Friday, December 15, 2006

Justice Deported. Boycott Smithfield

Tuesday’s immigration raids on meatpacking plants weren’t about curbing identity theft, they were about union-busting.

Justice Deported.By David Bacon. December 14, 2006. [author of Communities without Borders, Cornell University Press, 2006).

The real motivation for these immigration raids is more cynical. The Swift action follows months of ICE pressuring employers to fire workers whose Social Security numbers don't match the agency's database. These no-match actions have been concentrated in workplaces where immigrants are organizing unions or standing up for their rights...

In November also, hundreds walked out of the huge Smithfield pork processing plant in Tarheel, North Carolina, after the company fired 60 workers for Social Security discrepancies. That non-union plant is not just the national organizing target for the United Food and Commercial Workers Union. Smithfield has also been found guilty repeatedly of firing its employees for union activity, and threatening to use their immigration status against them. When workers at Emeryville, California's Woodfin Suites tried to enforce the city's new living wage law, Measure C, they too were suddenly hit with a no-match check.

PBS "NOW" on efforts to unionize Smithfield in North Carolina
"[Smithfield] values the hog and the processing of that hog more than they do the safety and the well-being of their employees," The UFCW is calling for a national boycott of Smithfield products.

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