http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1032625.html A kosher meatpacking plant that was the site of one of
the nation's largest immigration raids was fined nearly $10 million
by the state Wednesday, over accusations that it violated state
Iowa Labor Commissioner Dave Neil assessed the
civil penalties against Agriprocessors in Postville for what he
called "repeated violations of Iowa's wage laws from January 2006 to
again, Agriprocessors has demonstrated a complete disregard for Iowa
law," Neil said in a statement. "This continued course of violations
is a black mark on Iowa's business community."
Workforce Development, the state's labor agency, spent months before
and after the May 12 raid examining internal company documents,"
said agency spokeswoman Kerry Koonce. "Documents included time
sheets, payroll and wage stubs," she continued.
September, the plant owner and managers were charged with 9,311
misdemeanors alleging it had illegally hired minors and let children
under the age of 16 handle dangerous equipment.
complaint filed by the Iowa attorney general's office said the
violations involved 32 illegal-immigrant children younger than 18,
including seven who were not yet 16.
The civil penalties
totaled $9.99 million, including $339,700 for the illegal deduction
of sales tax/miscellaneous costs nearly 3,400 times; $9.6 million
for illegally deducting money from 2,001 employees for protective
clothing more than 96,000 times; and for failing to pay 42 employees
their last paychecks following the raid by immigration agents.
An Agriprocessors spokesman did not immediately respond to a
call for comment. The company has 30 days to contest the proposed
The fines are the latest trouble for Agriprocessors
since the raid on May 12, in which 389 people from Mexico, Guatemala
and Eastern Europe were arrested for immigration violations.