Bernard S. Feldman, the Rubashkin attorney who is now Agriprocessors' new, Orthodox Union-promised "independent" CEO, told…
…the Associated Press on Friday that the Rubashkin family, Agriprocessors' owners, had been treated unfairly. Now, the Des Moines Register reports the flip side to that bizarre statement: Feldman thinks Agriprocessors workers have been treated fairly all along:
…The company’s chief executive officer said he was unhappy about his Minnesota competitor's plan to woo the Postville plant's workers.
"Certainly, I am not pleased with that decision. I believe it's an inappropriate activity," said Bernard S. Feldman, who was hired last week to run Agriprocessors.
Feldman added that it's a free country, and employers are allowed to offer jobs to prospective workers.
He said Agriprocessors has treated its workers fairly, and he hopes they will stay with the company.…
“I want to work for a good company forever,” said Florabelth De La Garza, 49, a feather cutter at Agriprocessors. “Here, they trick you and abuse you.”
She and her husband Albert Lopez, 39, had only worked at the nation’s largest kosher meatpacking company for 21 days. And already they said they were fed up.…
Bill LaMarr, industrial relations manager for American Foods Groups, which owns Long Prairie Packing, told The Des Moines Register his company had heard of widespread displeasures with conditions and pay at Agriprocessors.
He said the company hopes to hire about 100 workers for the plant in Minnesota and another in Nebraska. He said the company will help new workers move and find affordable housing, something Lopez and De La Garza said Agriprocessor had promised her, but later reneged on.
“It’s nothing but a trick,” Lopez said of Agriprocessors promising to pay their rent. “We were sleeping on the street in a truck for three days.”
De La Garza said they moved from meatpacking jobs in Greeley, Colo., after watching a television ad for jobs at Agriprocessors. The ad promised $10. A copy of her most recent pay stub shows Agriprocessors paid her $247.50 for 24.75 hours of work. De La Garza, though said she was shorted pay for more than six hours of work.
“I work 31 hours, they pay for 24 hours. We are supposed to get 30 minute breaks. They only give us 20 minutes,” she said. “And they are abusive. Supervisors yell at you for no reason.”
The AP adds:
Another attendee, Ahmed Abdullahi, 25, said he moved to Postville three months ago to take what he thought was a higher paying job.
He said he had moved from working at a Swift Meatpacking plant in Greeley, Colo., where he was making $13 an hour, to Postville after seeing an Agriprocessors add on GoogleJobs.com, which promised more.
Abdullahi said he only makes a little more than $9 an hour after working in the beef kill department at Agriprocessors for three months.
Abdullahi, who is originally from Minneapolis, said he is interested in the opportunity to find a job closer to home -- one that pays what it advertises.
Bernard S. Feldman is not acting like an independent CEO, he's acting like the Rubashkin family's attorney – which is all he really is.