Postville, IA – Following the filing of criminal charges against owners of the kosher meat producer Agriprocessors, the Orthodox Union says it will withdraw its kosher certification of the company within two weeks unless new management is hired.
“Within the coming days, or lets say a week or two, we will suspend our supervision unless there’s new management in place,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, the O.U.’s head of kosher supervision.
Genack’s comments came just hours after Iowa’s attorney general filed criminal charges against Agriprocessors and its owner, Aaron Rubashkin, for child-labor violations.
Agriprocessors has been under the gun since a raid on May 12 resulted in the arrest of nearly 400 employees on illegal immigration charges. Following the raid, employees alleged they were shorted on pay, forced to work long hours and were the targets of sustained sexual harassment.
In May, the company announced that the Postville plant’s manager, Sholom Rubashkin, would be replaced. Months later, Rubashkin is still a regular presence at the plant and no replacement has been named.
The attorney general’s complaint represents the first criminal charges to be brought against the company’s owner and senior management.
Rabbi Weissmandel who also provides kosher certification for Rubashkin plant told VIN News in a phone interview “My job and expertise is strictly kosher supervision, as long as the strict guidelines of Kosher Shichitah is followed in this plant my Hecsher will stay on”. said Rabbi Weissmandel.