Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

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Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:07 pm

Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Mike Hughlett
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 29, 2011


Federal labor regulators have accused Cargill Inc. of hiring discrimination at an Arkansas turkey plant, proposing to penalize the agribusiness giant by stripping it of over $550 million in federal contracts.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs said Tuesday that it has filed suit alleging that Cargill discriminated on a race or gender basis against over 4,000 qualified entry-level workers at its Sprindale, Ark. plant.

Minnetonka-based Cargill said in a news release that the allegations are unfounded. "We find the labor department's allegations of discrimination to be disappointing, given that Cargill's employee population at Springdale is diverse and is 84 percent minority."

The Labor Department said it discovered the alleged violations during a scheduled review over laws prohibiting federal contractors from discrimination. Cargill currently holds over $550 million in meat supply contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense.

Regulators found that Cargill's "subjectively and inconsistently applied" hiring standards led to women being less likely to be employed in entry-level production jobs, and Asian and Pacific job seekers to be unfairly favored over other groups.

"This is an unfortunate case in which thousands of qualified workers were denied the opportunity to compete fairly for jobs in a tough economy," Patricia Shiu, director of the labor department's contract compliance office, said in a news release.

But Cargill said in a release that the period involved - August 2005 to July 2008 - was a time "when jobs were plentiful in Springdale," and the jobless rate there was below what the government considers full employment.

"This situation feels a lot like government-imposed hiring based on historical standards, not reality," Cargill said.

The labor department complaint was filed with the department's Office of Administrative Law Judges. The department said it filed suit after failing to get Cargill to pay back wages and interest to the alleged discrimination victims, and extend job offers to at least 167 of them.

The agency is seeking to cancel Cargill's existing government contracts and prohibit it from future business - until it resolves the violations.

Cargill is one of the largest U.S. meat packers, with a big presence in turkey, beef and pork. Its Springdale turkey plant, which employs over 1,200, was also at the center of one of the largest meat recalls in U.S. history earlier this year.

The recall of 36 million pounds of ground turkey was linked to a nationwide outbreak of salmonella that sickened 136 and led to the death of one elderly California woman.

The plant's ground turkey production line has been shut down for more than two months as Cargill and federal safety regulators work to figure out what went wrong. Other production continues as usual.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by TexasBlue on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:08 pm

What hiring standards? Affirmative action requirements are highly discriminatory. White males? Go to the back of the bus!

Department of labor needs to be dissolved and their outdated policies need to go away.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:31 am

Not so. Women comprise the majority of the single head of household in this nation and need jobs as badly as men need them. They are just as much in need as a single man or a guy who left his family.

Affirmative Action keeps this discrimination from happening.

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Re: Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 5:13 am

Cookie Parker wrote:Not so. Women comprise the majority of the single head of household in this nation and need jobs as badly as men need them. They are just as much in need as a single man or a guy who left his family.

Affirmative Action keeps this discrimination from happening.

AA is reverse discrimination, imo.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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Re: Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by Guest on Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:34 pm

TexasBlue wrote:
Cookie Parker wrote:Not so. Women comprise the majority of the single head of household in this nation and need jobs as badly as men need them. They are just as much in need as a single man or a guy who left his family.

Affirmative Action keeps this discrimination from happening.

AA is reverse discrimination, imo.

sayeth the white male. AA only asks for a percentage of hirees to be minorities.

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Re: Cargill accused of bias in hiring at Arkansas turkey plant

Post by TexasBlue on Wed Nov 30, 2011 4:18 pm

I prefer hiring based on experience. If the candidate is a person of color and has more experience, then so be it.


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“I’m not in favor of fairness. I’m in favor of freedom, and freedom is not fairness. Fairness means somebody has to decide what’s fair.” - Milton Friedman
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