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Meat Processing Plant Ordered To Pay Mentally Disabled Workers $240 Million For Decades Of Abuse

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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:15 AM
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Meat Processing Plant Ordered To Pay Mentally Disabled Workers $240 Million For Decades Of Abuse


thinkprogress.org

A federal jury ruled Wednesday afternoon that Henry’s Turkey Service of Goldwaithe, Texas, must pay 32 mentally disabled workers $240 million for years of abuse and neglect. The now-shuttered company’s violations of the American Disabilities Act range from physically abusing the men to packing them in unsanitary bunkhouses at night.

(visit the link for the full news article)

edit on 2-5-2013 by Cabin because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:15 AM
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Over 40 years, hundreds of men were shipped from Texas to work in Henry’s Iowa plant for 41 cents an hour. They were housed in a century-old, cockroach-infested school building with a broken boiler, denied access to disability services, and battered with constant physical and verbal abuse by their so-called caretakers. The complaint details how injuries and requests for medical aid were ignored, restroom breaks were prohibited, while caretakers mocked the men as “retarded” “dumbass” and “stupid.”

Meanwhile, the state of Iowa and the U.S. Labor Department turned a blind eye to the labor camp’s myriad violations, as the Des Moines Register explains:
Evidence produced during the trial indicates bunkhouse supervisor Randy Neubauer had one of the bunkhouse residents handcuffed to his bed at night — an allegation Neubauer denied when testifying.
Also, an Iowa Department of Human Services social worker testified that evidence showed some of the men were punished for violating company rules by being taken to a garage next to the bunkhouse, where they were forced to walk around a pole while they were hit, kicked and screamed at by their caretakers.
Although federal officials have said Henry’s violated the state fire code, committed abuse and ran the bunkhouse as an unlicensed care facility, the state of Iowa never filed criminal charges in the case.
[...]
Henry’s decades-long practice of paying the men less than the minimum wage was well-known to the U.S. Department of Labor, which over 15 years repeatedly cited the company for wage violations but imposed no penalties.

Even Kenneth Henry, the owner of Henry’s Turkey Service, struck an employee, or one of the “boys,” as Henry called the mostly middle-aged men. Henry denied it in court, also claiming he had no knowledge of the appalling conditions in his labor camp.



I am happy the company got such a fined. They deserved more though - I am sickened by the actions of the workers there. They should also be held criminally accountable in my opinion, besides the fine, as this is real abuse. I can not get how some people can make money a priority over anything. It is just sick. Fine is simply not enough for such crimes, it is just money and the owners still can live off better than 90% of Americans because of the money the earned...



thinkprogress.org
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:22 AM
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Karma, Karma handle people like this.

It is not part of our lives to judge these people, it's part of our lives to help the people affected by such horrors. I want to thank whom ever was shinning a light for these people's freedoms and and basic human needs.

Good find.



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:29 AM
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What the????

Why were these individuals even there? Was this like an asylum work program??



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 10:31 AM
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It shouldn't just be the company that's fined there, a huge amount of the blame can be laid at the feet of the state in this case, it was alerted numerous times and did nothing. Infact, it almost sounds as if the state didn't care until it couldn't ignore it any longer...

Fining the state isn't going to work since it penalizes everyone else, but the officials in charge should be punished. In the UK we have something called ministerial responsibility - simply put the person in charge of a state department is responsible for what happens on their watch - at the very least they would have to resign over here...



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:46 PM
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reply to post by Cabin
 



This is just the tip of the iceberg. All over the country labor violations are ignored by the state and local authorities.
Child labor is common place in the fields and factories where illegals are working. State departments of Labor are a joke. Payoffs to ignore violations is common place. Corruption is epidemic!!!

Corporate American capitalism at it's finest....

My industry would abuse the workers in a heart beat if we didn't have a union. Solidarity!!!

edit on 2-5-2013 by olaru12 because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:48 PM
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Hopefully they don't appeal it and these workers get what they deserve, every single penny of that 240 million. I feel like in addition to that a few dozen people from the company should be facing various charges.



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 07:40 AM
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reply to post by Cabin
 

**...bunkhouse supervisor Randy Neubauer had one of the bunkhouse residents handcuffed to his bed at night — an allegation Neubauer denied when testifying.**

"Der Schoss ist fruchtbar, noch aus dem das kroch" (The womb is fertile/reproductive still from which that crept)

Der aufhaltsame Aufstieg des Arturo Ui (The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui)

Bertold Brecht (1941, stage play)

**The play is consciously a highly satirical allegory of Adolf Hitler in Nazi Germany, whose rise Brecht represented in parallel to that of Ui. All the characters and groups in the play had direct counterparts in real life... **

en.wikipedia.org...

Now considering Mr. Neubauer's German roots I bet he still feels like a good American - maybe even more so...
...nowadays in the "new" USs of A.

A
edit on 3/5/2013 by Ansar because: edition



posted on May, 3 2013 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by Covertblack
What the????

Why were these individuals even there? Was this like an asylum work program??


Yes. Basically, the states tend to run work programs for disabled people. Companies that hire these disabled workers do not have to pay them the full federal minimum wage as per federal law (see quote below). Basically, the individuals may be living in a halfway house or in provided shelter and that can lead to significant abuse.



Other programs that allow for payment of less than the full federal minimum wage apply to disabled workers

www.dol.gov...

Similar case was filed in Oregon last year.



Between February 2010 and March 2011, the highest amount Lane earned was $53.66 for 81 hours in September 2010. The lowest was $26.82 for 66 hours in March 2010, or approximately 40 cents an hour...The state of Oregon currently spends $30 million a year on sheltered workshops for people with disabilities.

www.oregonlive.com...

So, basically...these workers are being paid as little as $0.40 an hour (which, mind you, is a hit towards state tax revenues) in a manner which has little benefit towards improving their quality of life and a whole lot of benefit in super cheap third world labor rates to employers. All the while, the state of Oregon has been dishing out $30 million annually so that disabled workers in these sheltered workshops can be grossly underpaid.

Only other area that this can happen legally in the US is with student interns. Basically, college students can become interns doing actual work for little or no pay. They get heavily pushed in the university system to do this to acquire "work experience" for when they graduate. I had a number of friends who worked for free under some medium sized accounting firms while I was in college. So much for working your way through college, eh?





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