DES MOINES, Iowa – The Iowa meatpacking plant that was the site of a large immigration raid this spring was accused Friday of 31 new and repeat safety violations, state labor officials said.
The Iowa Division of Labor Services proposed fining the Postville plant $101,000 for 21 serious violations, six repeat offenses and four non-serious violations.
The Agriprocessors plant was the site of a separate May 12 federal immigration raid that led to the arrest of nearly 400 people, making it the largest single-site raid in U.S. history.
The citations announced Friday stem from a July 8 inspection by the Division of Labor Services that alleged safety and health violations throughout the plant. Among the citations were claims of improper storage and covering of cutting equipment, improperly stored compressed gas cylinders and fixed staircases in unsafe conditions.
The 31 violations follow a combined 39 violations found in November 2007 and February 2008 inspections.
Kerry Koonce, a spokeswoman for the state labor agency, said the proposed fine is the second-largest in the past year — behind another Agriprocessors citation in March for $182,000. The state later reduced that fine to $42,750.
"It's certainly a large amount for any one sitting," Koonce said.
Earlier this month, a separate state labor investigation led to allegations that Agriprocessors, the nation's largest kosher meatpacking plant, employed dozens of underage workers. The state attorney general has not decided whether to file charges against the company
Agriprocessors has 15 days to respond to the state's latest allegations. A company spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment.