Skip to comments.Suit focuses on Tyson relationship with advocacy group
Posted on 11/06/2007 8:20:56 AM PST by pulaskibush
The plaintiffs in a lawsuit accusing Tyson Foods Inc. of hiring illegal aliens to work at poultry plants are focusing on the meat producers relationship with the League of Latin American Citizens. The class-action suit in U. S. District Court in Eastern Tennessee claims Springdale-based Tyson Foods knowingly hired illegal aliens to work for wages below what American workers would take. It was filed in April 2002 on behalf of former Tyson workers in several states, not including Arkansas. Trial is set for March 3. The plaintiffs in Trollinger v. Tyson are chicken plant workers who said they were harmed by a scheme by Tysons top management to depress wages, court documents state. We believe Tyson has used its relationship with LULAC to help carry out a willful blindness policy of hiring illegal workers, said the plaintiffs attorney, Howard W. Foster of Chicago. Tyson is very close with LULAC, especially in Springdale, and were alleging that the groups have agreed not to investigate workers who are suspected illegal aliens. Last week, the former director of the Arkansas chapter of the League of Latin American Citizens filed a motion to avoid giving a deposition in the case. In October, LULACs Housing Commission fought subpoenas seeking evidence in the case.
Tyson spokesman Gary Mickelson said the company continues to deny claims in the suit and will file a motion for summary judgment mid-month. We have a zero-tolerance policy for hiring people who are not authorized to work in the United States, Mickelson said. We value our relationships with various advocacy groups, including those representing the Hispanic community. Claims that those relationships are improper are not only false, but they are absurd.An amended complaint filed in 2005 added the allegation that Tyson used its relationship with LULAC to facilitate the hiring of illegal aliens. Foster wouldnt elaborate beyond what is in the complaint. Charles Cervantes, director of the Arkansas chapter of LULAC, said the leagues partnership with Tyson is geared at Hispanic advocacy efforts, such as curbing poverty and improving education. We would never tell Tyson or any of our corporate sponsors to hire undocumented workers, Cervantes said. Absolutely not. Nor would we turn our heads to that. Besides, LULAC doesnt tell its sponsors how to operate. Thats not our format. Tyson is one of many corporations across the country, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., with which LULAC has corporate sponsorships, he said. LULAC is not a defendant in the suit. The plaintiffs, however, have been gathering third-party evidence from the nonprofit league, including taking a deposition in August of LULAC national executive director Brent Wilkes, court records show. Foster said the suit is filed under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Practices Act, alleging Tyson committed wrongdoing by working with other groups or organizations.
Its one of the first suits to allege illegal immigrant hiring scheme under the RICO law, he said. Last week, R. Shawn McGrew, former Arkansas LULAC executive director, filed a motion in U. S. District Court in Fayetteville to quash a subpoena to give a deposition in the case. McGrew couldnt be reached and his attorney, Ray Niblock of Fayetteville, didnt return calls. The motion states that the plaintiffs want to ask Mc-Grew about whether he lobbied against Arkansas anti-immigration legislation, in particular, Act 907 of 2005, which authorized the State Police to designated officers to enforce federal immigration law. Last month, 19 officers in Washington and Benton counties began working under the supervision of U. S. Immigration Customs Enforcement under whats known as the 287 (g ) program. Cervantes said LULAC opposes local police enforcing federal immigration law because it creates opportunities for racial profiling and can violate the rights of people who cant immediately produce identification when asked by police. LULAC can exercise its First Amendment right to express its views on pending legislation when it pleases, Cervantes said. If Shawn [McGrew ] went and lobbied against 287 (g ), thats OK, said Cervantes, who succeeded McGrew as state director in 2006. Thats his American right. Foster said LULACs National Housing Commission fought a subpoena last month but has since agreed to turn over documents. He wouldnt say what the documents are.
The Housing Commission helps low- to moderate-income Hispanics with housing needs and issues, according to its Web site. Foster said other evidence in the suit includes depositions with and computer hard-drive evidence from defendants, who include John Tyson, chairman of the Tyson board of directors; Archie Schaffer III, a senior vice president; and Richard Bond, chief executive officer. Defendants in the suit are not the same former Tyson bosses who were indicted in 2001 in U. S. District Court in Tennessee on charges of conspiring to smuggle illegal aliens for work. A jury acquitted those three defendants in 2003. Those were mid-level managers, Foster said. These defendants are top executives. Mickelson said the civil suit is largely based on claims made in the failed 2001 federal indictments.
Start of this story Lawsuit against Tyson Foods
More corruption stories about Tyson Foods:
Always remember that Tyson Foods was Slick’s moneyman.
Illegal Immigration Pinglist
As likely the Huckster's as well.
No Tyson chicken, Wal-Mart, or Home Depot in my future.
You might need a longer list. Check out my link at reply #6 :(
It seems to me that prosecution under a provision of the RICO Act could be used here as well. The former employees can establish standing as they were injured by Tyson’s policy.
Good luck with your chicken purchasing Pilgrim’s does the same.
It seems to me that prosecution under a provision of the RICO Act could be used here as well. The former employees can establish standing as they were injured by Tysons policy.
***I’m glad to see my usual RICO suggestion is starting to catch on. Also, pinging BCSCO to this thread for the AFIRE ping list.
Heres my standard post. We can do something about this.
RICO Citizen Recourse
Private persons and entities may initiate civil suits to obtain injunctions and treble damages against enterprises that conspire to or actually violate federal alien smuggling, harboring, or document fraud statutes, under the Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO). The pattern of racketeering activity is defined as commission of two or more of the listed crimes. A RICO enterprise can be any individual legal entity, or a group of individuals who are not a legal entity but are associated in fact, and can include nonprofit associations.
Heres what Ive been pushing: its time to file Racketeering, Influencing, and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) lawsuits.
RICO lawyers could turn it around in a few years and MAKE MONEY at the same time. Im surprised they havent done it already.
In the absence of enforcement, we can get the word out in the meantime that there is money to be made in filing RICO lawsuits against employers who hire illegal aliens.
Employers would have no trouble shutting down the border if they could get sued by someone under the RICO statutes for hiring these people in the first place. The next time an illegal alien kills someone in a drunk driving accident or somesuch thing, Im going to point out that the victims family might be able to seek compensation from the employer under these statutes in the hopes that it would catch on. If this did catch on, would see such a swift backlash against illegal immigration that no employer would go near these people and theyll all simply want to go back home.
I’d love to see this used against such employers. What I’m wondering is, just how far Huckabee will be caught up in all this?
Old Huck would provide for John Tyson, just as Clinton did - cheap illegal labor for big dollars. I’ve boycotted Tyson for many years. Just like I’m boycotting Huck now. :)
Probably not much. Politicians are naturally slippery, it’s like catching fish by hand.
Wouldn’t this be a good thread for the AFIRE ping list?
I'd noted it for tomorrow morning but I'll do a special alert now. I try to minimize those; don't want to come off like FNC.
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Fox News. They run alerts every 5 minutes just to let us know Brittney pulled out of her driveway, or such.
Thanks. And thanks for the AFIRE ping too, keep up the good work.
Please add me to the ping list.
There are a couple of plants in bristol Tennessee that would fit right in for a good RICO suite. I would say any company that advertises that the speak Spanish could be considered fresh game.
This list is representative, and by no means all-inclusive of the hundreds of groups supporting immigration Amnesty.
"Though no one wants to reward illegal behavior, we must find a way for these workers to come forward, make good on the past and participate in a program that leads to permanent residency and eventual citizenship."
The Rogues Gallery Of Co-Signatories To The Above Statement:
Glad to have you. Welcome to the AFIRE! ping list.
We do daily a.m. updates of most recent immigration threads, plus updates during the course of the day, when applicable.
The Illegal Immigration rope will get the Yuckabee too!
If I was a blood-sucking lawyer, I’d be going after these guys pronto.
am updates, I will get to in the PM. I am gainfully employed, this is just my lunch break.
That’s fine. I don’t do the one like I did on this thread often. Only when something mega occurs or when a member like Kevmo asks.
My morning ping is a list of immigration threads from the past 24 hours or so. Oh, and I don’t do them on weekends. I have other things tying me down at that time.
I have been boycotting Tyson Foods for years. Ever since I found out about their funding Slick and Hitlery.
Perdue done it....
One can only ROTFLTAO after reading the above list of signoratory senors’...........
Thursday, Jun 30, 2005
By Wesley Brown
Arkansas News Bureau
LITTLE ROCK - In a impassioned speech before hundreds of influential Hispanic civil rights leaders from across the nation, Gov. Mike Huckabee told a captive audience Wednesday that America is great because it has always opened it doors up to people seeking a better way of life.
"I would hope that no matter who we are, or where we are from, that America should always be a place that opens its arms, opens it heart, opens its spirit to people who come because they want the best for their families ...," Huckabee said as the largely Hispanic audience gave him a standing ovation.
Huckabee was the keynote speaker, along with Tyson Foods Inc. Chairman and CEO John Tyson, at a noon luncheon of the League of United Latin American Citizens, which is holding its 76th annual convention in Little Rock.
About 10,000 political, community and business leaders, along with exhibitors and speakers are in Little Rock attending the convention at the Statehouse Convention Center. The convention started Monday and runs through Saturday.
Although he never actually talked about the U.S. or Arkansas immigration policy, Huckabee made it very clear where he stood on the issue. In his opening remarks, he said the nation will need to address the concerns of the Hispanic community because of its growing influence and population base.
He told the LULAC delegates that their presence in the state's capital city was very important because Arkansas has one of the fastest growing Hispanic populations in the nation. "Your gathering is so very significant for our state," Huckabee said. "We are delighted to have you."
Despite several light moments, Huckabee did not stray away from several controversial issues that made him a target of criticism during the recently ended 85th General Assembly. He said Arkansas needs to make the transition from a traditional Southern state to one that recognizes and cherishes diversity "in culture, in language and in population."
"This is an issue that is going to require extraordinary efforts on both sides of the border, particularly those coming from Mexico," Huckabee said of verifying the status of illegal aliens. "But I am confident that our government will recognize that we should accommodate people who wish to provide the best opportunities for their families (and) employers so that we can make sure our economy has the necessary work force."
During the legislation session, Huckabee criticized an immigration bill by Republican senators Jim Holt of Springdale and Denny Altes of Fort Smith as un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life. Senate Bill 206, which died in the Senate, would have required proof of citizenship to register to vote and also force state agencies to report suspected cases of people living in the country illegally. Holt, R-Springdale, replied later to Huckabee's comments that Christian charity does not include turning a blind eye to lawbreaking.
Oh, it's much more of a hoot than that.
For example, take this single AMI member, add its members, and you get this:
National Council of Chain Restaurants
Brinker International, Inc.
Burger King Corp.
Carlson Restaurants Worldwide
CKE Restaurants, Inc.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store
Dominos Pizza Inc.
El Pollo Loco
In-N-Out Burger International Dairy Que
en, Inc. Jack in the Box Inc.
Little Caesar Enterprises, Inc.
Perkins & Marie Callender's, Inc.
Starbucks Coffee Company
The Krystal Company
Waffle House Inc.
White Castle System, Inc.
You can do that with any and all of the corporate AMI signatories, e.g.
AMI lobbying = NCCR lobbying = Mcdonalds, BK, KFC, and Chic-fil-a lobbying.
It's the same as is used in money laundering and other criminal enterprises: phony "associations" lobby for other phony "advocacy groups" which together lobby Congress for for their "real" clients
Does the name “RICO” strike a familiar key?
IMO that's precisely why they were trying to jam the Z1 visas for 15 to 20 million illegals down our throats last spring. It explains the haste, the sloppiness, the subterfuge, and the relentless and underhanded Senate treatment of the Amnesty bill.
They were desperate to relieve their business patrons (Mcdonalds, Tyson, Cargill, Hilton Hotels, Burger Kink, Hormel, etc) from the potential problem that 15 to 20 million "predicate acts" might cause in a civil RICO suit. IMO every single hire of an illegal constitutes a single crime, and every regional Cargill or Tyson plant staffed by illegals constitutes part of a larger "pattern".
And here's an interesting event that IMO has precipitated the Congressional attempts to make these illegal aliens and RICO magnets a non-issue:
Friday, September 29, 2006
Federal appeals court allows RICO suit alleging company hired, aided illegal aliens
James M Yoch Jr at 11:01 AM ET
[JURIST] The US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] in Atlanta has ruled [opinion, PDF] ruled that a plaintiff is permitted to bring a class-action lawsuit against a carpet manufacturer under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1970 (RICO) [text]. The plaintiff claims that Mohawk Industries [corporate website] knowingly hired illegal aliens and assisted them in evading immigration officials and law enforcement, allowing it to reduce labor costs and to discourage workers' compensation claims in violation of state and federal RICO statutes. For civil liability to attach under RICO, the defendant must "conduct" or "participate in" affairs of a larger enterprise beyond its own internal affairs. The court held Wednesday that Mohawk's use of a third-party recruiter to hire and conceal illegal aliens satisfied the requirement in light of the US Supreme Court's decision [JURIST report] last term in Anza v. Ideal Steel Supply Corp.
I may have sent it to you in the past, but I vaguely recall finding a very good, scholarly treatment of civil RICO’s, and IIRC standing was an important part of the discussion. I was poking around for it earlier today but no luck.
I have to go out for a bit, but I’ll take another look for it later today, I’ll ping you on FRmail when I find it (or give up looking).
Just as an aside (I’m no lawyer either), it seems probable that one must demonstrate actual and demonstrable personal harm in order to participate in a civil RICO. That would be “standing”.
I suppose I could argue that Cargill is distributing e-coli hamburger due to illiterate illegal workers, and that this endangers me and my family personally, but probably that’s too vague (or maybe not). Certainly there’s no “actual harm” there.
It’s more likely along the lines of “I was fired, and Jose the Guatemalan illegal was hired”.
That’s demonstrable and actual harm = “standing”.
More to the point, I can’t sue Tyson because they hire illegals. I have to demonstrate that Tyson’s hiring of illegals actually harmed me personally.
I see that you see my point....
I see that you see my point....
Except for Tyson Foods, none of the names or organizations mentioned in the article are registered as a lobbyist or a PAC in Arkansas.
Generally speaking, companies are able to disguise such activities through their memberships in other trade associations, which may or may not have staff lobbyists (if not, the associations hire K Street lobbyists, which even further masks their activities).
I showed above in #28 that the American Meat Institute - which has several hundred small and mega-big members including Tyson, Cargill, etc, and claims to represent more than 70 percent of America's meat production - does immigration advocacy in Congressional Quarterly, which is certainly a Beltway "insider" publication. And if AMI sends a lobbyist to the Hill, that lobbyist most definitely has the interests of Hormel, Tyson, Cargill, et al on his agenda.
Then you see that the National Council of Chain Restaurants also works with AMI. NCCR has Mcdonalds, BK, Yum, and many others as its members (I vaguely recall their assertion that they represented "6 million restaurant workers"). Thus Mcdonalds doesn't need to send out lobbyists or do issue advocacy, since NCCR does that work for them and provides necessary cover.
So the idea is that the companies can and DO mask their advocacy programs within business associations and second- and thired-removed lobbyists.
Whether in DC or in Arkansas, they don't want their names directly attached to contoversial issues.
Alot of this can be loosely tracked through very tedious work in the opensecrets.org database of lobbyist reports, but those are designed to allow a certain amount of "slop" in favor of lobbyists, elected (and appointed) officials, and their "clients" (aka "patrons").
The alleged lobbying in this case was about “Arkansas anti-immigration legislation”, so these probably would not be K-Street lobbyists. My understanding of Arkansas disclosure laws is that local lobbyists must disclose their clients. Tyson’s lobbyist does show up on the registration list, but no registrations are shown for LULAC, McGrew or Cervantes.
The point is - if McGrew admits in a deposition that he engaged in lobbying - but he didn’t register as a lobbyist - it could be a problem for McGrew and LULAC. That may be what the plaintiffs are looking for. Otherwise, I don’t see the legal relevance of lobbying activity with respect to this lawsuit.
Anyone who knows ANYTHING about Tyson (or even better lives near a plant) knows without a doubt that Tyson intentionally hires illegals. There is no way they can claim ignorance.
BUT-—they are also DEEP in politics...and have padded the back pockets of many politicians.
Got into an argument with someone here on FR a year or so ago where the other party tried to tell me that there were no businesses or organizations pushing for amnesty... Your list would have been invaluable then!