Background Checks Gordon Basichis on 12 Jun 2008
Iowa immigration raid felt in Pikesville stores
Major supplier of kosher meats had to cut production after worker arrests
By Jonathan Bor
At Baltimore’s largest kosher grocery store, meat manager Chaim Fishman has learned to order twice as much poultry from his chief supplier as he used to. He knows that however much he orders, the company will ship half.
Three weeks after federal immigration agents raided the AgriProcessors slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, and detained almost half of its work force, Baltimore’s kosher markets and caterers are finding ways to satisfy one of the nation’s most dedicated clienteles.
“I’m ordering much more because I know they’re going to halve me,” said Fishman, sitting in an office above the Seven Mile Market in Pikesville.
The raid, which the government called the largest criminal work site enforcement in U.S. history, has also stirred an ethical debate, locally and nationally.
For the entire article go to the Baltimore Sun
This is one of the fascinating stories where an immigration raid in a remote part of Iowa has the ripple effect in various parts of the country if not the world. This raid, the largest in US History, has essentially brought this kosher meat business to a screeching halt. Jewish People who observe the Kosher dietary laws, and Muslim People, who observe the similar, Halal dietary laws are now finding a shortage in meat supply.
There is a raging debate over this raid. One side, the immigration advocates, claim the US government has been unfair in singling out these undocumented workers. Others claim the government did the right thing, but did not go far enough by arresting the company owners as well. Some point to the lack of ethical practices within the plant, brought on by hiring undocumented laborers. The owners are claiming they should not be blamed for hiring laborers who offer false documentation. And, on top of it all, there is talk there was a methadrine amphetamine lab within the building.
So the clients are complaining that they are receiving short supply of meats. Their customer are complaining. And for this kosher meat processing company they are all over the needs, the feature of bad publicity. All in all, it doesn’t look very kosher.
I really have no desire to debate all these issues. I just wanted to point out the ramifications of a single act and the impact it has around the country. I also wanted to point out that crackdowns on undocumented workers will continue. Employers will be fined, and in states like Arizona you risk having your business shut down.
So the issue becomes, are you doing background checks and identity verification on your workers? If you are not using a background check as a primary chore in determining which employment candidates are best qualified. Even a modest preemployment screening package, which is very cost effective, can keep you out of trouble.
Check them out before you hire.