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  • Phyllis H. Moore

Deja Vu, What About the Company?

Updated: Jan 15, 2022

On Wednesday, August 7, 2019, ICE raided a poultry production plant in Morton, Mississippi. The company, Koch Foods, so far has no charges for illegally employing the workers. In 2018 the company settled a discrimination law suit, paying $3.75 million, after an eight year legal battle, to eleven Hispanic employees. Some of the employees detained after the latest raid were released for humanitarian reasons. However, the Department of Children and Family Services was not prepared to care for the children who were left without parental supervision . What about the company?

I had deja vu reading and hearing about the raid. In the late 1970's I worked in a community with a chicken processing plant. You could smell it for blocks. The workers were required to wear black rubber boots. They trudged around in raw chicken all day, then were supposed to leave their boots at the plant. However, the employer left no means to lock the boots up, so they were stolen. Or, they were worn home, traipsed across the steps and porches where children would play and crawl. I complained, but no government agency or doctor could say there was a connection with the frequent illnesses of the children in the homes. What about the company?

In October, 2015, I published Josephine's Journals, Book Three of the Sabine Series. Josephine ran away from home when she was fourteen. She moved in with a house full of illegal aliens just outside of San Antonio. They helped her get documentation so she could be employed at the chicken processing plant. A common practice of the plant was to hire workers for two weeks and the day before payday, they would call deportation to report the illegal workers before they were paid. People trying to better their lives worked in conditions no one else would consider and didn't receive a paycheck. Most of the social workers I worked with were aware of it. What about the company?

In the ICE raid on Wednesday, the youngest worker picked up was fourteen (this was really deja vu). What about the company?

Update: 1/15/2022 -- In late 2021, early 2022, COVID invaded the world and the U.S. The meat packing plants I wrote about before in this blog did little to assist their workers. After isolation and vaccinations, more people ventured out to return to the office after working at home, or to return to new jobs. Many people didn't return to the workforce. Some discovered the care of their children took precedence over a low wage. What about the companies?

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