Swift's output recovers after raid

IOWA - Swift & Co. says new applicants have come quickly to fill the jobs left by those detained in the Dec. 12 immigration raid.
calendar icon 13 February 2007
clock icon 2 minute read

The company's pork processing plants are back to normal production levels, company officials say. Their beef plants are at 70 percent of capacity but should rebound by May after the company finishes training new hires, Swift spokesman Sean McHugh said.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement action at six Swift plants nationwide, including the plant in Marshalltown, resulted in a loss of 1,282 employees, about 10 percent of the company's work force.

"One side effect ... of all the widespread media coverage was the world figured out we were hiring," he said. "(With) our own efforts for advertising, it has worked quite well for applications."

In Marshalltown, the company increased advertising. It did not raise wages, McHugh said. The starting wage is $11.50 an hour. It was raised about $1.65 in the fall, before the raids.

Swift has not changed its hiring practices since the raids. The company continues to participate in a government pilot program to help weed out illegal immigrants by checking for discrepancies in Social Security numbers, McHugh said. Human resource workers receive special training in detecting fraudulent documents.

Source: DesMoinesRegister.com

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