The problems with the Lubavitch

Alle Processing Meat Plant in Queen’s….new problems
October 6, 2008, 6:48 pm
Filed under: crime, Kosher | Tags: , ,

Forward finds unsafe work conditions at another big kosher meat plant

Forward, the Jewish newspaper, did some first-rate investigative reporting last year to expose harsh working conditions at Agriprocessors Inc. of Postville, Iowa, at the time the largest kosher slaugherthouse in America.

As we summarized the paper’s findings:

The owners of the slaughterhouse, an ultra-Orthodox family from Brooklyn’s Chabad-Lubavitch community, have been accused of exposing workers — many of them Hispanic immigrants — to unsafe conditions, underpaying them, housing them in cramped, substandard quarters, and placing them in dangerous jobs without adequate training.

Forward’s exposés were followed by a massive immigration raid at Agriprocessors, as well as by news coverage in The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other media outlets.

Now, Forward has turned its attention to another big kosher plant, Alle Processing in Queens, N.Y.

(Since the AgriProcessors raid, the paper writes, Alle has become the largest U.S. producer of kosher beef.)

According to a story published earlier this month, the paper found evidence at Alle of inadequate safety training, numerous employee complaints of substandard workplace conditions, “low pay, unhappy relations with management, and a lack of health benefits.”

The paper’s stories have triggered a national debate among rabbis and other Jewish scholars, some of whom argue that ethical treatment of workers ought to be at least as high a priority at kosher plants as adherence to strict rules in the handling and processing of foods.


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