Monday, August 25, 2008

Iowa governor blasts packer hit by nation's largest immigration raid; state alleges safety violations

Iowa's governor is winning kudos for an op-ed piece sharply criticizing the operators of the kosher meatpacking plant that was the site of the largest immigration raid in U.S. history. "Several business and political experts said the governor's words were justified," reports Tony Leys of The Des Moines Register, which published Gov. Chet Culver's article Sunday.

The Democratic governor, elected in 2006, went so far as to compare the Agriprocessors Inc. facility in Postville (Encarta map) to the plants exposed 100 years ago by novelist Upton Sinclair in The Jungle. "There will be no industrial 'jungles' in Iowa on my watch," he wrote. To read his column, click here. Today, the company invited Culver to the plant, Leys reports.

Culver took Agriprocessors off state job-listing services, saying the company "has chosen to take advantage of a failed federal immigration system. ... Before the federal raid, Agriprocessors already had a history of sanctions by Iowa's state regulatory agencies for water pollution, as well as health and safety law violations. ... This company's owners have deliberately chosen to take the low road in its business practices." The state has proposed a $101,000 fine for 31 safety violations at the plant. For the Register's story on that, click here.

Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Julie Myers "said the agency and industry need to partner to ensure compliance with the related laws," Tom Johnston of reports from a directors' meeting of the National Meat Association. "Though she acknowledged that effective immigration law is lacking in the United States, Myers said companies are best to approach ICE and demonstrate the intent to cooperate and legalize their labor forces." (Read more)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, a total lack of regard for safety, environment, immigration and other issues is a frustratingly common problem.

It's all about money. Of course, we as a society value money above just about everything else... so it can only be expected.