Congratulations to the Union and to the Blogosphere for keeping the pressure on the Justice Department. They arrested two Agriprocessor Supervisors.
Special Kudos to FailedMessiah.com and to the Latino PRO Blogosphere for keeping this topic HOT!
The bad news is, only two low level Latino supervisors have been indicted so far. Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza was a supervisor in the Beef Kill dept. Officials are saying he was an American citizen. They are keeping mum on the citizenship status of Martin De La Rosa-Loera, the supervisor of the Poultry kill department. There is an arrest warrant out for Jewish Plant Manager Amara, however as we previously reported, Agriprocessors quickly whisked him off to Israel one step ahead of the authorities. Rubashkin also replaced his son Sholom as Chief Executive attempting to save him from being charged. News reports indicate, however, that due to the continued pressure from the Unions and the Blogosphere, the Grand Jury investigation of Agriprocessors is continuing, especially since they found Fake Green Cards in Agriprocessors HR Office and Feds investigating said the Plant Conditions were medieval!
The Cedar Rapids Gazette is reporting:
..The supervisors were indicted by a federal grand jury after a former human resources employee and illegal immigrants at Agriprocessors testified last month, according to court records. They told investigators of an effort by the men to update employee documents in the weeks before the raid. The week before the raid, Guerrero-Espinoza told some of his employees to give him $200 for new documentation to continue working at the company, court records state. Some of the workers testified that he asked them for an extra $20 to cover the cost of gasoline or serve as his commission. On the day before the raid, the workers were provided new application packets complete with fake resident alien cards to sign and return...Both men face up to 20 years in prison if convicted of the charges. Guerrero-Espinoza is facing an additional charge of aiding and abetting aggravated identity theft, which could get him another sentence of up to 15 years. ICE officials are seeking the public's help in locating Hosam Amara, 43, last known to live in Postville. The criminal complaint against him has been sealed until his arrest. Anyone with information is asked to call ICE at 1-(888) 347-2423.
The New York Times reported:
..Federal authorities called the raid the largest enforcement operation by immigration authorities at a single workplace. Unions and immigrant advocacy groups had criticized immigration officials for focusing arrests on workers while taking no action against top managers. The arrest warrant was issued for Hosam Amara, 43. In interviews after the raid, several workers said Mr. Amara was a floor manager with more authority than line supervisors. They said he was a link between workers on the slaughterhouse floors and meatpacking lines and more senior management. Agriprocessors, which before the raid was the country’s largest producer of kosher meat, is owned by Aaron Rubashkin. Two weeks after the raid, he removed his son Sholom as chief executive. Most of the illegal immigrants arrested at the plant were from rural Guatemala. In expedited proceedings (Cattle Barn justice), 270 workers were sent to federal prison on criminal charges, most for presenting false documents when they were hired...A former human resources employee cited in the complaint said Mr. Guerrero regularly brought in fake green cards for applicants.
A separate complaint says Mr. De la Rosa, a supervisor in Poultry Kill, also told illegal immigrant workers shortly before the raid that they needed new identity documents. The complaints make it clear that a grand jury investigation of Agriprocessors is continuing. Union officials said the new arrests did not go far enough. “The arrest of two low-level supervisors, while a start, barely scratches the surface of this company’s bad behavior,” said Scott Frotman, a spokesman for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, which has tried to organize the plant. “What about the allegations of worker abuse? Does anyone really believe that these low-level supervisors acted alone without the knowledge, or even the direction, of the Rubashkins and other senior management?”
Wall St Journal reports:
..The complaint (warrant) also alleges that the May 12 raid resulted in the seizure of dozens of fraudulent permanent alien resident cards in the human-resources department at Agriprocessors. The raid exposed allegations that workers at the sprawling plant, which employed more than 900 people, were underpaid, physically abused, sexually harassed and extorted. Speaking on condition of anonymity, a U.S. government official who has visited the plant described the operation as "medieval." An investigation is still under way, and a court spokesman declined to disclose whether more arrests are likely.