Thursday, February 06, 2003

Origins of the 99� menu [NYT]
Federal prosecutors told jurors today that corporate greed caused Tyson Foods, the nation's largest meat producer and processor, to conspire to suppress its workers' wages by smuggling illegal immigrants from Mexico to work in the company's chicken plants in the United States. The government, which presented its opening argument in Federal District Court in its case against Tyson, also accused the company of flouting immigration laws by helping illegal immigrants to obtain false identification documents like Social Security cards and driver's licenses....

This is not first time Tyson has been embroiled in legal trouble. Last May, the Labor Department accused Tyson and several other poultry companies of cheating workers out of wages. The case is still pending. In 1999, the company was fined by the government for violating child labor laws after a 15-year-old immigrant who worked at a Tyson plant died and a 14-year-old was seriously injured. Several months later, the company settled federal charges that it had discriminated against blacks and women at a plant in Mississippi....

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