December 12, 2006
FOOD AND COMMERCIAL WORKERS SEEKS FEDERAL INJUNCTION TO END ATTACKS AGAINST WORKERS IN MEATPACKING PLANTS
Washington DCThe United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) is seeking an immediate injunction in federal court, today, on behalf of workers employed by Swift and Company packing operations in Texas, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota.
The workers were subjected to a wholesale round up, including detention, by Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents.
Essentially, the agents stormed the plants, many of them in riot gear, in an effort designed to terrorize the workforce, said Mark Lauritsen, director of the UFCW Food Processing, Packing and Manufacturing division.
The UFCW represents workers at the Swift and Company plants, as well as other major packers around the country.
This kind of action is totally uncalled for, said Lauritsen. Its designed to punish workers for working hard everyday, contributing to the success of their companies and communities. They are innocent victims in an immigration system that has been hijacked by corporations for the purpose of importing an exploitable workforce.
For years, the UFCW has called for comprehensive immigration reformreform that provides an orderly immigration process that protects worker rights, ensures good wages and benefits for all workers, and recognizes the contributions immigrants make to our society.
We are advising all the detained workers to exercise their right to an attorney and remain silent until they confer with counsel. These actions today by ICE are an affront to decency.