When law, religion, manufacturing collide
Protest at kosher meat-packing plant focuses on immigration issues, but working conditions also a concern
The New York Times reported Sunday about a protest at a Postville, IA kosher meat-packing plant . The protest, led by Jewish and Catholic religious officials, immigration reform activists and Hispanic community leaders, protested the recent detaining of almost 400 illegal immigrants, most from Guatemala. Beyond the immigration issue, however, were complaints of poor working conditions at the Agriprocessors facility , the nation’s largest kosher meat processor, and calls for additional safety and machine training of all workers at the facility. Jewish leaders have criticized working conditions at the plant, and questioned whether the working conditions should cause Jews to reconsider buying heat and poultry processed at the facility. A counter-protest by those opposed to providing amnesty for illegal immigrants was also held, but no incidents were reported.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.