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Open letter to readers: Today and tomorrow

By Lynda Waddington | 11.17.11

Wednesday was a difficult day for The American Independent News Network, which is the larger entity that operates The Iowa Independent. Our chief executive and founder announced two of our sister sites would close and their content would be moved to The American Independent.

ACS lockout continues; plan emerges to repeal sugar protections

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By Virginia Chamlee | 11.15.11

A recently introduced bill could have far-reaching impact on the U.S. sugar industry, including American Crystal Sugar, a farmer-owned cooperative that locked out 1,300 Midwest workers on Aug. 1.

Cain campaign: Farmers know more about regulations than EPA

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By Andrew Duffelmeyer | 11.15.11

The chairman for Herman Cain’s Iowa effort says the campaign “relied more on the word of farmers than Washington regulators” in deciding to run an ad containing claims the Environmental Protection Agency says are false.

Mathis wins, Democrats maintain Senate control

Liz Mathis
By Lynda Waddington | 11.08.11

The Iowa Senate will remain under the control of a slim 26-25 Democratic majority when it reconvenes in January 2012.

Press Release

PR: Nation should work to address veterans’ challenges

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

BRUCE BRALEY RELEASE — As US involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan ends, it’s more important than ever that our nation works to address the challenges faced by the men and women who fought there.

PR: Honoring veterans, help in hiring

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

CHUCK GRASSLEY RELEASE — A difficult job market is challenging the soldiers, sailors and airmen who have protected America’s interests by serving in the Armed Forces.

PR: In honor of America’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

TOM LATHAM RELEASE — No one has done more to secure the freedom enjoyed by every single American than our veterans and those currently serving in the armed services.

PR: Honoring and supporting our nation’s veterans

By Press Release Reprints | 11.11.11

DAVE LOEBSACK RELEASE — Veterans Day is an opportunity to reflect on the service of generations of veterans and to honor the sacrifices they and their families have made so that we may live in peace and freedom here at home.

Worker walk-out at Agriprocessors further disrupts production

By Lynda Waddington | 08.20.08 | 5:10 pm

Jewish workers at the Agriprocessors meatpacking plant in Postville walked off the job today. The exact details of the walk-out and the reasons behind it remain unclear.

“It is no secret that Agriprocessors was forced to cut back production of meat and poultry after more than a third of its labor force was seized in a May 12th raid by [Immigration and Customs Enforcement],” said Menachem Lubinsky, president of Lubicom and spokesperson for Agriprocessors. “While the company has made big strides in hiring new workers and restoring production, it is still significantly behind May 12th levels. For the kosher slaughterers (shochtim) and rabbis, this has meant not being able to work multiple shifts and a 6-day work week, cutting into their ability to make more money, while also making do with the company’s policy of a lag-time in their paychecks.”

According to Lubinsky, rabbis at the plant staged a 30-minute walk-out this morning “to air their grievances.” The walk-out ended, he said, after “quick negotiations” with Heshy Rubashkin, son of company founder Aaron Rubashkin, and Rabbi Menachem Weissmandl, head rabbi at the plant.

According to two sources inside the plant, however, the walk-out was not an action limited to only the rabbis, but was completed by most, if not all, Jewish workers at the plant. The sources confirm that the action stemmed from compensation disputes, but claim that at least a portion of the Jewish employees there have not received compensation for four to six weeks.

Lubinsky and plant sources agree that the action came to a close this afternoon when the workers and plant management reached a tentative agreement. While Lubinsky did not elaborate on the agreement reached by the two parties, plant sources said that plant management agreed on a time frame for compensation.

The walk-out caused a temporary lapse in the already beleaguered plant production. Because kosher regulations mandate rabbi supervision, production had to cease during the labor action. Agriprocessors is the largest producer of kosher meat and the Postville plant is the largest of its type in the U.S. Management has had a difficult time locating and maintaining employees since the May 12 federal immigration action that netted 389 undocumented workers at the plant. In addition, recent charges of child labor law infractions have shown further unfavorable light on the meatpacker.

Of the 389 workers detained in the raid, most quickly charged and convicted of criminal wrongdoing related to identity theft. While no members of upper management have faced criminal charges in connection with the raid, three supervisors were named in complaints issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Northern District of Iowa. Two of those supervisors are currently awaiting trail for encouraging illegal workers at the plant. One, Juan Carlos Guerrero-Espinoza, is expected to enter a guilty plea in federal court today on a lesser charge of conspiracy.

Lubinsky said that the rabbis who were a part of the walk-out are “hoping for a resumption of pre-May 12th production, which would again offer them the opportunities they had before.”

“Agriprocessors is committed to making every effort to restore full production so that the rabbis can again enjoy the working conditions that attracted them to Postville in the first place,” he said.

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Comments

  • daddysteve

    A Jewish labor dispute in Wherethehell, Iowa? This must be one weirdest things I've heard lately.

    • RegularJoe

      Oy Vey!

      Yep, we got 'em. That lean pastrami has to come from somewhere, so what's so wrong with tall corn? IMaybe you would like the feed lots in your neighborhood? t wouldn't hurt you to call your mother more often, either.

      Some goyisher's chaya…

  • daddysteve

    A Jewish labor dispute in Wherethehell, Iowa? This must be one weirdest things I've heard lately.

  • RegularJoe

    Oy Vey!

    Yep, we got 'em. That lean pastrami has to come from somewhere, so what's so wrong with tall corn? IMaybe you would like the feed lots in your neighborhood? t wouldn't hurt you to call your mother more often, either.

    Some goyisher's chaya…

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