Someone should make an app for my iPhone that allows you to search a data base of employers who have come under fire by the government for employee mistreatment. If there were, fewer people would probably get sick from tainted food.
One of the biggest food recalls in history is going on right now. And guess what? The company responsible has a history of treating it’s workers badly.
Wright County Egg, an Iowa company, has had to recall more than 300 million eggs nationwide because of salmonella. The owner of the firm, Jack DeCoster, was called the “poster child” of worker mistreatment in a 2006 article in Boston magazine titled: “The Invisible Harvest Exploitation. Coercion. Poverty wages. New England has its own Grapes of Wrath, and it’s happening now. Inside the hidden world of the migrant farm workers who put food on your table.”
If any of you knew this, would you have eaten his eggs?
Turns out DeCoster has paid millions in fines to the federal government’s worker safety agency, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
A story in today’s New York Times details what he was charged for:
Officials said workers were forced to handle manure and dead chickens with their bare hands and to live in trailers infested with rats. The labor secretary in the Clinton administration, Robert B. Reich, called Mr. DeCoster’s operation “an agricultural sweatshop.”
Mr. DeCoster’s facilities have also been periodically raided by immigration officials.
If an employer is okay with treating workers like crap, do you think they’re okay with feeding our kids crap? Is that such a stretch?