Thursday, October 30, 2008

Iowa Based Kosher Meat Packer Fined $10m Over Labor Violations

Agriprocessors, a kosher meat packing plant located in Iowa, was the site of one of the nation's largest illegal immigrant raids on May 12th. The plant that has been accused of indentured servitude was fined $10 million by the state for a host of labor violations that included child labor.

In September, the plant owner and managers were charged with 9,311 misdemeanors alleging it had illegally hired minors and let children under the age of 16 handle dangerous equipment.

The complaint filed by the Iowa attorney general's office said the violations involved 32 illegal-immigrant children younger than 18, including seven who were not yet 16.

The civil penalties totaled $9.99 million, including $339,700 for the illegal deduction of sales tax/miscellaneous costs nearly 3,400 times; $9.6 million for illegally deducting money from 2,001 employees for protective clothing more than 96,000 times; and for failing to pay 42 employees their last paychecks following the raid by immigration agents.

During the raids carried out in May by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) 389 illegal immigrants from Mexico, Guatemala and Eastern Europe were arrested.

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