The New York Times has a damning report on the saturation of unskilled and lightly skilled jobs by illegal aliens and the corrosive egffect this has on workers who are not illegal. One example. Janitors in NYC make $19 per hour. In LA they make about half of that. Janitorial wages have decreased over the last decade, and non-illegals have been forced out of the industry because of falling wages, unfair labor practices and a glut of illegal workers.
While the Times report focuses on the janitorial services industry, the facts are the same in other industries, including meat packing. The glatt kosher meat you eat comes at price. It pushes American workers out of jobs and encourages the importation and exploitation of illegal aliens.
One company that is alleged to rely heavily on illegal alien workers is Agriprocessors, better known by its major brand name and the name of the family that controls it – Rubashkin. The Forward documented worker abuse at Rubashkin, including alleged threats to turn in recalcitrant workers to the Immigration police. But it seems Postville is not the only Rubashkin operation with labor difficulties. I have previously documented Rubashkin worker abuse that included collecting union dues but not turning those dues over to the union, an illegal practice that resulted in censure and penalties from the National Labor Relations Board.
C-Girl did some digging and came up with another example:
Workers at Agriprocessors Inc. in the Brooklyn Meat Market are on strike to force the company to recognize and negotiate with the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). After a 15-5 vote in October in favor of representation by UFCW Local 342, the bosses fired two union militants. In response, the workers walked out. “We want a contract,” Erasmus Flores, one of the fired workers, who has worked at Agriprocessors for seven years, told the Militant in a November 29 interview on the picket line. “We don’t have a single benefit—no overtime pay, no health benefits. We work six days a week 12-15 hours a day.” While the bosses are employing a dozen scabs, strikers are getting support from other workers in the market.
And who were those "scabs"? Chances are, illegal aliens.
- Should we knowingly benefit from worker abuse?
- Should we benefit from illegal alien labor that pushes out non-illegal workers?
- Is cheaper glatt kosher meat more important than how workers are treated and paid?
As you think about your answers, please remember this: Torah scrolls, tefillin and mezuzot are all byproducts of kosher slaughter. The Torah scroll you make a blessing on, that you hold up in shul, of which you say, "This is the Torah that Moshe …" – may very well be the byproduct of worker abuse, crime and theft.
Is this what you want? Is this what God wants?
[For an explanation of the Jewish position(s) on illegal immigration and its effects, see this article by Rabbi Dr. Marc Shapiro.]