Recruiting trouble for Tyson – Raw Data – Tyson Foods Inc. hiring illegal immigrants litigation – Brief Article

Recruiting trouble for Tyson – Raw Data – Tyson Foods Inc. hiring illegal immigrants litigation – Brief Article – Statistical Data Included

Carroll Lachnit

The nation’s biggest meat producer and processor, Tyson Foods, Inc., is fighting a federal indictment that charges it smuggled illegal immigrants from Mexico to work in its processing plants in order to cut costs and meet production goals. The 36-count indictment, unsealed in December 2001, names the company and six employees, including a company vice president and an HR manager, and charges them with conspiring to recruit the illegal workers and help them obtain false documents. (The 57-page indictment can be found at http://news.findlaw.com/cnn/docs/tyson-foods/ustyson120lind.pdf.)

Tyson’s senior vice president of human resources, Ken Kimbro, says that the claims of corporate conspiracy are “absolutely false. The specific charges are limited to a few managers who were acting outside of company policy.” An internal investigation of the allegations resulted in the termination of four managers, he says, and the two other alleged conspirators named in the indictment have been placed on administrative leave.

According to the indictment, Tyson brought in hundreds of illegal workers. Company officials allegedly contacted local smugglers to get workers and paid $100 to $200 per head for them. The 30-month investigation, led by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, alleged that 15 Tyson plants in nine states were involved in the conspiracy, from 1994 to 2001.

Tyson, meanwhile, has waged a vigorous counteroffensive on its Web site (www.tyson.com). It also has published full-page ads in the newspapers of 26 communities near its poultry-processing plants. The ads say that when the company learned of “mistakes” made by managers at five of its plants, it instituted new processes to ensure that all of its employees are legally documented. The company will no longer use temporary-employment agencies to fill full-time positions, and will require mandatory training for all managers with hiring authority, Tyson reports.

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