I heard rumors about this all last week. GAL Investments, owned by Rubashkin crony Gabay Menachem, and Jacobson Staffing – the company that has taken over much of Agriprocessors'post-raid hiring – will no longer be doing business together.
What does this mean?
It means most employees will not have their rents automatically deducted from their paychecks by Agriprocessors. It also means their rents may go down.
OneForce Staffing, another contract staffer for Agriprocessors, continues to have relationships with GAL and, I think, Nevel Properties – the real estate company the Rubashkins own outright although this may also change.
One reason is the publicity – all negative – given these arrangements by national and local media.
Another piece may be that Agriprocessors is allegedly very far behind in paying GAL. Agriprocessors deducted the rents from the workers' paycheck but kept that money for some time – I've heard amounts as long as several months in some cases. This made it very difficult for GAL to pay its mortgages.
The Iowa Independent, which broke the story this afternoon, found an online ad from OneForce describing the Agriprocessors deal, housing and all:
Please click to enlarge.
Must be willing to relocate to Iowa & remain in Iowa (return will be out of your pocket)
No felonies within the past 7 years
No sex / violent / or theft convictions
Must work 520 hours for us (temporary) before you can begin employment with the processing plant
We provide housing accommodations at a cost of $100.00/week (deducted from your upcoming paycheck)
We provide one way transportation from Covington-Iowa for a $75.00 fee (deducted from your upcoming paycheck)
Must be willing to work Sundays
Must be willing to work 60-65 hours a week
OneForce employees are trapped in OneForce housing for 8 to 12 weeks at $100 per week, crammed 8 to 12 people to a house. That means OneForce takes in about $4000 per month per house. It pays GAL about $1200 per house.
Workers sleep on mattresses placed directly on the floor, have little to no furniture, in houses kept in ill-repair with holes in ceilings, leaking pipes, no screens on windows and often only one bathroom – which itself may not work properly. (More pictures.)
Here is a OneForce Agriprocessors pay stub. Please click to enlarge:
Here is a Jacobson Staffing Agriprocessors pay stub. Please click to enlarge:
Jacobson and OneForce had very similar employment and housing arrangements.
Perhaps the State of Iowa and the Federal Government will include these two companies – along with GAL Investments and Nevel – in their ongoing investigations.
Or, perhaps, they already have.
UPDATE 9-28-08 – Letter GAL Investments Distributed To Agriprocessors' Workers Now Renting GAL Properties Through Jacobson Staffing And New Lease Agreement.