The ICE raid in Iowa this month illustrates that the real chaos in this country is not, as many would have us believe, on the U.S./Mexico border. The anarchy is within corporate America, America of the bottom line, profit-driven America. The problem is illegal jobs, and it's in the heart of our country. Today's example: Agriprocessors, Postville IA.
- The Agriprocessors plant in Postville enabled employment to 80% of their workforce (of nearly 1000 employees) without proper documentation. A former supervisor reports that the human resources manager laughed when told that three workers had the same social security number. (This same supervisor was fired when he discovered and dismantled a meth lab in the plant. OSHA-approved meth? I think not.)
- An employee reports that different employees of the company were paid in cash or with different colored checks.
- These were people paid between $5-6/hour. Iowa's minimum wage is $7.50.
- Evidence suggests that employees were required to buy their cars from an Agriprocessors supervisor who purchased and titled the cars in two different cities for resale in Postville.
- The plant's UFCW Union had filed an investigation into alleged exploitation of underaged workers.
Study after study shows that occupations that pay poverty wages are legally substandard. With politicians too cowardly to tackle tough issues, I'm afraid that we, the people, are stuck with a mess inside our borders that's much worse than the mess on our border.