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Behind the scenes of the fight for the protection of animals and workers and the preservation of the environment - my experiences as a Tyson slaughterhouse hanger/killer turned activist. Exposing the evils of factory farming, by Virgil Butler. If you have arrived here looking for the Tyson stories, view the early archives. Some of them are now featured on the sidebar for easy searching.
Saturday, November 15, 2003
over in Gainesville, GA on Fieldale Poultry
by the Hall County Sheriff's Office on a
joint investigation with United States
Immigration and Customs Enforcement to
search their personnel records after they
made an arrest of an illegal that used to
work there. I guess he must have ratted
out the company for helping to get him
set up with work or something because they
said that they do expect to make arrests.
That reminded me of one of the raids that
went on down at Tyson while I worked there.
We were all in there doing our job. I was
working day shift then. This was back in
about 1992 or so when this one happened.
I was in the hanging cage. We were all just
standing there hanging chickens when all of
a sudden the door popped open and there
stood 8 guys dressed like USDA inspectors.
They just came right on walking in the hanging
cage, which was real unusual. They didn't
usually just walk in and walk right up to the
line like that.
That was when I noticed a semi-automatic
pistol handle sticking out from under one of
their smocks. About the same time I noticed
that the other white-smocked men had bulges
at their waists and under their left arms that
were consistent with handguns. My first
thought was, "My God, the USDA's gone postal!"
The line came to a sudden stop about the time
that they snatched the guy hanging next to me
on the line and announced that they were an INS
warrant team. Of course, there was the typical,
"This is a raid! Stay where you are!" announced
with a bullhorn after they identified themselves
and snatched who they came after.
They got that guy next to me and another one
a little further down the line (both Hispanics),
cuffed them, and took them away. Then, we
were allowed to go out on the runway, where
we were watched by 6 or 8 more uniformed
officers for about 2 hours. They told us that
we could mill around and wouldn't be arrested,
they just wanted us segregated so that they
could arrest who they were after. They were
really nice to us. I struck up a pretty lively
conversation with one of them. He had a
laughing fit when I told him of my first thought
when I saw the guns on the "inspectors."
He was pretty low-ranking and couldn't tell me
much, but he did say that they did have quite
a few targets there, and he was complaining
about raiding chicken plants. He said that he
didn't understand how anybody could stand to
work in such a place.
All in all they loaded up a whole busload of
illegals in that raid. It put a real cramp in
Tyson's style for quite awhile there at Grannis.
We ran at 50% capacity for about 3 weeks.
You know the funny thing is, a lot of the people
that got hauled off were back in about 3 months
or so. But, all of them had different names.
And nobody seemed to find anything suspicious
about that except a few of us lineworkers.
Hmmm... Isn't that weird.....