Kosher Meat Company Loses Legal Fight to Union

By Marissa Brostoff

Published January 09, 2008, issue of January 11, 2008.
  • Print
  • Share Share

It has not been a good week for AgriProcessors, the world’s largest kosher slaughterhouse. In addition to a falling-out between two of its kashrut certifiers, the company recently lost an appeal in federal court and continues to field attacks from the slaughterhouse workers’ union.

Last week, a federal court of appeals rejected AgriProcessors’ claim that workers in a Brooklyn distribution center should not be allowed to unionize because many of them are undocumented aliens. The decision ended a two-year court battle.

“[AgriProcessors] tied the case up in court,” said Jill Cashen, a spokeswoman for United Food and Commercial Workers, which is the union that represents slaughterhouse employees. She added that the long period during which the case moved through the courts would have given AgriProcessors time to hire a new crop of workers who had not voted to unionize in 2005.

“It’s a union-busting tactic,” she said.

In yet another development, the UFCW, which has long protested AgriProcessors’ labor practices, claims that its chemical tests of AgriProcessors’ meat reveals much higher sodium levels than the company reports on its packaging. The union has also uncovered a letter from four United States congressmen to the United States Department of Agriculture that expresses concern over the plant’s record on health and safety regulations.

Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, leader of an ultra-Orthodox community in upstate New York, criticized the UFCW for what he called its “agenda” of recruiting uninterested workers into the union. He called a November 2007 UFCW campaign, in which the union phoned religious households with a Yiddish message questioning AgriProcessors’ kashrut standards, “psychological terrorism.”






Find us on Facebook!
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • Vered Guttman doesn't usually get nervous about cooking for 20 people, even for Passover. But last night was a bit different. She was cooking for the Obamas at the White House Seder.
  • A grumpy Jewish grandfather is wary of his granddaughter's celebrating Easter with the in-laws. But the Seesaw says it might just make her appreciate Judaism more. What do you think?
  • “Twist and Shout.” “Under the Boardwalk.” “Brown-Eyed Girl.” What do these great songs have in common? A forgotten Jewish songwriter. We tracked him down.
  • What can we learn from tragedies like the rampage in suburban Kansas City? For one thing, we must keep our eyes on the real threats that we as Jews face.
  • When is a legume not necessarily a legume? Philologos has the answer.
  • "Sometime in my childhood, I realized that the Exodus wasn’t as remote or as faceless as I thought it was, because I knew a former slave. His name was Hersh Nemes, and he was my grandfather." Share this moving Passover essay!
  • Getting ready for Seder? Chag Sameach! http://jd.fo/q3LO2
  • "We are not so far removed from the tragedies of the past, and as Jews sit down to the Seder meal, this event is a teachable moment of how the hatred of Jews-as-Other is still alive and well. It is not realistic to be complacent."
  • Aperitif Cocktail, Tequila Shot, Tom Collins or Vodka Soda — Which son do you relate to?
  • Elvis craved bacon on tour. Michael Jackson craved matzo ball soup. We've got the recipe.
  • This is the face of hatred.
  • What could be wrong with a bunch of guys kicking back with a steak and a couple of beers and talking about the Seder? Try everything. #ManSeder
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.