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September 09, 2009

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AGRI-vated Angel

[nervousness will be felt by the community]

Nervous? Hardly. It will take alot to get our attention & earn our support. Though, at present, I am a tad nervous with regard to the leadership of/for the Postville community.

concerned citizen

Heard from a reliable source that Agri Star may try and start up the beef kill after the holidays are over. Oh Boy, here we go again!!!!

formerpostvillian

The new owners can't win. If they had come to town and ran things like the Rubashkins, they would have been criticized. But now they are being criticized because they are not like the Rubashkins.

I understand all of the concerns and think they are very justifiable, but lets give them time and a chance. They are our only hope. If they are successful in turning Agri around, the town and communities will survive. If they fail, no one wins.

Hometown Postville

No matter how well intended the Community Benefits Alliance may be, it's easy to assume that the lack of interest on Freidman's part sends the message; "this is none of your business and don't tell me how to run mine." And indeed, if this business was anywhere else, under any other circumstances, I would tend to agree. But his silence could also be saying "I'm really busy trying to pull this place together right now and when I have time to take a breath I'll fit you in." If he was worried about his image, he would have already had a PR man handling details with the community. I hope he becomes more personable and willing to share as time goes on. Postville natives are used to knowing each other and their business. Mr. Friedman may not have the same expectations moving into a small town. I wish all the citizens of Postville and employees of Agri-Star the best of luck. Many lessons have been learned so there is hope that even if history tries to repeat itself, people will speak up sooner and louder to the proper authorities.

Concerned for the Postville Area

“They plan on operating a good business up there,” Radloff said.
alliance made multiple requests for a meeting with the new owners and eventually heard back that “at this point, they don’t have time.”
Isn't this quite contradicting! Any good business knows they are only as good as the community they become apart of! Too busy, I guess the town should say the same to them and their so called new come employees! Outrageous! Support your own and no more free handouts! So much for being a good business. Older folks have a saying, If it doesn't sound right, smell right or feel right, THROW IT OUT! There is no fooling age/experience.
Reinhardt said. “This is the same old story over again.” I tend to agree and frankly couldn't care less if they are successful or not.

TheTruthAsItIs

You guys are all over analyzing this....

Friedman, et al are only stooges of the Rubashkins.....

Believe me... the Rubashkins & their cronies, from Heshy on down, still have their talons deep into that place ....

And dont buy into this "well, the Rubashkins are only employed here as employees. They are not a part of management." Thats crap.

As is Friedman's lawyer "you dont expect us to fire people because of their name"

Why not, they have fired people for less.

Father Paul Odekirk is right - same old story all over again.

And another thing - if the new owners are so well intentioned why are they so afraid of entering into a "Community Benefit Alliance"? Whats the big deal? Don't they want to be good corporate neighbors?

sage

Hi TheTruthAsItIs,

Very well put !!!!

It's very clear now, that the Chabad Community, some members of the City Council and Agri-Star, prefer to let Postville continue on the current path of disintegration, as an Iowan City, to be replaced by a factory-town, furnishing, basically slave-labor to the plant.

I think the message from all this is more than abundantly clear; the plant and the Chabad Community have to go, if the Citizens of Postville want their town back.

I have stated before that a BOYCOTT against Agri-Star will accomplish this.

If someone else has other ideas to yield the same results, please share them.

FirstGenerationBavarianAmerican

Plants of Mr. Friedman we know about are located in the largest metro area in the Province of Quebec (which is the second largest in Canada,) and the one in Brooklyn, in the largest metro area in the USA.

Things are done diferently in small towns in the USA.

Pablo Faird

Hometown Postville:
Nice post!
Truthasitis:
In case you did not know, if the feds find any association/partnership between Friedman and Rubashkin, Agri will get shut down, no ifs ands or buts. So please don`t make up information.
As for why there was no meeting yet with the Community Alliance, the answer is quite simple, yes it would be nice to meet however now is not the time, they are too busy trying to re-organize. In the event they meet in a few months and come up with some type of draft together then in hind sight we will all look back and say all is well. Unfortunately you can`t make all the people happy all the time and this is one of those instances. As Hometown Postville stated, Friedman is in a lose lose situation.
Sage:
Based on your past posts, it seems as though you are probably on the board of hechsher tzedek. You have your work cut out in order for you to succeed on you new ambition, so perhaps go back and re-draft some of the criteria required to obtain the hechsher, instead of posting the same garbage time and again.

State of Postville III

This town cannot afford more of the same old. The city budget is very constrained. New people coming to town without money is not the town's problem. There have been so many handouts the pot is empty. This is one of the reasons for trying to organize the CBA. The churches are depleted. They have other obligations to meet than supporting people who come on a whim because there might be a job. It must be the cell phone network. Someone is here who thinks there will be jobs and calls friends to come. Postville is entering this "new owner" period with their eyes open. Hopefully administration will be aware of any dangers but also open to a business model of good working conditions, living wages and benefits. A business enterprise with these goals will attract local, stable workers with interest in their jobs and the employer.

TheTruthAsItIs

To Pablo Faird:

In case YOU did not know (which is rather obvious) the "Feds" said the Rubashkins could not have ownership position or "upper management" control of the plant....

The latter has enough leeway to allow the Rubashkins to run amock in the plant without actually being considered "upper management"

If only the Feds had said "any association" - then we probably wouldnt be having this debate.

But, unfortunately, the Govt didnt do that.

But, you dont have to believe me Pablo.

Get to know some of the people who work at the plant - and not only the Rabbi's who "tow the line" - but some of the other workers as well.

Or, go apply there to work yourself there for awhile and observe.......

And you too will see the truth......

As it is.

sage

Excellent rejoinder TheTruthAsItIs !!!!!

To PF:

I'll repeat my basic statement one more time.

"I think the message from all this is more than abundantly clear; the plant and the Chabad Community have to go, if the Citizens of Postville want their town back.

I have stated before that a BOYCOTT against Agri-Star will accomplish this."

If you still feel that this is nothing more than BS, go to Postville and check with the long-suffering Citizens and Church Leaders to see if they, too, think this is BS.

You'll get a surprise that won't make your day.

Hometown Postville

Sage; In theory, a boycott sounds great. But as Shmarya once pointed out, the area is too economically depressed to put that into practice. Shipping costs a lot of money, so shipping to another market is not feasible. It's not just a matter of hauling it to the next slaughterhouse; if they want top dollar for kosher beef, it needs to go to the nearest kosher plant, which I don't know where it would be. Kosher beef pays much more than regular market beef. With the recent price of corn fluctuating wildly and summer storms that have destroyed crops, these farmers depend on making up the difference with the added kosher benefit. This is why local producers have been so passionate about knowing what Freidman has in store. They may be only one little dot on the map in the corner of Iowa, but that little dot is their home and their livelihood.

sage

Hi HP,

I get your gist.

But, if Agri-Star succeeds, using the RCF Business Model, as it appears to be doing, Postville will go down the drain as an Iowan City and become simply a factory town, supplying cheap labor to the plant.

IHMO, if Friedman had real intentions to make Agri-Star a good corporate citizen, he had plenty of time to put things in writing and meet with Postville Citizens, before taking over operations.

Agri-Star's failure to be up front with Postville, or send anyone to the last CBA meeting, speaks volumes.

This is why placing a BOYCOTT on Agri-Star, while painful in the short run, may be the ONLY chance Postville has to rebuild.

Pablo Faird

Truth as it is:
I know a lot more than you think, and the Rubashkin`s have no final say in management decisions, perhaps their opinion is heard but that is as much power they have. And if you read my post correctly, it reads association/partnership, so if you don`t like the word association then focus on the word partnership. The feds are well aware who among the Rubashkin family is still employed so aparently all is well with them.

state of  the Jews

In a company like Agri-Star/Processor, titles mean nothing. The question is what responsibilities do Heshy, Getzel, etal, have at the plant? The feds may be naive about such things (making determinations based on titles), but we should not be.
Shabbat Shalom

TheTruthAsItIs

Pablo Faird:

You have already backed up from "any association" to, "perhaps their opinion is heard"...... You have changed from an "they have absolutely no say" in how the plant is run to "well, they can express an opinion."

Do you think other invididuals have their opinions heard by the new owners? Do you even think they have access to them?

Actually, the opinions that are expressed by the Rubashkins are really the LEAST of the influence they exert. But, since you know so much, Pablo Faird, I wont bore you with details you already claim to posses.

And, actually, state of Jews, Pablo Faird is correct in one thing The feds know which family members still work there, what they do etc.

What I would not be so confident of, Pablo Faird, is that the govt is done with all this. I would not bet they will stop at Sholom Rubashkin.

For all his faults, one somewhat noble thing Sholom is apparently trying to do is take the fall for all this for sake of the family ( especially his brother Heshy.)
( Though do yourself a favor and dont get me started on all the other people he has roped in along the way...)

For one to be supposedly so guilty and the other so supposedly innocent is, to say the least, rather unbelieveable. I wouldn't bet the govt believes it either.

A trial is coming soon. Things will come out. Things all of us did not know will come out.

And more of the truth will come out...

As it is.


Hometown Postville

TheTruthAsItIs- You raise some very interesting points about SMR taking the fall for others. Perhaps that explains what appears to be misguided loyalty toward him and the passion toward his defense fund-raising. No wonder those in his group act as if he is above the law. If that is indeed the case, when he is incarcerated,I would guess his caretaker's palms will be very well greased and he will reside in a country club atmosphere with all the religious exemptions and accommodations it affords. Remember the Jewish man who held up the convenience store in Decorah and murdered the clerk? Didn't he just get shipped off to some rabbinical school to focus on the Torah? I've never heard of that sort of sentence; especially the fact that it was tolerated in Iowa. eg; You are hereby ordered to study the Bible and attend 4 years of seminary after which you will be proclaimed an honest and productive member of the community??

Hometown Postville

Just another thought.... do you suppose SMR's attorneys will be able to work out a home-based incarceration? Due to his large family's needs? his this excuse and that excuse? I can see it now- he will wear a tracking device, have to register with his PO every time he leaves the house/the country, parties to be held in his home, etc...

TheTruthAsItIs

You too, Hometown Postville, bring up some interesting issues/questions.

I really don't know what sort of incarciration SMR will end up if convicted (which I expect will be the case)

I dont think you will have to worry about it being overly lenient nor overly strict.

SMR is not a violent man, and the crimes he is accused of committing are not capital crimes (i.e. he didnt murder anyone)

So there is no reason for him to be in a top security facility with the rest of the violent offenders in society.

I dont think he will end up in a "country club for criminals" or home based sentencing either.

I think he will end up with something Marcha Stewart ended up with - a minimal security facility where he will have chores/duties to do each day - laundry, gardening, landscaping, etc.

A place for white collar, non violent criminals anyway. Wont be a cake walk but wont be Attica by any means either.

That would be my guess anyway Hometown Postville.

But it is interesting to ponder.

Yerachmiel Lopin

The claim that they don't have enough time is nonsense!

If they are serious about getting along with the town they have to engage with it. Obviously there will be differences of opinion. But no meetings at all is ridiculous.

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