Bintel Blog

Agriprocessors’ Bi-Coastal Critics

By Daniel Treiman

  • Print
  • Share Share

Agriprocessors — the kosher meat giant that has been in the national spotlight ever since its Iowa slaughterhouse was the target of a massive federal immigration raid in May — is taking flak from critics east and west.

The Los Angeles Times and The Boston Globe both published editorials yesterday assailing Agriprocessors for its treatment of its workers. This time, however, the focus isn’t on allegations of mistreatment of workers at its Iowa plant (a story our Nathaniel Popper broke back in 2006).

Instead, the papers are unloading on Agri over its efforts to prevent workers at its Brooklyn distribution center from unionizing (another story Nathaniel broke for the Forward, this one just last month).

Both papers take aim at an attempt by Agriprocessors to void a 3-year-old vote in favor of unionization by its Brooklyn workers. The company has filed an appeal with the Supreme Court arguing that workers who are in the country illegally have no right to unionize, a position that, both papers note, flies in the face of a 1984 Supreme Court precedent.

The Times accuses Agriprocessors of “doing all it can to exploit every crack in the United States’ broken immigration system.”

Its editorialist writes:

This should alarm people on all sides of the immigration debate – those who favor stepped-up deportations and sanctions against employers of illegal immigrants, as well as those who support increased labor and civil rights for immigrants. Should Agriprocessors prevail, illegal immigrants would be vulnerable to even greater human rights and labor abuses than they are now, and employers would have more incentive not to hire U.S. citizens, who have the right to organize.

The Globe for its part, in an editorial titled “More immigration chutzpah”, also manages to summon up a good measure of indignation:

…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.

Meanwhile, in other Agriprocessors news: People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals keeps up its effort to draw attention to the company’s actions vis-à-vis the four-legged with another (gory) video, and Nathaniel Popper is interviewed about his Forward scoops by the new investigative journalism hub ProPublica.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: Kashrut, Agriprocessors

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.