Laurel, MS Update:
The AP Reports:
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - Attorney General Jim Hood's office is determining whether a new Mississippi law was violated by Howard Industries in Laurel, the site of the largest workplace immigration raid in U.S. history. "We'll look at what they've done and determine if it's a violation of state law, as well as determine if we need to enforce it," Hood told The Associated Press. The law passed by the 2008 Legislature and signed by Gov. Haley Barbour requires public and private employers in the state to use the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's E-Verify system to check new workers' immigration status.
Don´t look for Billy Howard to be charged however, particularly when you consider Laurel has provided over $50M in assistance to Howard Industries. Billy Howard must be Laurel´s favorite son! Time will tell.
Laurel, MS Leader Call reports: (summary)
If the outcome (of the Attorney General´s investigation) finds criminal offenses, the question of city, county, and state incentives arises. Much of Howard Industries’ recent growth has come through local tax exemptions and state-backed financial incentives.
(Beyond previous assistance) Laurel city leaders are also in the midst of a deal to help Howard Industries expand to the old Delphi plant in the industrial park. The Laurel City Council in July approved another change order to the Howard Industries’ Delphi project. With a vote of 6-1 the council approved changes to the ongoing Howard Industries’ Delphi Building Improvement Project. The council’s vote approved a fourth change order for additional work at the Delphi building project on the condition that a letter from Howard Industries agree to pay the additional $829,946 is received. Last year, the city approved an approximately $6.7 million bid from Larry J. Sumrall Contractors, Inc. for the improvement project. In December, the city council approved Change Order No. 1 for $1.24 million. Then in February, Change Order #2 for $1,660,321. In April, the council agreed to approve change order No. 3 for an additional $333,354.
BREAKING NEWS - Laurel:
Will Howard Industries be moving to Mexico? Reports indicate they are NOT paying their contractors and if the FEDS pursue charges, will lose multi millions in financial incentives.
laurelleadercall.com Sept. 8, 2008: One of Howard Industries suppliers has filed a federal lawsuit in United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. HD Supply, Inc. filed the suit against Howard Industries August 14, claiming the local industry hasn’t paid HD Supply $72,652.53 past due more than 90 days. There was an overdue charge of $679.48 for one to 30 days past due that was paid recently, according to court documents. The overdue balance of more than $70,000 has revolved from charges made as early as November 18, 2006.
Don´t expect the Rubashkins to be sanctioned any time soon. They are up to their old tricks again, continuing to stomp down on their hired illegal immigrant exploited workers when they attempt to join a union.
The Boston Globe Reports:
THE OWNERS of Agriprocessors are at it again. The infamous kosher meat company, whose Iowa plant was raided in May and found to have hundreds of illegal immigrants working in substandard conditions, now wants to challenge a vote to unionize at its Brooklyn distribution center. The reason? Many of the workers who voted to unionize are illegal immigrants.
The company argues that employees who shouldn't be in the country at all have no right to unionize. But the US Supreme Court ruled in 1984 that undocumented workers "plainly come within the broad statutory definition of employee" and that extending union protections to them is consistent with the intent of Congress when it wrote the National Labor Relations Act.