Update: A Small Victory in Postville

It looks as though a bit of justice, however small, will finally be served in Postville. The many allegations of child labor violations against Agriprocessors have been confirmed by the Iowa Labor Comission. Hopefully the owners of the plant will be fully prosecuted for these crimes against innocent children.

From the Chicago Tribune:

Labor officials said Tuesday that they had uncovered dozens of child labor violations at the nation’s biggest supplier of kosher meat.

The Iowa Labor Commissioner’s Office said an investigation, which spanned several months, uncovered 57 cases of child labor law violations at the Agriprocessors kosher meatpacking plant in Postville, where nearly 400 workers were arrested this spring in the largest Immigration enforcement operation in U.S. history.

The types of violations included minors working in prohibited occupations, exceeding allowable hours for youth to work, failure to obtain work permits, exposure to hazardous chemicals and working with prohibited tools. Under Iowa law, it is illegal for children under the age of 18 to work in meatpacking plants.

“The investigation brings to light egregious violations of virtually every aspect of Iowa’s child labor laws,” Dave Neil, Iowa Labor Commissioner, said in a statement. “It is my recommendation that the attorney general’s office prosecute these violations to the fullest extent of the law.”

The child labor violations would normally be turned over to the county attorney’s office, but in this case will most likely be handed over the Iowa attorney general at the county’s request, labor officials said.

4 responses to “Update: A Small Victory in Postville

  1. All along, the owners and operators of Agriprocessors has said their meat is safe, and they did nothing wrong. They have a long history of violations not only in Postville, but in almost anything the family is involved with. From OSHA, to Health, even HazMat dumping violations, they claim innocence.

    A quote from a recent article off the AP wire: “Supporters say the Rubashkins are no scofflaws, just unsophisticated businessmen who made some mistakes as their company grew.”

    From their refusal to deal fairly with locals soon after their arrival in Postville, to the recent charges of worker abuse at the plant, they (the owners family) has claimed everyone is picking on them.

  2. ken –
    i’m not that familiar with the Rubashkin family history, but i do know that the owners of Agriprocessors will receive no sympathy from me if they choose to “play the victim”.

    i appreciate your thoughtful comment – i think that more people should try to see this from many different angles. the immigration raid at agriprocessors has awakened a myriad of very complex issues, and we should all strive to understand them. the labor violations perpetrated by the Rubashkins is just one facet of this complex story.

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  4. Good site. Thank you!!!

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