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Agency withdraws Agriprocessors workers

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An Iowa employment agency withdrew its 150 workers from a kosher slaughterhouse over safety concerns.

Labor Ready, a Waterloo-based company that supplied replacement workers for Agriprocessors, the slaughterhouse targeted in a May 12 federal immigration raid, pulled out its people last week, the Des Moines Register reported.

“There was a concern on the part of my field operators about the safety and care afforded to our workers,” said Stacey Burke, a representative of Labor Ready’s parent company, TrueBlue. “We felt as if there was a violation on our core principles.”

Burke would not specify about the violations.

Agriprocessors, the country’s largest kosher meat producer, has been reeling since federal agents arrested more than one-third of its work force in the largest workplace immigration raid in U.S. history. The company in Postville, Iowa, had been cited by the Division of Labor Services and the U.S. Department of Labor for workplace safety violations.

Since the raid, former employees have complained of poor working conditions, rampant sexual harassment and long overtime shifts for which they were not always compensated. Several teenagers also told JTA they worked in the plant, in violation of Iowa labor laws.

 

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