Postville, IA – Boston Globe: Agriprocessors Has Chutzpah

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    Postville, IA – The Owners of Agriprocessors are at it again. The infamous kosher meat company, whose Iowa plant was raided in May and found to have hundreds of illegal immigrants working in substandard conditions, now wants to challenge a vote to unionize at its Brooklyn distribution center. The reason? Many of the workers who voted to unionize are illegal immigrants.

    The company argues that employees who shouldn’t be in the country at all have no right to unionize. But the US Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that undocumented workers “plainly come within the broad statutory definition of employee” and that extending union protections to them is consistent with the intent of Congress when it wrote the National Labor Relations Act.

    In the 1984 case, involving a Chicago leather-tanning operation, the Court found that denying illegal immigrants the right to organize could undermine the collective bargaining process by creating “a subclass of workers without a comparable stake in the collective goals of their legally resident coworkers, thereby eroding the unity of all the employees.”

    It said that hiring illegals “can seriously depress wage scales and working conditions of citizens and legally admitted aliens; and . . . diminish the effectiveness of labor unions.”

    Precisely. Intimidated, desperate immigrants are more willing to work for longer hours and less pay, which is why companies like Agriprocessors continue to hire them. That won’t change until the penalties for breaking the law are greater for business owners than a small fine.

    Agriprocessors wants it both ways: to continue to exploit illegal workers, but not to give them a chance to improve their lot. If owners don’t want their illegal workers to demand better conditions, they shouldn’t hire them.

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    29 COMMENTS

    1. Unfortunately, the US leftie Media is on a JIHAD to put them out of business.

      What the Boston Globe and the rest of the gang don’t realize is that at today’s UNION pay scales companies are better off closing shop.

      Any company who can, is out sourcing or manufacturing overseas.

    2. I have already seem printed that the words ‘KOSHER MEAT’ are synonomous with worker explotation.

      As an Orthodox Jew, I find this behavior to be attrocious. The Chillul Hashem is tremendous.

      I do not believe in Hechsher Tzedek or their implications. The have nothing to do with Yiddishkeit. I also, on the same token, will not believe when anyone says Dan L’kav Z’chus, or they have not been found guilty, yet. There is too much prima-facie (spelling?) evidence everywhere we look.

      When will this end? Does Rubashkin WANT to change or will he hope that throwing money at the problem (and to lawyers and PR firms, it will go away.

    3. Jihad Says:

      Unfortunately, the US leftie Media is on a JIHAD to put them out of business.

      What the Boston Globe and the rest of the gang don’t realize is that at today’s UNION pay scales companies are better off closing shop.

      Any company who can, is out sourcing or manufacturing overseas.

      09-04-2008 – 4:26 PM

      *************************************

      You’re serous? You find Rubashkin’s behavior acceptable? Every other Glatt company does this??

    4. Jihad says:

      at today’s UNION pay scales companies are better off closing shop.

      ———————–

      Not true. International Glatt is unionized in Brooklyn and they seem to be doing fine.

    5. After their rude awakening that it will no longer be business as usual (i.e., hiring illegal aliens but excepting the distortions gleefully promulgated by you and others) all I think they are asking for is a chance to get back on their feet. Don’t give them that and don’t expect any mercy from the One Above when you need it and one day you will. You seem oblivious to the fact that this whole affair not just about the Rubaskin’s source of wealth but rather it extends far into the lives and welfare of thousands of Jew and non-Jews. Think of them before you write; think about yourself and yours while your at it.

    6. Is anyone blindly leaning left? if an ILLEGAL WORKER…MEANING…Illegal alien…Not a citizen is not allowed to work…then how can he be allowed to unionize…I say show up to the union meetings and then round em up and kick em out. This is a witch hunt against kosher food…clearly we can improve working conditions everywhere…unionize illegal workers…that’s just mamby pamby leftist rehtoric…

    7. No this is not a primarily a witch hunt, Rather it is one of events when the Ribbono shel Olam provides an opportunity for people to redeem themselves or the opposite.

    8. Anonymous Says:

      comments – arrow Is anyone blindly leaning left? if an ILLEGAL WORKER…MEANING…Illegal

      however Rubashkin hired them as workers, so let him face the music. and please when most of your workers are illegal do not tell me he did not know what he was doing, he knew and just wanted to get away with paying below market wages and not implementing basic safety protection in his work place.

      The simple reason for letting illegals unionize is that it takes away the incentives for companies like rubashkin from hiring illegals in the first place.

      Rubashkin reminds me of orphans who killed their parents but tell the court Please have mercy on me I am an orphan.

      Rubashkin is an embarrassment the the USA and frum Yiddin everywhere.

      However, why does the frum community want to protect him to the very end, no matter that we find out that his misdeeds where worse than we thought. I do not know. But it does seem to fit an odd pattern. The same communities, protects child molesters who molest children in there very own communities, shuls, yeshivas and beas yakoovs to the very end. And more shockingly, continue sending their children to the very same schools that protected the molesters. Sticking up for rubashkin is mere child’s play.

    9. if the federal goverment dont have the guts to stand up aginst illegal immegrants why shuld the private sector care.rubashkin shuld do whats in there best interst and there only intrest shall how to make more money and a great prouduct by any means possible!thats all enugh allready u sellfish nay sayers

    10. Anonymous Says:

      After their rude awakening that it will no longer be business as usual (i.e., hiring illegal aliens but excepting the distortions gleefully promulgated by you and others)

      *************************************

      Their rude awakening was years ago when they showed the would that they did not care when the PETA video came out. Everyone warned them before, but they were ‘smarter’ that the rest of the us. Did they get the hint?? Obviously, not.

      all I think they are asking for is a chance to get back on their feet.

      **************************************

      What chance did YOU give them? Did you say that it will be all right and to continue whatever they were doing? Or did you pull a ‘chofetz chaim’ on them and give them mussar?

      Some of us tried to give them mussar, but they listened to the ones that said that it will pass.

      Don’t give them that and don’t expect any mercy from the One Above when you need it and one day you will.

      *************************************

      We all tried to help Rubashkin, but it fell on deaf ears. The ou told them to get a new president. Did they? KAJ left them when they were denied access. Did that tell them something?

      Did they listen to the One Above???

      You seem oblivious to the fact that this whole affair not just about the Rubaskin’s source of wealth

      ************************************

      What is their source of wealth? What are you talking about? Who cares? We want them to clean up and play fair. So does The One Above.

      but rather it extends far into the lives and welfare of thousands of Jew and non-Jews.

      *************************************

      That is correct. They are responsible for others parnosa. How responsible were they??

      Think of them before you write; think about yourself and yours while your at it.

      09-04-2008 – 5:21 PM

    11. abi gezunt Says:

      if the federal goverment dont have the guts to stand up aginst illegal immegrants why shuld the private sector care.rubashkin shuld do whats in there best interst and there only intrest shall how to make more money and a great prouduct by any means possible!thats all enugh allready u sellfish nay sayers

      09-04-2008 – 6:58 PM

      ****************************************

      It has gone beyond what is in their best interest. They have taken Chillul Hashem to new heights. That is what it is about today. It is Chillul Hashem on a world wide basis. People think that GLATT MEAT + IRRESPONSIBL OWNERS.

    12. u r circeling the anti semetic and anti frum jews band wagon.go ez with that term chillul hashem since it is a very serious aveira.tyson chicken and most other plants where also raided and they didnt get half the att: so go ez son!

    13. If I understand the reasoning, illegals need their own union? How about a jail’s union suit!

      If the court ruling said that an illegal alien pretending to be a legal worker was entitled to the worker safety and other benefits of the union representing all workers, perhaps that would preserve the union’s benefit to worker safety, and not create a subclass.

      But to say that illegal aliens have a right to a union seems to be ridiculous!

      Appeal the ruling as quoted.

    14. “abi gezunt Says:

      if the federal goverment dont have the guts to stand up aginst illegal immegrants why shuld the private sector care”

      abi gezunt needs a little civics lesson.

      For your information WE are the federal govenment. We own it. We make the laws and the laws apply to everyone in this country, Jews and non-Jews, black, white, red, yellow — everyone, including the Rubashkin’s.

      BTW, one of those laws says that workers have a right to form and join a union. So if you really believe in dina malchuta dina you’ll recognize the right of workers to join a union and protect themselves. Half of the kosher meat and poultry companies in this country are organized and they seem to compete in the marketplace just fine.

    15. Did you know that when these illigals were hired and were asked for photo ID they produced Iowa state drivers licenses and very genuine social security cards? If there were a crackdown on illigals here in NY there would be very few restaurants left standing? Who do you think is in the kitchen cooking that delmonico steak? Or washing the dirty dishes? How many of you self hating people have a cleaning lady working in your house? Are you paying her FICA does she have working papers? Did you even check? Do you realy want Rubashkin to close down would that make you happy? Would you be happy paying $10.00 a pound of chopped meat to feed your family dinner? Because without Rubashkin in the picture. You would be paying through the nose.And would probably end up eating a whole lot of cereal amd milk. Is Rubashkin perfect? Probably not. But are you?

    16. to Anon at 4:29 – When will this end?

      This has nothing to do with their current workers’ status. This is a futile attempt to appeal a decision of an earlier case in New York, in which they lost, that commenced before the immigration raid in Iowa.

      As a matter of fact, at the time, the Union complained that the raid hindered their proceedings.

      As far as I heard, all employees currently in Iowa are documented, and they are actually operating at a third of what they used to before the raid.

    17. What is wrong with you people. Are we (Yidden) above the law? Is it ok for us to hire illegal aliens and then pay below minimum wage. I am not a leftist liberal, I am a Shomer Shabbos Republican. The laws in this great country were enacted for all its citizens, not just the goyim. What right do you have to make such a Chillel HaShem. What gives you the right to break the law of the land and then claim people are on a witch hunt. The Chutzpah you have. Let us remember who we are, we are supposed to be the example to the world. Let stop taking food stamps when we can push a $1000 baby buggy into the grocery, have a bungelow in the country for the summer and a condo in Miami Beach for the winter, but still qualify for food stamps. Wake up Boro Park & Williamsburg you are so blameless.

    18. Yitzchok Says: Do you realy want Rubashkin to close down would that make you happy? Would you be happy paying $10.00 a pound of chopped meat to feed your family dinner?

      Yitzchok that argument is nonsense for many reasons, first the other glatt kosher plant is unionized and their meat are not 10.00 a pound they compete on the market place.

      Secondly, if the only way to make cheap meat is to abuse workers then the public just will eat less meat. That meat will cost more is not an excuse, or valid reason for abusing workers.

      Your logic is distorted and might i say not grounded in anything the Torah or Gemoroth teaches if anything following the above would make it ausser to eat rubashkin. Remember the Torah, Yiddishgeit is not only about beain adom lamokom it is also about beain adom la chavarow (spelled wrong) something I am afraid the frum communities have forgotten a long time ago.

    19. I agree. After reading this story, the one on Alle, and the newest PITA Yemach Sh’mom V’zichrom “allegation,” it is time to ONLY hire FRUM SHOMER TORAH UMITZVOS.

    20. Main Streeter,

      You seem to be of the opinion that the Rubashkins are getting their just desserts and you, you are exercising your right to say “I told them so” – to boot. And you call this mercy! Even in an event as grub as a boxing match a man is given the chance to get to his feet but you won’t extend even that much to the Rubashkins. Yidden are characterized by three traits…you seem to missing something in your make-up.

    21. i guaranty you that if AGRI closes there doors you are going to have a lot more stores like in monsey.

      why don’t you eat non-kosher to begin with no they don’t hire illegals, it all bull every company has illegal immigrant America can not live with out them, its a fact.

      so get you’re store straight JEW HATERS!!!

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