January 17, 2007, - 3:14 pm

Meat Plant Treats Illegal Aliens Better Than Black Americans

By Debbie Schlussel
Some Black workers at Smithfield Foods hog-slaughtering plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina skipped the first shift, Monday, in protest of the company’s refusal to give them a paid day off for Martin Luther King, Jr Day.
At first blush, you might say they were unjustified since most companies do not give that day off to workers, nor do they on other national holidays, like Veterans Day, Presidents Day, etc.
But a closer look shows they may have been justified in their protest. I did a little research. And it appears that Smithfield treats its illegal alien workers better than these workers who are American citizens.

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That same Smithfield plant in Tar Heel knowingly employs many illegal alien workers. Remember “A Day Without An Immigrant” in May, when illegal aliens walked off the job and spent the day protesting?
Smithfield gave the illegal aliens employed at all of its plants nationwide the day off and encouraged and assisted its

employees to write their senators and representatives in Congress to ask them to pass just legislation that includes protections for legal immigrants and their employers, provides a path to citizenship for those who are willing to work, and does not separate family members. We believe this is the most effective action our employees can take to persuade Congress to make the right choices.

No such events for Black employees who are U.S. citizens. So, who can blame them for being upset?

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5 Responses

Thank you for the crotch grabbing shot! I just noticed the illegal next to him is giving the finger, how could I have missed that?

CarpeDiem on January 17, 2007 at 4:38 pm

Outrageous, I’m going to bring this to the attention of many of my employees who happen to be black. I’m sure they’ll let Smithfield know just how pissed off they are by buying elswhere.

warpmine on January 17, 2007 at 9:34 pm

Go, crotch-grabbing Mexican and spread joy around the world!

Dan on January 18, 2007 at 12:11 am

Those Mexican dudes making those obscene gestures at the camera. Who are they directing those gestures at? Where is that picture from?

Blisters on January 18, 2007 at 1:01 am

Actually, with each passing year it seems more and more companies do give MLK Day as a holiday. While we were not closed at my job, most (though not all) of our clients and vendors were as were most of our employees spouse’s jobs this year. Though an increasing number are also taking Presidents Day away as a holiday to “make it up” (there’s even a rumor that next year my company may do the same kind of switch).
But in any company I have worked for (all of which were open on the day), black employees were given the kind of respect to take it off without problem that the Jewish workers were for Yom Kippur, which should’ve been the least that happened here.
But Deb, I hate to say it, I think your main reason for your big support here is because of the illegal alien angle of the other workers and your strong obsession with that point rather than the disrespect of the holiday by Smithfield per se. Most people of your political persuasion still think of the possible “womanizer” and “Communist sympathizer” aspect of MLK rather than the good deeds that led to the holiday and I’m sure if this column was written 20 years ago instead of today when all of this was being debated in making MLK a federal holiday, your blog on this (had such a thing existed then) would be very very different.
There’s nothing wrong with your stance on illegal aliens, but using it to agree on the injustice of this issue instead of the real issue here is the problem.

hairymon on January 21, 2007 at 8:21 am

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