Milwaukee Journal Sentine
Some meatpacking workers and advocates say meat processing company Strauss Brands fired many of its employees in Franklin after some complained about the lack of COVID-19 safety measures.
Voces de la Frontera, which filed a workplace safety complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration in late April, says the company fired 30 employees who had worked for Strauss for 12 to 20 years.
The group says the company used old letters from the Social Security Administration as a reason to fire the workers, though the federal agency explicitly says the letters should not be used to take action against employees.
Some workers said the company told them they weren’t authorized to work in the U.S.
Christine Neumann-Ortiz, executive director of Voces de la Frontera, questioned the timing of the terminations.
“Why did they use these letters when there’s an active investigation of OSHA, which is in the process of interviewing workers?” she said.
Strauss Brands hasn't responded to requests for an interview.
Most fired workers were told they were terminated because the Social Security Administration had informed Strauss that their Social Security numbers and names didn’t match the agency's records, according to the accounts of six workers and the immigration advocacy group.