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Homeless, Felons help fill poultry jobs
Atlanta Journal Constitution ^ | 11/26/06 | Mary Lou Pickel

Posted on 11/25/2006 9:00:16 PM PST by Kimberly GG

Homeless, felons help fill poultry jobs South Georgia plant labors after immigration raid loss

By MARY LOU PICKEL The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Published on: 11/26/06

Stillmore — Felons on probation and homeless men have filled some of the poultry jobs left by illegal Mexican laborers deported in raids two months ago.

About 40 convicted felons from the Macon Diversion Center are bused in each day to work at the Crider Poultry plant in Stillmore — the focus of the raids.

Pastor Ariel Rodriguez (from left), talks with Ernesto Gutierrez Ordoñez and Antonio Gutierrez Lopez about the raids.

Stacie Bell pushes chicken onto a conveyor belt at the Crider Poultry plant in Stillmore. More workers have been hired to fill job gaps.

Additionally, 16 men from the Garden City Rescue Mission in Augusta have come to work in the plant. Several from the mission have become shift leaders, said Lavond Reynolds, director of men's housing for the mission.

"Compared to the attrition rate [at the plant] in general, these guys have really stuck so far," Reynolds said. The mission might send another 15 soon.

Still, that's just a drop in the bucket. The Crider plant is operating at about 450 employees — less than half its preraid level of 1,000, company president David Purtle said.

The Mexican population in Stillmore has plummeted since immigration officials first visited the Crider plant in May, town residents said. Immigration agents estimated that 700 workers were using fraudulent IDs. The company began checking documents and confronting employees. Many were fired and hundreds of illegal immigrants left town on their own throughout the summer.

Then, over Labor Day, federal agents rounded up and deported more than 125 illegal immigrants working at the Crider plant or living in Emanuel and surrounding counties.

That left Crider with a big labor gap, and finding workers to fill the jobs has been a challenge. Among the efforts and changes at the plant since the raids:

• The company outsourced 250 jobs in its raw deboning operation to Alabama.

• Some processing has slowed because of the downturn in the work force.

• Crider has turned to an outside company to hire about 100 workers to clean the plant each night.

• The company raised starting wages by about 40 cents and now offers attendance bonuses to new hires. Before, it took a year to be eligible for the extra pay. (Starting base pay is $6 an hour; most workers earn more through bonuses and overtime.)

• The company is spending more on hiring and training as turnover is high among new employees.

For instance, Crider advanced money to house the homeless men from the mission in trailers and to turn on their utilities. The company also pays to bus state probationers from Macon each day and is busing workers from surrounding communities.

Purtle said about 50 percent of applicants since the raids either did not pass the drug test or reference checks. Many of those who did have poor attendance or quit quickly.

"Our challenge is — in hiring unskilled people — their ability to understand what's expected of them," Purtle said. "Attendance is important. No acting up, no mouthing off. They just haven't learned."

The raids not only affected the chicken plant, but the surrounding community.

At least two landlords near Stillmore who rented to immigrants have put their properties up for sale. The Hispanic-run stores in town are operating at reduced hours.

"There's no people anymore," said Liliana Santos, 24, the clerk behind the counter at Salinas Surcusal No. 2 in downtown Stillmore.

"They don't have any jobs," she said in Spanish.

"Before, people would be walking around downtown," said Manuel Mendoza, 22, who stopped to buy tortillas. The store's jukebox played Mariachi music to an empty sideroom pool hall.

Mendoza has been in the United States 10 years and says he has a Social Security card and a job making pallets for $8.50 an hour. His hometown of Oaxaca, Mexico, has descended into anarchy with armed fighting in the streets, and he is in no hurry to return home.

Pastor Ariel Rodriguez drives around Stillmore, explaining what happened to each of the Mexican families that used to live in trailers and apartments.

"The majority of people have gone to Kentucky," he said. They knew a priest who used to live in the area and followed him up there, Rodriguez said. Other residents have gone back to Mexico.

At least one local businessman said his business has gone up since the raids. The churn of new folks applying and working at Crider has brought new customers to Mighty Mike's Hot Stop gas station and convenience store in town.

"They come in here and shop," said manager Willie Gordon. "Our inside sales have gone up $3,000 per week since the raids."

It's been a mixture of new clientele. But Gordon, who is African-American, attributes a good part of the increase to more black workers coming into town. Gordon notes: "You gotta be legal now." Click here to find out more! MOST POPULAR STORIES

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TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Government
KEYWORDS: aliens; immigrantlist; immigration; obl; patriotemployer
As long as the 'homeless' aren't also illegals....gee, attrition works!
1 posted on 11/25/2006 9:00:20 PM PST by Kimberly GG
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To: Kimberly GG


Americans doing the jobs American's wouldn't want to do.


2 posted on 11/25/2006 9:01:47 PM PST by LauraleeBraswell
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To: LauraleeBraswell
Americans doing the jobs American's wouldn't want to do.

You got it!!

Plus a GREAT way for convicts to pay for (at least some of) the costs of keeping them in jail -- PLUS -- less costs to the community for all the services for the illegals families!!
3 posted on 11/25/2006 9:11:37 PM PST by Jackson Brown (Conservatives just killed their racehorse in order to let their fortunes ride on a jackass)
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To: Kimberly GG
I would rather see reforming felons work these jobs than illegals.

Likewise, I would rather see deboning "outsourced" to Alabama (is that really outsourcing?) than Mexico.

4 posted on 11/25/2006 9:13:06 PM PST by magellan
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To: Kimberly GG

CRIDER, W A MR JR
METTER,GA 30439


CRIDER POULTRY/CHAIRMAN


7/1/2005


$2,500


National Chicken Council

CRIDER, WILLIAM AI MR III
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC./VICE PRESIDENT


7/20/2005


$2,500


National Chicken Council

CRIDER, BILLY MR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER POULTRY/OWNER


3/31/2005


$2,100


Marshall, Jim

CRIDER, BILLY MR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER POULTRY/OWNER


3/31/2005


$2,100


Marshall, Jim

CRIDER, W A JR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC/OWNER


6/23/2005


$2,100


Burns, Max

CRIDER, W A JR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC/OWNER


6/23/2005


$2,100


Burns, Max

CRIDER , MR WILLIAM JR
METTER,GA 30439


CRIDER POULTRY CO./PRES. POULTRY PR


4/9/2005


$2,000


Kingston, Jack

CRIDER , MR WILLIAM JR
METTER,GA 30439


CRIDER POULTRY CO./PRES. POULTRY PR


4/25/2005


$2,000


Kingston, Jack

CRIDER JR, WILLIAM
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC./VICE PRESIDENT


5/9/2005


$2,000


Norwood, Charles W

CRIDER JR, WILLIAM
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC./VICE PRESIDENT


5/9/2005


$2,000


Norwood, Charles W

CRIDER, W A JR MR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC


5/3/2005


$2,000


Isakson, Johnny

CRIDER, W A JR MR
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER INC


5/3/2005


$2,000


Isakson, Johnny

CRIDER, WILLIAM
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER COMPANIES/VP OPERATIONS


6/30/2006


$2,000


Chambliss, Saxby

CRIDER, WILLIAM
STILLMORE,GA 30464


CRIDER COMPANIES/VP OPERATIONS


6/30/2006


$2,000


Chambliss, Saxby

http://www.opensecrets.org/indivs/search.asp?txtName=CRIDER&NumOfThou=0&txt2006=Y&submit=Go%21


5 posted on 11/25/2006 9:13:53 PM PST by axes_of_weezles
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Did you notice that they have 450 employees now, rather than the 1,000 they used to have? And that most of the 450 are ones who are coerced into working?

Where are the Americans who want these jobs?


6 posted on 11/25/2006 9:14:08 PM PST by speekinout
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To: LauraleeBraswell

"Americans doing the jobs American's wouldn't want to do."

Bingo!


7 posted on 11/25/2006 9:15:47 PM PST by jamie_justice62
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To: speekinout
Additionally, 16 men from the Garden City Rescue Mission in Augusta have come to work in the plant. Several from the mission have become shift leaders, said Lavond Reynolds, director of men's housing for the mission.

"Compared to the attrition rate [at the plant] in general, these guys have really stuck so far," Reynolds said. The mission might send another 15 soon.

8 posted on 11/25/2006 9:21:47 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: LauraleeBraswell

Americans doing the jobs Mexicans can't do because the law is finally being enforced.


9 posted on 11/25/2006 9:22:41 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Kimberly GG

are not illegals felons of the federal kind? so what's the fuzz here about hiring real U.S.citizen felons?


10 posted on 11/25/2006 9:23:53 PM PST by Cinnamon
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To: speekinout

Doing something other than slave wage agribusiness jobs.
When you have to eat, I guess you will have to have a few chickens in the yard.

I know how to grow and slaughter them, so I am not scared.

Have them call their congressmen and senators they donated money to. It's a national crisis. /sarcasm


11 posted on 11/25/2006 9:24:43 PM PST by axes_of_weezles
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To: Kimberly GG

D@mn! Why couldn't they do this with all the Tyson plants in Arkansas?


12 posted on 11/25/2006 9:28:58 PM PST by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile!)
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To: Moonman62

The point I tried to make is that the company has only been able to fill 450 jobs of the 1,000 they used to have. Does that sound like Americans are clamoring for these jobs? I don't think so.


13 posted on 11/25/2006 9:29:16 PM PST by speekinout
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To: speekinout

"The point I tried to make is that the company has only been able to fill 450 jobs of the 1,000 they used to have. Does that sound like Americans are clamoring for these jobs? I don't think so."

Now the employer has to pay a legal wage. The pay output is the same. The employer will not pay any more.


14 posted on 11/25/2006 9:36:43 PM PST by mirkwood (Gun control isn't about guns. It's about control.)
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To: sweetliberty

You don't think felons work for Tysons in Arkansas? I assure you that many do.


15 posted on 11/25/2006 9:37:46 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin2
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To: Kimberly GG

I know where they can get another 435, not make that 535!


16 posted on 11/25/2006 9:38:26 PM PST by F-117A
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To: DeaconBenjamin2

Oh, I meant raiding the plants and getting the illegals out. As far as the homeless and criminals, I'd a lot rather THEM have the jobs.


17 posted on 11/25/2006 9:40:41 PM PST by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile!)
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To: Kimberly GG
Felons on probation and homeless men have filled some of the poultry jobs left by illegal Mexican laborers

Damm homless men...how dare they attempt to work.

18 posted on 11/25/2006 9:43:53 PM PST by Drango (Earth first, we'll strip-mine the other planets later!)
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To: mirkwood
The illegals who worked there did not come all at once. They came there over many years displacing the former workers one by one, who have now have moved on to other areas to find jobs.

They didn't get into this mess overnight and they won't get out of it over night either.

19 posted on 11/25/2006 9:45:45 PM PST by Between the Lines (Be careful how you live your life, it may be the only gospel anyone reads.)
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To: magellan
Likewise, I would rather see deboning "outsourced" to Alabama (is that really outsourcing?) than Mexico.

Alabama plant has probably just not been raided yet, and has a surplus of illegals, maybe some of the same ones who were at the Georgia plant.

20 posted on 11/25/2006 9:47:23 PM PST by El Gato
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To: Kimberly GG
Purtle said about 50 percent of applicants since the raids either did not pass the drug test or reference checks. Many of those who did have poor attendance or quit quickly.

So they can check to see if a prospective employee smoked a joint last month, or last year, and what his/her employment record has been, but they couldn't check to see it they were citizens or green card holders? Riiight.

21 posted on 11/25/2006 9:48:48 PM PST by El Gato
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To: Jackson Brown

"Plus a GREAT way for convicts to pay for (at least some of) the costs of keeping them in jail -- "

...except these are ex-cons on probation, not in jail.


22 posted on 11/25/2006 9:50:50 PM PST by gcruse (http://garycruse.blogspot.com/)
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To: gubamyster

Ping!


23 posted on 11/25/2006 9:51:09 PM PST by TheLion
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To: speekinout

The company was left with a lot of jobs to fill in a very short time (their own damn fault I might add). It probably took them considerable time to fill those jobs in the first place, even with abundant Mexican slave labor.


24 posted on 11/25/2006 9:51:31 PM PST by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: sweetliberty

So is the wittle Beebe going to enforce the laws, or only the laws he likes?


25 posted on 11/25/2006 9:56:28 PM PST by DeaconBenjamin2
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To: DeaconBenjamin2

Arkansas was screwed on the illegal issue no matter who won the election.


26 posted on 11/25/2006 10:00:10 PM PST by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile!)
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To: Kimberly GG
"There's no people anymore," said Liliana Santos, 24, the clerk behind the counter at Salinas Surcusal No. 2 in downtown Stillmore.

"They don't have any jobs," she said in Spanish.

Sounds like there's at least one more place in town INS needs to raid.

L

27 posted on 11/25/2006 10:00:18 PM PST by Lurker (Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.)
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To: El Gato
"Alabama plant has probably just not been raided yet, and has a surplus of illegals, maybe some of the same ones who were at the Georgia plant."

Good point.

28 posted on 11/25/2006 10:03:37 PM PST by magellan
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To: El Gato

Most of the illegals had fake social security cards and other IDs. Thanks to the years of PC police and Human Resource activists there was limited research allowed since the applicants presented the required documents. At least this is one company that is cleaning up its act.


29 posted on 11/25/2006 10:04:23 PM PST by Chickenhawk Warmonger (All aboard the Chickenhawk Express... www.chickenhawkexpress.blogspot.com)
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To: axes_of_weezles

So Mr. Crider donated to Republicans - what's the problem? It was the Republican controlled state government in GA that tightened up the laws and improved enforcement capabilities that led to this purge of illegals.


30 posted on 11/25/2006 10:09:42 PM PST by Chickenhawk Warmonger (All aboard the Chickenhawk Express... www.chickenhawkexpress.blogspot.com)
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To: F-117A

"I know where they can get another 435, not make that 535!'

LOL! Picturing F'n, Shrillary, and the Swimmer plucking chickens!


31 posted on 11/25/2006 10:56:46 PM PST by Yehuda ("Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!" (Choke on it, pinkos!))
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To: DeaconBenjamin2
You don't think felons work for Tysons in Arkansas? I assure you that many do.

Well, here we aren't talking about management.

32 posted on 11/25/2006 11:03:43 PM PST by AmishDude (What if I made a tagline?)
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To: speekinout
The legal American citizens probably moved away because they cannot afford to live on artificially low wages while paying taxes and abiding by our laws. It's easy for illegal aliens to make ends meet when they illegally live ten to twenty adults to a house, do not pay taxes, steal health care, steal identities, drive unregistered vehicles with no driver's license or insurance, etc...

Just another case of illegal aliens being party to and committing the crimes that Americans don't want to do.
33 posted on 11/25/2006 11:10:43 PM PST by CountryBumpkin
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To: Jackson Brown

Not to mention that the homeless are working and making their way, however little, in the world. It could lead to great things!


34 posted on 11/25/2006 11:24:22 PM PST by Niuhuru
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To: sweetliberty

"D@mn! Why couldn't they do this with all the Tyson plants in Arkansas?"

Won't happen. If memory serves me, Tyson has been a major campaign contributor to BOTH Clinton and Bush. Their CEO's contribution records below, imo, shows that they put the money in the hands of whomever is going to do their bidding, wether it be D or R. I believe I've read that 30% of their work force are illegals. And they are currently being prosecuted in a RICO suit by Howard Foster.

John Tyson
Tyson Foods chairman, ceo
$52,600 Republican
$136,510 Democrat
$176,300 special interest
total: $365,410


35 posted on 11/26/2006 3:23:27 AM PST by Kimberly GG (Tancredo '08 www.firecoalition.com/www.unitedpatriotsofamerica.com)
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To: Niuhuru

Let's see: Third circle of Hell, or employment in a poultry plant. ---Third circle of Hell, or employment in a poultry plant. And the winner is- Yes , Ladies and Gentlemen, it's Damnation by a nose!!


36 posted on 11/26/2006 3:32:17 AM PST by CalvaryJohn (What is keeping that damned asteroid?)
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To: Kimberly GG

Yep. That about sums it up. Meanwhile, the entire northwest quadrant of the state has large areas that are starting to look like the low rent district of Nogales.


37 posted on 11/26/2006 7:18:03 AM PST by sweetliberty (Stupidity should make you sterile!)
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To: Kimberly GG

That's great news. Add to the worker list all able-bodied people collecting welfare.


38 posted on 11/26/2006 8:48:39 AM PST by ViLaLuz (2 Chronicles 7:14)
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To: All

39 posted on 11/26/2006 8:57:21 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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