In the wake of the largest immigration raid in the modern history of America, a question must be asked: What did the rabbis supervising Agriprocessors know and when did they know it?
The Des Moines Register notes Rubashkin's previous legal problems regarding illegal workers (which were reported here in detail more than four months ago):
The owners of the Postville meatpacking plant where 390 workers were arrested Monday admitted in court last year that many of the workers in its New York distribution center were in the United States illegally.
That admission is getting new attention in the wake of the raid this week that rounded up 40 percent of the Iowa plant's 968 workers. [Outstanding warrants still exist for another 30 percent of Rubashkin's Postville workforce. These workers fled just before the raid and are in hiding.]
Agriprocessors Inc. made the statement about its New York workers in an effort to block those workers from joining a union.
The company contended that many of the employees at the Brooklyn distribution center had improperly voted in favor of union representation and were not protected by the National Labor Relations Act because they were undocumented immigrants.
The company contended that the votes of those people should be thrown out in part because of the "recent policy changes and debate over the burden of illegal immigration in this country."
The company also contended that because undocumented immigrants have no legitimate expectation of continued future employment, their interests were different from that of the company's workers who are in the United States legally.
The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia rejected those arguments and validated the union vote of the workers.
The court said in its ruling, "Their votes are just as valid as legal workers."…
As far back as 2000, Stephen G. Bloom reported in "Postville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland America" Aaron Rubashkin's recruitment of illegal workers in New York and the transport of those workers to Postville.
Reports of Rubashkin worker abuse have been public for years, including an award-winning piece in the Forward.
So rabbis knew. The OU knew. KAJ knew. Rabbis Wiessmandl, Zeilingold, Genack, Marlow, etc., knew. They all knew.
The OU now says if the government finds Agriprocessors culpable, the OU will act accordingly. Perhaps it will. Perhaps it will not.
To my knowledge, no other rabbis or kosher supervisors have issued statements regarding this.
What does this say about the reliability of these rabbis and/or their kosher supervision?