Immigrant Workers Tell of Abuses at Iowa Plant

Emily Douglas

Federal immigration officials raided a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, last week, and as advocates have interviewed immigrant workers at the processing plant, stories of quid pro quo sexual abuse have emerged.

Federal immigration officials raided a slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa, last week, and as advocates have interviewed immigrant workers at the processing plant, stories of quid pro quo sexual abuse have emerged.

Workers at Agriprocessors, Inc., kosher meat-processing plant allege that they were given shift changes and preferential job tasks in exchange for sexual favors.

Priscilla Huang of the National Asian and Pacific Islander Women’s Forum writes:

With each passing day on-the-ground advocates are learning
more and more about the way this company mistreated and abused its
immigrant workforce. It’s come out that many of the female workers at the
plant were sexually harassed and exploited. Many were coerced into giving
sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or a shift change, and those who
refused were given more difficult tasks or unwanted shifts.

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In the Des Moines Register, Jennifer Jacobs reported that this raid was the largest single-site immigration raid in U.S. history, and that arrest warrants were issued to 697 workers at the plant.

Other non-sexual forms of physical abuse were also reported.

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