much.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 03:50 PM
Response to Original message
16. The Fall of the House of Rubashkin (December 2nd 2008)
As the nation's largest kosher empire implodes, Brooklyn's ultra-Orthodox Jews begin to break ranks

http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-12-03/news/the-fall-of...
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jan-27-09 09:29 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. Oy!
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