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Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Undocumented workers are culled in audit

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Anonymous Pioneer Press said...

Union for nearly 50 at tanning plant protesting the action
By Julie Forster
Updated: 12/01/2010 09:49:38 PM CST

Nearly 50 workers in South St. Paul lost their jobs Wednesday as a result of stepped-up workplace audits by the federal government trying to ferret out undocumented workers.

The union that represents the workers, United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189, is protesting the Department of Homeland Security's enforcement strategy, saying the federal government is going after well-paid, taxpaying meatpackers, janitors and factory workers instead of targeting criminals and "bad actor" employers. Wednesday was the last day of work for those who process hides for Twin City Hide who could not provide documentation of their legal status to work.

Another union, Service Employees International Unions Local 26, which represented 1,200 janitorial workers in the Twin Cities who lost their jobs about a year ago as a result of audits carried out by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, also spoke out against the audits.

According to the SEIU, more than 50 workers, or 40 percent of the work force at Twin City Tanning, next to Twin City Hide, lost their jobs at the end of October following the same type of audit. Those workers belonged to Workers United, a union affiliated with SEIU.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency declined to comment on the audits of South St. Paul businesses, saying in a statement that, "Inspections are one of the most powerful tools the federal government has to ensure that businesses are complying with U.S. employment laws."
Twin City Hide declined to answer questions but issued a statement saying the company strives to comply with federal law and that it sympathizes with the workers who have lost their jobs.

"Many of these workers were long-time loyal employees of our company who worked hard for their families. We are saddened that they are now in this position. We'd like nothing more than for Congress to reform our country's immigration laws so that this kind of thing doesn't continue to happen," the company said.

Most of the workers who lost their jobs are Mexican nationals who at one time had work visas that have since expired. The workers had jobs that paid $12 to $14 per hour, health insurance and a 401(k) plan.

Don Seaquist, president of UFCW Local 1189, said enforcement without immigration reform pushes undocumented workers deeper into the shadows, benefiting unscrupulous off-the-books employers. The government is targeting the wrong people, Seaquist contends: "The wrong employers and the wrong employees."

8:37 AM  
Anonymous story conclusion said...

Union officials also contend the dismissed workers were performing jobs that no other workers want. As a result, they said, the company is struggling to resume production with temporary workers. The union says it represented 65 production workers at Twin City Hide before the dismissals. In some cases, the workers have been there as long as 10 years.

In the past three months, the Department of Homeland Security has audited three companies with unionized workers, the unions say. Each of the employers, according to the unions, pays more than the nonunion market average-wage and has very few, if any, labor or tax violations.

Workplace audits in the past couple of years have represented a shift from the Bush administration, which targeted workers in large-scale raids, said Laura Danielson, head of the immigration practice at the law firm Fredrikson & Byron.

The consequences might end up being similar in that the worker either is going to lose a job and be arrested or take off before being arrested. "In many ways it has the same result, yet the focus is on employer compliance instead of the focus on undocumented workers."

In her opinion, enforcement doesn't fix the main problem. "The problem is that there aren't enough visas available that will help fill the gap for those employers," that need essential workers for certain jobs that many Americans will not take. "There are many industries like that around Minnesota."

In fiscal year 2010, the immigration agency conducted more than 2,200 audits nationally, up from 1,400 in the previous fiscal year. It issued 240 fines totaling $6.9 million in the 2010 period, up from 52 fines totaling about $1 million in 2009, according to the agency.

In the case of Twin City Hide, the employer received notice of the audit several months ago. The union got a 30-day extension for workers to get their documents in order. If they didn't have sufficient documentation showing legal status to work in the U.S., they were terminated.

"There's a perception that employers that employ undocumented workers are taking advantage of them," Danielson said. "I would say there probably are some employers taking advantage of workers who are vulnerable. But the employers I see are trying to do it right and they are just trying to fill jobs."

Julie Forster can be reached at 651-228-5189.

8:38 AM  
Blogger Bob said...

Hi All.

A friend of mine use to be the foreman at Twin City Hide until he moved to Red Wing for a job that doesn't smell bad.

Back when he was foreman and INS would show up unexpectedly, they would hide the illegals in 55 gal drums.

I am elated to hear Homeland Security is doing their job! Every job an illegal immagrant occupies is a job an American isn't doing. Illegals send their money back to Mexico, this isn't helping our economy.

9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is bad news for Chuck and his sanctuary buddys in city hall.

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, what sucks on this and what has been occurring for the last ten years is that they do these raids on Union Shops where these people are at least making a living wage and they turn their backs at all of the non-union sweat shops.

We have seen it at the packing plants over and over again. INS busting the places that pay good wages and ignoring the places that pay pennies and have nothing but undocumented workers. Lesson to be learned if you are undocumented, don't try and work at a place that pays a day's wage for a day's work because the INS will get you. The INS has the same Bush goons running it for 10 years and they let the union busting shops alone.

You are right, I am for every man and woman who is willing to work for a living I don't give a damn where he or she comes from.

I am a child of an immigrant who came here 61 years ago, became a citizen and still speaks with a funny accent (British).

We are a nation of immigrants, I got no fight with any man or woman who wants to work for a living, wants a decent education for their kids and a roof over their heads.


Chuck Repke

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one is going to deny were a nation of immigrants but we have laws now that control the infux of immigrants for many reasons Chuck.

That sob story about how your folks came here from England 61 years ago ( while true and heart felt ) reminds me of that ol saying about how your dad walked to and from school in 5 feet of snow 20 miles a day up hill to school and back.

Point ? Whether the illegals are making a living wage or working in a sweat shop doesn't change their status as illegals and that they need to go back and enter this country lawfully. You have a problem with immigration laws Chuck write your congressman.

I see this effort as something better than nothing.

Better to deport an illegal making a living wage and restore that job to a legal citizen and let the illegal sweat shop worker stay under the constant threat of deportation.

It's at least some sort of compromise and we owe it to those legally here.

Jeff Matiatos

11:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm personally sick of the crap line that they are doing work that Americans won't do. Really? With unemployment at 10% and as high as 20% in some communities you're telling me that $14/hr plus benefits is not going to be filled? BS!

I've seen over 1000 unemployed people of color line up for blocks to apply for 48 jobs at a Chicago hotel doing menial work for $11/hr.

What they mean to say is that Americans who are middle class will not want to do those jobs. Many of the poor will jump at that opportunity. Did anyone see any advertising for employees at this plant? Or any of the plants that get busted so that Americans can apply? No you didn't.

These undocumented workers are doing work that wasn't offered to Americans. If you really want me to be frank about it, its about race and class. The kind of people who would take those jobs are probably either lower working class or non-white.

I'm torn on the raids as they can do serious damage to children and families but, until you punish the employer, the one who is breaking the law and business contract, you're not going to stop this. If a restaurant owner knew that he would be fined up to $10,000 per undocumented worker, then you'd see a change real quick. Meatpacking firm? $30,000.

That's how you slow down the illegal hiring.


11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to tell you that I have close personal knowledge about an individual who HAD been working here illegally for 7 years and just got deported. Unfortunatley 5 years ago he brought his wife and 2 kiddies here from south of the border to also live here illegally.

Now, since he was deported, his wife and kids are shacking up on a couch in the residence of some other illegal and to help meet the needs of the absent father, she has resorted to shoplifting.

How about that story chuck ???

Jeff Matiatos

11:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, Chuck doesn't think about the loss of jobs ( any job ) to lawful americans.

He doesn't think about the crime's being commited by illegals.

He doesn't believe the police should be questioning possible illegals for residency issues.

He doesn't think twice about the border issues and kidnappings of americans.

Jeff Matiatos

12:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hell,if your an illegal from South of the border, why not shoplift ? Whats the worst that can happen, you get busted and get a free plane trip to Mexico from INS, INS has their own private planes that leave the U.S. to transport illegals.

I would like to visit Mexico some day. Like maybe Can Cun !!!!

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Folks - If I lived in Mexico and had no job skills other than strong legs, back and arms, I'd be getting my butt across that border looking for work one way or another too.

That is just reality. Anyone of you that says you would rather see your family starve to death is either lying or worthless.

There are no visas for these folks. They have no jobs waiting for them and no skill sets to convince the Feds to let them in. Why in the hell do you think they sneak across the border? For the fun of it? For the free flight back you stupid toad?

Does Twin Cities Hide advertise openings... all the time.

When I worked in corrections 30 years ago that was one place that was willing to hire felons. Why? Because it is damn hard, stinky work.

But, like I said they pay a decent wage so they get busted by the INS.

See how many times the Union Swift plant gets INS visits compared to the non-union Hormel plant. And the INS never shows up at Tyson non-union chicken plants.

This is tough work. There is always an opening for anyone who can handle the work.


Chuck Repke

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congress is on Chucks side and has been for the last twenty years. Only now that the Congress is having to extend the unemployment from 99 weeks to another 13 months for 8 million americans are they thinking about getting some of them jobs back to ease the financial strain on the budget.

Funny though, of all the ideas congress wants to employ for reducing the deficit, not one peep about the 100s of billions spent fighting these stupid conflicts over in no mans land. Not to mention the cost of american soldiers and innocent civillians.

I say put the illegals in military uniform and send em over there. Lets test their patriotism .

If any of them distinguises themselves over there then we will give serious consideration to making them full fledged citizens.

I served this country in the military so can they.

Jeff Matiatos

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I do find it interesting that the only thing we ever agree on is the waste that is the endless war. We are fighting wars now purely to keep the military industrial complex in business and don't even blush about it.

We don't have soldiers doing KP in Iraq, we pay a fortune to Halliburton. Google - Halliburton jobs and find all of the opportunities there are to make money in Iraq!!!

If you actually read history and look at the fall of the Roman Empire there were two huge changes that brought it down. First it became Christian and developed religious intolerance. For a thousand years prior to that the Roman state religion only required you to accept the emperor (or his gods) as an equal god to your god. After conversion, everyone had to convert or they couldn't be Roman. Intolerance is not good for maintaining a healthy populace.

And, second it privatized the Army because Romans had no interest in it. Armys were funded by those who could afford them and one thing the Senate allowed is that a Barbarian could become a Roman by joining the Army....

Amazing how people don't change.


Chuck Repke

2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for giving us a place to vent Bob.

6:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who are you talking about?
The White mother FN who did this?
Two white guys break into doctors home, beat him, rape and kill his wife and two teenage daughters
Authorities said Hayes and Komisarjevsky broke into the house, beat William Petit, and forced his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, to withdraw money from a bank while the rest of her family remained under hostage at home. Hayes then sexually assaulted and strangled her, authorities said. Komisarjevsky, who will be tried next year, is charged with sexually assaulting their 11-year-old daughter, Michaela.
Michaela and her 17-year-old sister, Hayley, were tied to their beds and had gasoline poured on or around them before the men set the house on fire, according to testimony. The girls died of smoke inhalation.

Or was it this one:
White man kidnaps own children and goes on killing spree after murdering their mother
A 26-year-old man who abducted his children from Lake Havasu City, Ariz., after fatally shooting their mother and four others was found early Sunday in Rancho Cucamonga, the victim of an apparent suicide.

It appears that whites commit heinous horrible crimes too. However I never see that in the comment sections. Why can't you get your people to stop killing and raping? Oh, and starting wars in the middle east?

See how stupid that sounds? Its not racial, its criminal.

Why don't I participate here anymore? Not so much because of having to read garbage like that but, being the only one that understands you have to address it.

And to 5:50 (Jeff), the word is renege. While you're looking that up, look up 'irony'.


9:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I say put the illegals in military uniform and send em over there. Lets test their patriotism.

I thought you were against the Dream Act? The Dream Act states that a path to citizenship can be had if they get a college degree or serve in the Armed Forces.

Sounds reasonable.


10:56 AM  
Anonymous Bill Dahn said...

Bill Dahn here I had Bob Post this and I'm glad everyone agrees with me about the illegal's working the jobs that the U S Citizens and legal resident need and they are losing their homes, then their families break up from living in homeless units and then the mother is offered housing as long as she keep her husband are not together.

Thank All of you that Agree and we see Chuck is on the side off those DAMN DEM-O-RATS that allow these people here and they allowed the gangsters here in the 1930's Money Talks.
Is That Right Mayor Chris Coleman? Forum
a comment bellow
Undocumented workers are culled in audit -
The union says it represented 65 production workers at Twin City Hide before the dismissals. In some cases, the workers have been there as long as 10 years.

What a load of bull****! No way in hell will I believe that there are NO LEGAL citizens for these jobs. Pay $12-14 an hour, with health insurance AND a 401K? In these times? Please!

The "OWNERS" of TWIN CITY HIDE Never Paid What The Job Was Worth, this is like exporting the Jobs to Mexico without any of the shipping cost and importing the product back.
illegal are breaking the law just by being in the USA without Passports or Green Cards.
Is it a law to hire illegal's ? And the own has to pay a LARG FINE !
Watch how the Scum owner get out of paying any fine , then I MR. Citizen can bring a law suit against the government agencies that refuses to do their job.
How Many Jobs are taken by illegal's in St.Paul when Mayor Chris Coleman doesn't do his JOB andd he is a lawyer and knows the law.

THESE ILLEGAL'S Do Not FIGHT OUR WARS or DEFEND it from Law Breakers and if they go to the poling place and vote for the Democrat and they're allowing them "safe Hayden" in St.Paul's West Side.
Thanks to St.Paul's Mayor "Chris Coleman" for allowing these people to stay so they Do Vote illegally for some DFL Candidate.

But most important is that about 50 U S citizens could use those jobs.
I also blame Governor. Pawlenty for allowing the illegal and he thinks he can be our next President, I will let out what a Ferrite Face Governor we have in MN.

Bill Dahn on Nov 2, 2010 ran for Minnesota's Attorney General and Received 104,000 votes

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YouTube "Press One For English"

Right Bill

6:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I would urge you to go apply for a job at Twin City Hide. I would love to see if you could keep the job for a week.

And, 6:17 do you even get how racist you are?


Chuck Repke

11:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hummm... I wasn't aware that illegals workers are a protected class.

2:12 PM  
Anonymous Bill Dahn said...

Chuck always fails to tell all you nice people in St.Paul and surrounding areas that Bill Dahn is a Disabled person that has Multiple Chemical Sensitivity "MCS" and smells like formaldehyde makes me off like it does most people with MCS.
Chuck and these Democratic Union pushers that control St.Paul have been telling people I wasn't sick in My home after RAP installed insulation in 1995 and I and the "government" has been tossing MUD on each other sense then, Chuck, Dave Thune, Chris Coleman, Norm Coleman, and the whole city council, Sandy Pappas and Chuck always fails to tell all here at A_DEMOCRACY that RAP did 200,000 homes in Minnesota and did Chuck ever mention that Leslie Davis wrote ALWAYS CHEAT THE PHILOSIPHY OF JESSE VENTURA, that book is about my battle with all mentioned above and Jesse Ventura and Dean Barkley conspired to have me Bill Dahn change to Republican and they would help get all the repairs that RAP screwed up on my one home repaired and think about all the lousing work they had their contractor do over the years and most of you out there have heard stories of BAD WORK done by RAP?
Just remember what they said in 2002 about "Mr. Dahn Has His Foot Up Every bodies Hemorrhoids" !
lets get more people pointing the finger at Government, and MOT just the index finger!

1.51 PPM is a lot of formaldehyde Chuck.

The city is guilt of Killing People Slowly with BAD CHEMICALS

5:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Union for nearly 50 at tanning plant protesting the action

It looks like the unions are helping the guilty behind the hiring of these illegal criminals that fled from below the borders.

These people hit school busses, kill children on those busses and hop back across the borders to escape long jail time.

These same people bring drugs up from Mexico and bellow them.

Why Stop The illegal's when that will stop the Drugs, when we have so many politicians, lawyers, and judges Doing Cocaine and Meth!
How many of them smoke Pot?
How about You on the St.Paul City Council?

9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Eric. The employers that are hiring them need to be punished, as does the unions that are shielding them.

Fact is, I think that any business that is found to be willfully hiring illegal aliens should be shut down, and unions that shield them should be de-certified.

10:22 PM  

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