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!
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • Would you get to know racists on a first-name basis if you thought it might help you prevent them from going on rampages, like the recent shooting in Kansas City?
  • "You wouldn’t send someone for a math test without teaching them math." Why is sex ed still so taboo among religious Jews?
  • Russia's playing the "Jew card"...again.
  • "Israel should deal with this discrimination against Americans on its own merits... not simply as a bargaining chip for easy entry to the U.S." Do you agree?
  • For Moroccan Jews, the end of Passover means Mimouna. Terbhou ou Tse'dou! (good luck) How do you celebrate?
  • Calling all Marx Brothers fans!
  • What's it like to run the Palestine International Marathon as a Jew?
  • Does Israel have a racism problem?
  • This 007 hates guns, drives a Prius, and oh yeah — goes to shul with Scarlett Johansson's dad.
  • Meet Alvin Wong. He's the happiest man in America — and an observant Jew. The key to happiness? "Humility."
  • "My first bra was a training bra, a sports bra that gave the illusion of a flat chest."
  • "If the people of Rwanda can heal their broken hearts and accept the Other as human, so can we."
  • Aribert Heim, the "Butcher of Mauthausen," died a free man. How did he escape justice?
  • This guy skipped out on seder at his mom's and won a $1 million in a poker tournament. Worth it?
  • 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.