November 6, 2008
Agriprocesor Files for Bankruptcy
The kosher meatpacking company in Iowa that has been struggling with criminal charges and huge fines for labor violations, a dwindling work force and declining demand among Jewish consumers since an immigration raid at its main plant, has filed for bankruptcy. For the full story, click here.
November 6, 2008 | Permalink
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There is a spelling error in the title to this post. This has been a recurring problem with ra.
Posted by: Walter Ching | Nov 6, 2008 7:41:22 AM
I do not for one minute want to be seen as supporting Agriprocesor. They were almost certainly bad corporate citizens, and by all indications deserve much of the grief that is and will be coming to them. However, I want to explain that my condemnation is primarily reserved for their exploitative labor practices such as underpaying undocumented workers and employing underage workers. The fact that they were employing undocumented workers, does not specifically warrant their being singled out for prosecution. I say this because with some 10,000,000 +/- undocumented workers employed throughout this country at any given moment, the fact that Agriprocesors had employed some 340 or so of them doesn't make them, "the one". Let's face facts, almost all manufacturing companies, especially in states like California or other immigrant rich states, are "the ones". Agriprocesors were egregious in their irresponsible and frankly greedy labor practices, but they should not be held up as typical by any means, other than the fact that they, like so many tens of thousands of American businesses, have undocumented workers in their ranks.
I want to call attention to the fact that the bankruptcy petition of Agriprocesor is a cautionary tale. Should the U.S. use this bad apple as an excuse to expand it's enforcement into a nationwide mandate, we would see the financial problems of this single company escalate into massive bankruptcies from thousands of employers all over the country. If 300 or so workers can bring down a company, how much damage could 10,000,000 workers wrought? If Agriprocesors is having so much difficulty replacing 300 workers in a down economy, what makes anybody think that we can replace 10,000,000 workers in what would then become a downwardly escalating recessive economy?
The example here is that CIR is a must, and the sooner the better. Our economy is hanging on by a thin thread right now. We should be seeking out opportunities to heal and expand our economy, not foolishly shooting ourselves in the foot by causing injury and contraction to our economy, and biting the hand that feeds us, (literally and figuratively).
Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Nov 6, 2008 8:06:39 AM
Gittleson's comments must be taken with a grain of salt. His wife is an immigration attorney in Los Angeles and he is in the garment business (an industry which has traditionally exploited its workers, legal and illegal, foreign and American born).
Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 7, 2008 6:50:47 AM
It is with a certain sense of amusement, coupled with a mild sense of chagrin, that I so often read the comments of the multitude of readers that parrot the comment of Mr. Lillich, (above). Interesting that so many use the exact phrase, "Gitt(el)son's comments must be taken with a grain of salt." My writing must be quite bitter to these readers indeed.
In point of fact, they are correct, in that all posted comments by anyone should be taken with a grain of salt, as each post writer comes with their own unique point of view, (some more original and unique than others).
Personally, my own unique point of view comes from almost three decades of working with literally thousands of immigrants, (both legal and illegal), over the years. I've seen their struggles, and empathized with their frustrations. I can and do bear witness to their perseverance and they, (as a body), have earned my respect and admiration in most but not all cases, (people being people - and I might add that one's legal status does not and should not make them any more or less of a human being).
So, by all means, go ahead and take my comments with a grain of salt or a tablespoon of salt, or pepper, tabasco, mustard or ketchup for that matter, (perhaps salsa would be more appropriate). However, I would hope that while they are wolfing down my well spiced ideas, they might at least take the time to consider those ideas at face value, and evaluate the truthfulness of the concepts, independent of their evaluation of the voracity of the messenger.
It has always been my intention, as well as my policy, to be upfront and open about my background on this topic. Whether I am writing an article, or speaking in public on immigration topics, I always identify myself as an apparel manufacturer, and identify my wife as an immigration attorney. It is up to the reader or listener to discern the value of my content. Are my wife and I part of some massive conspiracy to "put one over" on the public? Or, are we genuinely concerned citizens seeking to right what we perceive to be injustices?
So, I have no problem with readers weighing my ideas against any possible ulterior motives behind my words. That issue won't be keeping me up at night. The point is that at least they will be considering the content of my comments, because I genuinely feel that my professional experience affords me something authentic and germane to contribute to this dialogue.
Posted by: Robert Gittelson | Nov 7, 2008 9:32:58 AM
I will be reporting Robert Gittelson to the Los Angeles office of U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement based on his admission to having employed thousands of illegal aliens over the years.
Posted by: Thomas Lillich | Nov 9, 2008 7:53:57 PM
Sounds like many poor business and ethical choices were made by this company. A better company will fill their need. Be greatful fo capitalism and the free market approach. Bankruptcy will hopefully allow for better run businesses to have a piece of the pie they were eating.
Posted by: Jackson White Attorneys at Law | Dec 5, 2012 10:11:50 AM