Agriprocessors, a Kosher meat packing plant in Iowa has been hit with child labor charges. According to the NY Sun the plant, also facing an organizing campaign in a Brooklyn facility from Local 342 of the UFCW, "The owner and managers of the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant were charged yesterday with more than 9,000 misdemeanors alleging they hired minors and had children younger than 16 handle dangerous equipment such as circular saws and meat grinders."
The company has also been cited in the past with health and safety violations-and questions about the way in which all of the Kosher meat is processed. In the latest episode, immigrant children are alleged to have been exposed to dangerous chemicals as well: "The complaint filed by the Iowa attorney general's office said the violations involved 32 illegal-immigrant children under age 18, including seven who were younger than 16. Aside from handling dangerous equipment, the complaint says children were exposed to dangerous chemicals such as chlorine solutions and dry ice."
The company is owned by the Rabashkin family of Brooklyn, and its owners could face even more tsuris if it continues to exploit immigrant labor and run shoddy facilities. We expect that others will join with the UFCW in Brooklyn to pressure Agriprocessors to reform its operating methods.