Agriprocessors Hit With $10 Million in Fines

By Marissa Brostoff

Published October 29, 2008, issue of November 07, 2008.

Agriprocessors, the largest kosher meat company in the country until recently, has been hit with nearly $10 million in fines for withholding workers’ wages.

According to the office of the Iowa labor commissioner, who issued the fines on Wednesday, more than 2,000 workers employed by the company had their wages illegally reduced within the past two years. Agriprocessors’ primary slaughterhouse is located in Postville, Iowa.

Agriprocessors was the subject of a federal immigration raid in May, when nearly 400 immigrant workers were arrested. That raid came two years after an article in the Forward raised concerns about the treatment and pay of workers at the plant. In September, the owners of Agriprocessors were charged with over 9,000 separate child labor violations.

There has been a steady flow of fines against Agriprocessors over the last year, but this appears to be the largest single set of fines. A spokesperson for the Iowa labor commissioner’s office said that the fines were the largest the department had ever leveled for wage violations.

Agriprocessors has 30 days in which to contest the fines. Company spokespeople could not be reached for comment.



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