Labor Day and Chutzpah

Agriprocessors, Inc., the Postville Iowa kosher meat packing plant, has had a lot of publicity.  First, a strong selling book about how the small Postville community was affected by the arrival of a slew of orthodox rabbis and their families, and by the onslaught of workers from all parts of the world, and particularly from Latin America, changing the face and threatening the values of small town America.

Then accusations of unsanitary conditions at the plant, and of unnecessary cruelty to the animals during the slaughtering process.  Followed by accusations of environmental pollution with illegal spills into near by waterways.  And then the crowning blow: the federal raid that netted hundreds of presumably illegal immigrants working at the plant.

The “New York Times” reports today, on Labor Day which I am sure is not accidental, that Agriprocessors has brought to life that old joke about the man who murders his parents and asks for mercy because he is an orphan (my analogy, not the Times’).  Agriprocessors has gone to court to ask for the nullification of the pro-union vote at the factory on the grounds that many of those who voted were illegal immigrants, and thus should not be entitled to vote.

In the now 126 year history of Labor Day in America, is there a better example of chutzpah?


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