Postville, IA – Attorney General Files 9000 Violations Against Agriprocessors, Rubashkin Family Cited

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    In May: Sholom Rubashkin, an executive with Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville, talks with scores of Guatemalan and Mexican immigrants at St. Bridget\'s Catholic Church in Postville.Postville, IA – The Iowa Attorney General’s Office has filed a criminal complaint and affidavit today in Allamakee County District Court listing more than 9,000 alleged violations of Iowa child labor laws at Agriprocessors in Postville.

    Link to the AG press release here
    Those named in the court documents are:

    * Abraham Aaron Rubashkin — principal owner and president of Agriprocessors, Inc.
    * Sholom M. Rubashkin — Son of Aaron, manager of the slaughtering and meat packing plant at Postville and a company officer.
    * Elizabeth Billmeyer — human resources manager of Agriprocessors, Inc. and a resident of Postville.
    * Laura Althouse — management employee in the human resources department at Agriprocessors in Postville.
    * Karina Freund — management employee in the human resources department at Agriprocessors in Postville.

    A total of 9,311 child labor violations, involving 32 minors under the age of 18, are included in the court documents. Seven of the 32 minors were under the age of 16. The alleged violations range from September 2007 to May 12 of this year — the date of the massive federal immigration raid on the plant. All violations are simple misdemeanors, each punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of $65 to $625.

    An initial appearance has been scheduled before Iowa District Court Judge John Bauercamper for Sept. 17 in Allamakee County.

    From the documents filed with the court:

    “During the period of Sept. 9, 2007, through May 12, 2008, the persons as listed as employee-victims in the attached Complaint were employed and permitted to work at Agriprocessors’ slaughtering and meat packing establishment. All were under eighteen years of age on each of the dates listed. Throughout their employment these children were exposed to dangerous and/or poisonous chemicals, including, but not limited to, dry ice and chlorine solutions. Several of these employee-victims were also under sixteen years of age during the dates for which they are identified as such in the Complaint. Throughout their employment, these children, while under sixteen years of age, were employed in the operation of or tending of power-driven machinery, including, but not limited to, conveyor belts, meat grinders, circular saws, power washers, and power shears.”

    The court documents also enumerate more than 1,500 violations relating to hours worked, including employee-victims under 16 who worked more than eight hours on specified days, and more than 40 hours in specified weeks. According to the affadavit, records indicate that there were instances of children under the age of 16 working before 7 a.m. and after 7 p.m. and, while school was in session, working more than four hours in a day and more than 28 hours in a week.

    The Iowa Attorney General found that “all of the named individual defendants possessed shared knowledge that Agriprocessors employed undocumented aliens” and “that many of those workers were minors.”

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    60 COMMENTS

    1. whats next? hashem yerachaim, we all need to daven that these people that have been supplying us with kosher meat all these years can continue ad biyas goel tzedek

    2. yitzchok. please tell me you’re joking. over 9000 violations the whole country is watching anf “they are grabbing at straws?” and please stop quoting the new testament

    3. We all need to daven,

      We have to adhere to the laws of the land,

      dina d’malchsa,

      and a lesson should be learned,that just because

      you decide to ignore the laws,and regulations,

      it does come back to bite you later.

      YIDDEN,learn and keep the law,just as much as the

      halacha.

      that will be a Kiddush Hashem.

    4. Yitzchok Says:

      comments – arrow The key word here is “alleged” they are grasping at straws. However it is clear as day that the state of Iowa doesn’t want Agri there for whatever reason.

      It always says alleged in every indictment, so it is not a keyword by any means. It will continue to say alleged until convicted. this is normal language for every indictment.

      __________________________________________________

      stay in israel Says:

      comments – arrow whats next? hashem yerachaim, we all need to daven that these people that have been supplying us with kosher meat all these years can continue ad biyas goel tzedek

      Do you say this because you know and have evidence they are innocent or is it because you do not care how kosher meat is produced as long as you get it at a good price.

      If it is the first reason, please enlighten us? If the second then you are pathetic and might i say not really frum at all. Frum does not only mean issues between you and hashem BTY. Maybe you where out of yeshiva on the days that they taught (if they did) all the mitzvas of bain adom lachavra

    5. B”h

      mi sheomar leolumo dai.

      YOMAR LETZOROSEINU DAI.

      bechol dor vedor omdim uleinu lechaloseinu.

      ala she hakodosh boruch hu matzileinu miyodom.

      mit abisel emunah and bitochon velen mir matzliach zein.DER EBIRSHTER IS MIT UNZ.

      BADATZ

    6. It is so OBVIOUS how someone (or more than one) with an agenda to cause all kinds of trouble and devastation against Agriprocessers has started this process from day one – and succeeded unfortunately.

      I would guess it’s all those sick liberal phonies and self hating jews at PETA that have been behind all this.

      I don’t know the RUBAHKINS at all. But a blind man can see the LIBEL(S) that has been been executed here. It’s scary how a group like that (PETA) can get away with something like this.

      Are there no other companies in all of the USA which have done much worse than AGRI??? where’s the outcry about them??? GIVE ME A BREAK!!

    7. Again i’m sure the haters are drooling with glee.

      However, I predict that they will get a hefty fine

      and then they will go on with business.

      They deserve a fine if the allegations are proven

      and I hope they will try their best in the future

      to be meticulous with the rules. They need another chance after all they are not doing anything most other large meat houses are doing.

      They are just unfortunate to have vicious (and jealous) powerful enemies with various agendas looking to take them down.

      They will b’eh prevail and come out of this stronger than ever if there is any justice in this country – and I believe that at the end of the day they will hopefully get a just verdict.

    8. “Do you say this because you know and have evidence they are innocent”

      Mister, you do not need to have evidence that you are innocent. You need to have evidence to prove someone is guilty.

      All these violations, they were lav-davka aware of.

      And by the way, don’t get shocked by the number 9,311 violations, as there were only 32 minors and only seven of them were under the age of seven, probable every violation is for another hour of work or something.

    9. The very fact that more than %75 percent of the minors were between the age of 16 and 18, shows that they did not know they were minors (because they weren’t visibly so)>

    10. Guys I suspect it’s the other way around and this makes more sense.

      Have you stopped to think for ONE MINUTE…….how is it possible a plant of this magnitude, should operate for so many years UNDER THE NOSE OF THE Potsville government and was NEVER EVER CAUGHT with ANY VIOLATION?

      Have you given THIS ANY THOUGHT? ALU MAI…..kol zeman keiner hot nisht gekikt hoben zei OICH nisht gekikt in gelozt ales furen veil es hot gebrengt gelt………Shteiren, handelshaft, etc.

      Di moment vus der FETER hot ungehoiben mit de OISLENDER, VCHILI, hot di lokale regirung mer nisht gekent tzi machen di oigen.

      This makes much more sense then PLITZIM hoben zei feint bakimen di gantze mishpuche ……VDA”L!

    11. BS”D

      The Yevsektzia did not get Reb Aron Rubashkin’s father, and today’s Yevsektzia, moisrim like the Forward, PETA, and a couple of bloggers in the service of the unions, will not get him either.]

      Yes, they will cut a deal and pay fines, and if worse comes to worse they will be forced to sell out at a profit.

    12. To Elie the 9000 number means little they are the same violations repeated for single person that was supposadly under age. This is an attack on orthodoxy and shechita pure and simple clothed in a selfish act of a holier then thou attack by the union and someone in the AG’s office that wants to make a name for themselves. What is absolutly sickening here that “inzere” are not backing one of our own. If any of you finger waggers have an issue with Agri/Rubashkin then take him to a din torah.. But to back this clearly anti-semitic attack on our very existance in above and beyond chutzpa!

    13. It should be a shande to stick up for a Kosher Company,that defiles,and puts shame on Klal Yisroel.

      The first thing to do is to condemn,and denounce,this kind of iresponsible behavior,that is being sponsored and accepted,by so called Rabbis.

      This puts an unpleasant aura,around us all.

      We have to see and be convinced,that such occurences,are no longer happening,then we can start to Daven.

    14. Not a shande at all – they were framed, butchered and dealt poorly with and I am reffering to the Rubashkins. Sorry they do not deserve this at all.

      Yup all u agri haters are all glee now aren’t we? Ok time to get back to looking into those helpwanted ads.

      I hope they just pick up and leave the darn state of Iowa. Obviiously they don’t need AGRI or the tax benefits and all. Pity on the folks at Postville.

      Nebraska would take you in with open arms as would many other States. Shop around Ruby and put this behind u.

      Moish

    15. Many peopel tried helping te Rubashkins – they just didn’t listen and did what they wanted. Are they the victims of a vicious campaign against them that is unwarranted? Yes, absolutely. Did people try to stick up for them and help them? Yes. The OU did. Many Rabbis did. Even Pesach Lerner did. Did you see what happened to him? He got tarred and feathered. At the end of the day, the Rubashkins kept their head in the sand – didnt do what they were supposed to do and are now suffering the consequences. There is a time for the ohel and a time to take action.

    16. So, after all the hype and lies, it seems that it all come down to some kids working at AGRI with fake IDs.

      BIG DEAL.

      Kids lied and faked papers. 9000 violations, give me a break.

      Nothing really happened. Some kids lied, got away with it and Rubashkin pays, and the price of meat goes up.

      So for all you Rubashkin-bashers out there, you all can stop drooling now, and go back to navel gazing.

    17. Anti-Semite’s did not hire children.

      Rubashkin hired children.

      And that is a clear violation of dina malchuta dina. Each defendant face up to 750 years…. and this is just the beginning.

    18. 9000? They probably have 50 different ways of describing the same allegation, and every day is counted anew, times by the amount of people charged. All joking aside; I have rachmoness on them.

    19. It is actually a very happy day for yiddin all over the world who keep a well kept mitzva of glatt and tzar balei chaim both for animals and for humans .

      Hopefully this is a yerida letzorech aliya because empire meats was sent in by hashem as the refuah before the maka.Hopefully this will be a lesson learned.

    20. Chaverim,

      We need to not only follow the law of the land, and make sure our families and businesses are following the law of the land, but we also have to be even more careful because anything that Jews do or is assoiciated with Jews, especially Torah observant Jews,is watched with more scrutiny.

    21. Cry antisemitism all you choose, the fact is no one has a right to exploit children -especially under 16 as alleged in the complaint:

      Iowa Code sec. 92.6 (6) — occupations not permitted for persons under age 16, operating power machinery: 790 violations. (“Persons fourteen and fifteen years of age may not be employed in: . . .(6.) Operation or tending of hoisting apparatus or of any power‑driven machinery, other than office machines and machines in retail, food service, and gasoline service establishments which are specified in section 92.)

    22. 9000 violations involving 32 employees, only a few are under 16….They probably ASSUME every day for a year for each employee. There is no way they actually logged 9000 violations in an inspection.

    23. No one FORCED anyone to work. This picture sems to show a bunch of unemployed ex-workers looking to Sholom Rubashkin for help – maybe they want their jobs back. Maybe they worked because they needed the money – maybe this whole episode has done nothing but hurt the workers (and the Rubashkins). I dont see any of these so called children being interviewed anywhere. (even throu interpreters). And how do you think the ones that were deported are doing – they are probably trying to cross the border in search of work all over again – except now they will have to work somewhere else b/c Rubashkin can’t give them their jobs back.

    24. THIS HAS ALL THE EARMARKS OF A HIT JOB.

      SOMEONE HAS PUT OUT A CONTRACT ON RUBASHKIN.

      HE IS THE LARGEST SUPPLIER OF GLATT KOSHER MEAT IN THE U.S.

      MY GUESS IS THAT IS AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE “ANIMAL RIGHTS” FANATICS AND THE NEW CONSERVATIVE “HECHSHER TZEDEK.’

    25. Anyone ever have their cleaning lady bring their daughter to help – how old was she? Anyone know how old the young spanish boys who ride aroound on bikes delivering our gorceries are? What about the ones who work with the contractors who are building o ur homes all over Brooklyn – how old are they – do we know. NO we dont. And we dont ask – because we are happy that someone is doing something for us that we dont want to or cant do ourselves. Do we worry about their healthcare? About their working conditions? Do we think about the chemicals these “children’ defined as anyone under 18 are breathing in while they strip our moldings and paint our homes. What on earht gives anyone the right to judge the Rubsashkins??? And seeing all these yidden side with an obviously anit-semitic AG is sickening. Is there nothing else going on in IOWA?

    26. The law of the land is for common good,in general,

      and it always must be followed,by all citizens.

      We Yidden,have an extra chiyuv gomur,to listen and

      follow,the civil laws,as we are being Bundled together,by our critics,and a Bad Name rubs off,

      and affects,other innocent brethern,in many ways.

      This rubashkin episode rflects bad on the entire

      CHABAD Movement.

      It also,affects,other members,of the frum community.

    27. Anon Says:

      No one FORCED anyone to work. This picture sems to show a bunch of unemployed ex-workers looking to Sholom Rubashkin for help – maybe they want their jobs back. Maybe they worked because they needed the money – maybe this whole episode has done nothing but hurt the workers (and the Rubashkins). I dont see any of these so called children being interviewed anywhere. (even throu interpreters). And how do you think the ones that were deported are doing – they are probably trying to cross the border in search of work all over again – except now they will have to work somewhere else b/c Rubashkin can’t give them their jobs back.

      09-09-2008 – 3:27 PM

      ==============================================

      The picture is actually telling the following.

      1. where is our paycheck

      2. where is the back pay you owe us.

      3. where is our over time?

      4. why did you force me to buy a piece of junk as a car for a premium.

      5.why are you charging me premium rent for living in a laundry room with an open dryer duct vent over my head.

      6. why are you taking advantage of my little sister

    28. you’ve done it again, your statement “Each defendant face up to 750 years…. and this is just the beginning.” blatantly shows your glee. the very dina malchuda dina you so often qoute, clearly says a defendant is 100% innocent until proven guilty in court.

    29. New Yorker Says:

      Anyone ever have their cleaning lady bring their daughter to help – how old was she? Anyone know how old the young spanish boys who ride aroound on bikes delivering our gorceries are? ………….. Is there nothing else going on in IOWA?

      09-09-2008 – 3:33 PM

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

      You are joking, right? You are equating a babysitter with working for 12 hour days in a meat house with power equiptment. There is something wrong in your picture of the goyish world.

    30. deepthinker Says:

      THIS HAS ALL THE EARMARKS OF A HIT JOB.

      SOMEONE HAS PUT OUT A CONTRACT ON RUBASHKIN.

      HE IS THE LARGEST SUPPLIER OF GLATT KOSHER MEAT IN THE U.S.

      MY GUESS IS THAT IS AN UNHOLY ALLIANCE BETWEEN THE “ANIMAL RIGHTS” FANATICS AND THE NEW CONSERVATIVE “HECHSHER TZEDEK.’

      09-09-2008 – 3:30 PM

      ================================================

      Because he was the biggest producer in the usa is exactly he reason why he THOUGHT he was untouchable and can do whatever he wants.

      He tried paying off everyone from the govnt to the kashrus agencies and look where all this go him. Think twice before you try to be machshil your own brothers and sisters

    31. Please post comments responsibly as all comments are moderate New Yorker Says:

      Anyone ever have their cleaning lady bring their daughter to help – how old was she? Anyone know how old the young spanish boys who ride aroound on bikes delivering our gorceries are? ………….. Is there nothing else going on in IOWA?

      09-09-2008 – 3:33 PM

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

      You are joking, right? You are equating a babysitter with working for 12 hour days in a meat house with power equiptment. There is something wrong in your picture of the goyish world.

      I happen to work in the goyish workld and am very familiar with it. And next time you cut ans paste a comment try to cut and paste the whoe thing – perhaps my commetn about the stripping of moldings is more like working with heavy machinery but you can bet that according to OSHA and other Labor laws that may be applicable they are both violations of safe practices so yes I am comparing them. And by the way I saw plenty of babysitters working 24/7 in the country pushing babies around in 100 plus heat and then cleaning all day – maybe your familiarity with the yiddish world is a bit lacking

    32. It’s just amazing that a Yid violates the law and people shrei anti-semitism.

      A Yid employs children on a meat packing floor which is filled with dangers and now cries – oh I didn’t know.

      You can’t tell a 7 year old kid?

      Like a second grader can pose as a high school graduate.

      He isn’t going to jail because he’s Jewish.

      He’s going to jail because he’s a crook.

      It isn’t anti-semitism.

      It’s getting away with murder.

      Would you want your seven year old there?

      PETA didn’t have anything to do with this.

      It was good old Rubashkins.

    33. rubashkin innocent or guilty we will find out more once the prosecutors lays out all the evidence.

      yes he is innocent until proven guilty, however it seems to me that to some or most people on this board, that no amount of evidence is ever good enough to convice you that a frum yid guilty.

      I wonder to those who defend rubashkin like he is some complete innocent victim, was there ever a case that a frum yid was indicted or convicted that you thought was guilty. Or, where they all innocent victims of antisemitism or some agenda.

      Is the spinka rebbi innocent, is kolco Innocent, is the rebbie from satmer innocent, was Pinter (from many years ago and many others like him) all innocent and convicted simply because they were frum yidden? I wonder can you think of one frum yid you thought did wrong, or is it simply to you, impossible?

      ____________________________________________

      anon Says:

      comments – arrow gh- you are out of your mind

      no he is not there is vast evidence of what GH said except maybe the last one

      6. why are you taking advantage of my little

      sister

      Again why is it so hard for some the see the evidence. AS to those who said there has been no problem with rubahskin until now and or violation. You need to check your facts they have been fined numerous time for a total of over $100,000’s. In addtion some of the rubaskin were convicted of bank fruad a few years back.

      They are not talking about a squeaky clean family and or company.

      Again I ask for those who are sure Rubaskin is innocent name me a case wheb a frum yid really did something wrong and the goverment went after them simple beacuse they broke the law, and desrved to be punished One or two would be enought.

    34. I wish Agri a Ksivah V’chasima Tova – i hope they don’t just decide to throw in the towel.

      If they persevere they will get out of this stronger than ever and let all their wicked enemies that are wishing them ill eat crow.

      There have been other companies targeted and they all survived. It’s a temporary inconvenience that is being blown out of all proportions and sensationalized by the media and of course their

      enemies. I am not too worried. It’s not geshmak but hey this is a tough business and they are big,successful and high profile so they are natural targets.

    35. Did Rubashkin go down to Guatemala, kidnap a bunch of toddlers and smuggle them to Iowa where they chain them to benches and force them to flick chickens in un-airconditioned cells all day long?

      Or are we talking about some teenagers with fake ID piling on accusations and multiplying by the minute, like lawyers add up their fees, in order to stay in the U.S. on a “U-visa”

    36. Its easy to say arrest them all, bring illegal employment under,(this was the comments in the goi’isha papers)or to ask why did they do it.

      the fact of the matter is that most American workers wouldn’t do that kind of work. I had the liberty to speak to some of the employees who were not arrested, as they are legal, they told me that “we will never do that kind of work” since the raid the company couldn’t find anyone that would.

      we have to be aware that there is a reason why the majority of meat processing plants went off shore, and must of the meat we use on a daily basis is imported from Canada, Mexico and even as far as China.

      It seems that our culture is such that people are particular on occupations, our government’s attitude is “harden the life on corporations” via new regulations and employee taxes every so often. Such continuations of events will eventually get the manufacturing industry out of the US totally. How that will help the economy (with the weakening dollar that kills importers) is puzzling to me.

      I won’t say that this company should be treated out of the law, but before anyone gets questionable lets look on facts.

    37. i have a feeling the red necks in iowa had enugh of seeing frum jews becoming so comfy inthe heart of the midwest they r afraid of it becoming a second brooklyn. how else would u explain what lookes to me like a witchunt.it must a very important matter to the iowa citizens

    38. To Duddy The fact of the matter is that most American workers wouldn’t do that kind of work.

      yes, not for what he was paying, deducting 100 a week for a mattress in a basement, not getting paid for overtime etc.

      What about Empire and Hebrew national or similar plants that pays 10:50 an hour, paid vacation, paid holidays and medical benefits. I think there are Americans who would take that job.

    39. For all hater’s a say DRILL BABY DRILL! You know how much trim Jews until now ate kosher just because of the advantage of cheap cost and now I could promise many don’t eat kosher at all! ,its all your fault

    40. in hashem we trust Says:

      comments – arrow For all hater’s a say DRILL BABY DRILL! You know how much trim Jews until now ate kosher just because of the advantage of cheap cost and now I could promise many don’t eat kosher at all! ,its all your fault

      09-09-2008 – 10:47 PM

      do you really think that hashem wants yiddin to eat kosher meats if it only can be produced by cheating goyim. That is hashem you believe in, not a very nice guy is he. And all along I thought he was a compassionate just hashem stupid me.

    41. call them

      Contact Us

      Iowa Attorney General

      1305 E. Walnut Street Des Moines IA 50319

      Phone: 515-281-5164 Fax: 515-281-4209

      Iowa Attorney General Consumer Protection Division

      1305 E. Walnut Street Des Moines IA 50319

      515-281-5926 1-888-777-4590

      Fax: 515-281-6771

      consumer@ag.state.ia.us

    42. Anonymous Says:

      To Duddy The fact of the matter is that most American workers wouldn’t do that kind of work.

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

      As long as we tell our children that it is OK to learn in a yeshiva and have 10 kids before we get a job, then meat will be out of our reach.

      Teach them a trade before they get married. Rubashkin is in trouble because only goyim want to learn how to treibor meat at the wages that Rubashkin is paying.

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