Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Something's not kosher

Shochet Shocker
Brooklyn kosher-butchering empire hobbled by labor troubles.
By Ben Harris, NY Magazine

A kosher-meat crisis has been gripping the city. From Supersol, a kosher supermarket on the Upper West Side, to Glatt Mart in Flatbush, meat departments have been struggling to maintain supply. Even FreshDirect lists ten kosher meat products as temporarily unavailable. It’s all because Agriprocessors, a Brooklyn-based company that’s the country’s largest kosher-meat supplier, has been facing crippling labor problems. “Their supply used to be endless,” laments Dov Bauman, owner of Glatt Mart, who’s been scrambling to fill his poultry cases.

In May, federal authorities conducted the largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history at Agriprocessors’ Postville, Iowa, meatpacking plant, arresting more than a third of the workforce—389 employees, including eighteen juveniles. The plant’s owner, Brooklyn Hasid Aaron Rubashkin, has been struggling to keep up production ever since, but replacement workers bused in from around the country haven’t stuck around. One employment agency pulled its 150 temp laborers within days, citing safety concerns. Lately the company has resorted to recruiting the homeless from Texas. “We got a big mess, no question about it,” the 80-year-old Rubashkin told the JTA news agency in an interview outside his Brooklyn shop. The mess is getting bigger: Since the raid, female employees have reportedly complained they were offered promotions in exchange for sexual favors, and allegations surfaced in the press of a methamphetamine lab in operation at the plant. More than a dozen state and federal agencies are investigating the company.

Even as they’re faced with a meat shortage, some Orthodox Jews are outraged by the allegations. One group has gathered 1,300 signatures for a boycott aimed at pressuring the company to promise compliance with U.S. labor laws, and last week a consortium called for “structural change” in the kosher-meat industry and attention to the ethical as well as ritual aspects of keeping kosher. But Rubashkin has denied all wrongdoing. “Everything is a lie,” he said. “We are ethical people. We don’t do no injustice to nobody—not to a cat.”


Here we have another example of why employing illegal immigrants is a bad idea. First of all, the place sounds like a nightmare to work in and they were more than likely taken advantage of. Criminal activity can be kept quiet if you have a workforce that's not supposed to be here in the first place. On top of that, here is proof that there are Americans that would have taken those jobs. And finally, the activity is an insult to the customers of this company. Let's hope the feds do more raids like this.

This came via McBrooklyn

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

When they moved the big meatpacking plants out of the Chicago stockyards into small towns in the heartland, the understanding was that being closer to the supply would drive down costs, and open up pools of labor in that chonically depressed part of the country.

The reality was different.

Isolated, out of the spot light, the managers (and their politican buddies) of the facilities reneged on their promises to the local people, and brought in massive illegals who worked at lower wages in unsafe envirnments that mocked government regulations. That part of the country is now pocked with communities that are now overwhelmed with third world color.

I repeat, isolated, out of the spot light, the managers (and their politican buddies) of the facilities reneged on their promises to the local people ...

just like Queens!

Anonymous said...

They are now having labor shortage problems because they can't get replacement workers. Nice spin Crapper. Continue on with your anti-immigration spiel . . .

Queens Crapper said...

"Since the raid, female employees have reportedly complained they were offered promotions in exchange for sexual favors, and allegations surfaced in the press of a methamphetamine lab in operation at the plant. More than a dozen state and federal agencies are investigating the company."

Yes, they can't get workers because of a labor shortage, not because they are a shady company that abuses their workers. Or maybe you think worker abuse is ok as long as the company stays in business.

Wade Nichols said...

If these cheap bastards offered a decent wage instead of indentured servitude, they wouldn't have any problems filling the jobs.

Anonymous said...

If there were abusive labor practices, it should be stopped and the company should be find. Of course, Crapper has no problem taking wild accusations as fact. I just called you on taking that issue and turning it into your typical bigoted anti-immigrant stance.

Truman Harris said...

Actually, I fail to see anything bigoted and anti-immigrant in Crapper's statement. This blog has many times exposed how illegals are abused, sometimes to their deaths.

"First of all, the place sounds like a nightmare to work in and they were more than likely taken advantage of."

Sounds like criticism of the company, not the workers.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but the machine immigrant advocates don't care about abuse - that will be taken care of later with the tweeded programming ("we care about YOU!" says the hack)

The important thing is to GET THEM INTO THE COMMUNITY.

Anonymous said...

MACHINE SPUN MYTH
They are now having labor shortage problems because they can't get replacement workers. Nice spin Crapper. Continue on with your anti-immigration spiel . . .

REALITY
If these cheap bastards offered a decent wage instead of indentured servitude, they wouldn't have any problems filling the jobs.

(This is the beauty of Queens Crap)

Wade Nichols said...

Both Republicans and Democrats love illegals:

Republicans - Businesses tend to vote Republican; business loves cheap labor; Republicans thus do nothing to enforce existing immigration laws in order to please business

Democrats - Want more loyal voters; want to "fast track" illegals on path to citizenship, promise them all sorts of benefits (Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Affirmative Action, etc.) thus creating more voters to keep the machine rolling

If you folks dislike Crappy so much, why spend your time here?

Are you masochists?

Shouldn't you be over at Daily Kos, New Republic, Mother Jones, Socialist Workers Party, etc.??

Anonymous said...

Naw, when the machine sees stuff like this they howl.

But our minders have to keep tabs.