I heard from an Agriprocessors new hire – a man brought in by OneForce, one of Agriprocessors staffing agencies, about a month or so ago.
Here is what he said:
1. The contract he was given says rent is $100 the first week and then $60 each additional week for a mattress on the floor in a house with other OneForce workers. (The normal arrangement is two to four mattresses per room, 10 per house.)
2. But despite the contract, OneForce charges him $100 per week every week – even though he protests.
3. Why does he pay? The $100 is automatically taken from each paycheck by Agriprocessors, but this deduction is not marked rent on his pay stub from OneForce – his pay is simply $100 less than what it would otherwise be.
4. His pay is given to him on a debit card.
5. Residents of at least one of the OneForce "dormitory" houses still do not have keys to the house, even though workers have lived there for at least a month.
The house is always open.
Workers have come home from work to find the refrigerator empty and all the food missing. Because of this, they won't buy things like TVs (and they don't make large cash withdrawals from their pay cards).
6. He said he works 11 to 12 hour shifts.
7. He's been shorted pay but thinks this might be OneForce's problem, not Agriprocessors, but he's not sure. He's still trying to get his shorted pay back.
8. Workers can only use the bathroom when the line is stopped for department or plant-wide breaks (which in practice means three times per shift). One of the workers near him was denied a bathroom break and wet his pants. The man kept working in urine-soked cloths for the rest of the shift.
9. Workers scrape meat off the floor with shovels and put it right back on the line.
This is a violation of both USDA regulations and the kosher policy of Agriprocessors rabbis.
The fallen meat is supposed to be taken to a point backward in the line to be reconditioned. But it gets tossed back on the line at the place where it fell anyway, even when supervisors see it, because the pressure to keep increase production is so high.
10. A worker cut himself badly and needed stitches. A supervisor (orange hat) told the worker to go get it stitched up and then take the mandatory drug test before coming back to work. The worker, who smokes a lot of marijuana, told the supervisor he'd never pass the drug test. The supervisor told the worker that for a bribe of $100, the drug test could be skipped.
11. A female worker passed out in the locker room. Supervisors immediately challenged her about drug use but did not attempt to rule out any of possible cause for her collapse. If it is drugs, Agriprocessors doesn't have to pay for her medical care, and that was all the supervisors cared about.