The Forward’s Nathaniel Popper, who broke the story of alleged worker mistreatment at the Agriprocessors plant in Iowa in 2006, followed up today with an important story about a unionization struggle at the company’s Brooklyn warehouse.
Aside from reports of additional alleged company shenanigans, the story notes that Agri challenged a vote in favor of unionization by arguing that the workers were – wait for it – undocumented illegal immigrants, and therefore their votes shouldn’t count. Lawyers for Agri are now petitioning the Supreme Court to invalidate the vote, the story says.
The situation at the Brooklyn plant also answers questions that have gone unanswered in Iowa. Most notably, it is unclear if the company knowingly employed undocumented workers, such as those who were arrested during the raid in Iowa. The company has pleaded ignorance. But the Brooklyn case suggests that long before the raid in Iowa, the company knew it had undocumented workers in its ranks and knew how to find them when it was to the company’s benefit.