West Virginia: Is Catholic Charities bringing in foreign laborers for a poultry plant to compete with Americans?
Posted by Ann Corcoran on September 26, 2016
Here are some of the facts as we know them:
West Virginia is a relatively new resettlement state which has received only 176 refugees in the last ten fiscal years.
However, in addition to Catholic Charities resettling refugees, Episcopal Migration Ministries wants to open a new office in Charleston. Presently CC has three locations and one of those is in Moorefield, WV.
What else is in Moorefield? I’ll tell you! There is a Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant located there.
Here are some things we know about Pilgrim’s Pride:
It is owned by the Brazilian meat giant—JBS (you may know them as Swift & Co.) headquartered in Greeley, CO.
And, now get this. The very same Labor Department, that I would normally be complaining about, says that in some locations in the US, Pilgrim’s Pride is DISCRIMINATING against African American job applicants, Caucasians and women! They are choosing Hispanic laborers (and it would appear refugee laborers) over Americans!
This is from a Dept. of Labor Press Release dated 10/7/2015:
ATLANTA — One of the world’s largest chicken processors systematically discriminated against qualified African-American applicants seeking entry-level jobs as laborers and operatives at its chicken plant in Marshville, North Carolina, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs alleges in a lawsuit filed against Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation.
“Discrimination will not be tolerated by employers who profit from government contracts,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “OFCCP will use every action available by law, including canceling Pilgrim’s federal contracts if necessary, to ensure workers are treated fairly.”
The complaint results from an OFCCP investigation into the company’s selection procedures. This is the second lawsuit filed by OFCCP against the company in less than 30 days. The first complaint, filed on Sept. 15, 2015, alleges that Pilgrim’s Pride systematically discriminated against qualified African-American, Caucasian, and female applicants for entry-level laborer and operative positions at its chicken plant in Athens, Alabama. Both complaints were filed with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges and seek complete make-whole relief, including instatement of qualified black applicants at the chicken processing facility, payment of lost wages, interest, front wages, and other fringe benefits, including but not limited to retroactive seniority.
As a result, some African-American, Caucasian, and female applicants were rejected despite having education and experience levels comparable to male and Hispanic applicants. The Athens plant is no longer in operation.
Based in Greeley, Colorado, Pilgrim’s Pride is the largest chicken producer in the U.S. The Brazilian food giant JBS S.A. owns 75 percent of Pilgrim’s Pride’s outstanding common stock.
From 2007 to 2011, Pilgrim’s Pride received more than $36 million in federal contracts as a provider of poultry to agencies such as the departments of Defense and Agriculture.
Could that same discrimination being going on in other Pilgrim’s Pride plants?
Back to Moorefield and Catholic Charities.
I checked the numbers from the Refugee Processing Center and here is what I learned. In the last 10 fiscal years, 176 refugees were resettled in WV. 49% of those went to Moorefield (CC lists poultry processing job availability there in its R & P Abstract).
Beginning in about Fiscal Year 2010, CC began resettling Burmese refugees (36 total) in Moorefield. In 2012 they began placing Eritreans there (42) and then 6 Iraqis and 2 Ethiopians followed. I know that numbers-wise it is small compared to the numbers being placed for the benefit of BIG MEAT around the country, but it strikes me as a very clear indication of how supposed ‘religious’ charities are working for the benefit of meat processors. But why? Is it all about money?
What is in it for the pols?
Then we get to the politicians. Moorefield is in WV District 2 (Rep Alex Mooney) who won that district when former Rep and now US Senator Shelley Moore Capito moved on to the Senate. Both are Republicans. What is in it for them to defend this practice of hiring refugees when African Americans, and Caucasian women need work in WV?
I don’t know the answer except for the Dems we know they are looking for more Democrat voters.
But as each of you begins to unravel why refugee labor is changing your towns (and why your elected officials aren’t listening to you), you need to figure out what is in it for Republican elected officials at all levels because I can assure you this is not about ‘humanitarianism!’ That is only the cover for big business (and the Chamber of Commerce!) to continue to push for more refugee admissions to the US.
Update: Reader Brenda sent this handy list of US poultry plants, wonder how closely it correlates to Refugee Resettlement sites?