American Workers on the Chopping Block

By: Lisa Van Houten

As our readers may know, American Decency Association is located in Fremont, Michigan – a small, family-oriented community.  Fremont is also known as the home of Gerber Baby Food.  Those of us who grew up in Fremont know Gerber’s history and many knew the Gerber family who invested much into the community.  Actually, the former church building which American Decency bought in 2007 to become our headquarters was built by the Gerber family.

Gerber Baby Food began in 1927 by Dan and Dorothy Gerber after Mrs. Gerber started straining peas for their baby. Dan soon began straining fruits and vegetables for babies at their canning company and thus began a business that has fed millions of babies and employed thousands of Fremont residents over the years.  The population of Fremont is about 4,500 and the Gerber plant employs over 500 area citizens.  In addition, Gerber supports the local farming community that surrounds Fremont, which supplies Gerber with locally grown fruits and vegetables.  I’m sharing this history to demonstrate how devasting it would be to our area if the Gerber plant were ever to close – not only to those 500 families, but also the resulting impact on area businesses.  I remember years ago when the Gerber family did sell the company and it seemed the entire town waited on pins and needles to see if the new corporate owners would close the plant.  Thankfully, that didn’t occur.  (Gerber is now owned by Nestle.)

However, such devastation has come to Perry, Iowa, a town of just over 8,000 people – nearly 1,300 of which are employed by Tyson Foods.  Well, they were employed; Tyson recently announced the closing of the Tyson plant in Perry.  This follows the closing of Tyson plants in Virginia and Arkansas, which put over 1,600 people out of work, as well as future plant closings in Indiana and Missouri.  Yet while Tyson fires thousands of American workers, the company recently announced it hopes to hire an additional 42,000 “asylum seekers” (aka illegal immigrants). The vast majority of illegal aliens aren’t fleeing persecution; however, they know if they claim asylum it ensures their entry into the US.  Their purpose is to take advantage of the open border for economic gains, and the handouts given by the government with our tax dollars, or they’re coming for nefarious reasons.

Tyson Foods proudly states that currently 42,000 of the company’s 120,000 employees are “immigrants.”  How many of those entered the U.S. illegally is unclear, but it’s likely a pretty high percentage.  Now Garret Dolan, the head of Tyson’s social efforts division, told Bloomberg that they “would like to employ another 42,000 if we could find them.”  If they can find them?  Biden has allowed over 8 million illegals into the U.S. in the last three years.  Of course, Tyson knows it won’t have any trouble finding them; that’s why the company recently held a job fair in New York, hiring numbers of illegal aliens – which the Biden administration provides with work permits.  It’s quite a racket – Biden let’s in millions of illegals; U.S. companies get cheap labor, replacing American workers.

As the U.S. Border Patrol Union tweeted: “Tyson Foods has a decades-long record as a magnet for illegal aliens. The fact that they just fired Americans in Iowa so they could hire more illegal aliens is not surprising. It’s what they do.”  Last year, Tyson was one of several food companies that faced a Labor Department probe over allegations of child migrant labor.

Tyson will pay for temporary housing and give the illegal aliens hired in New York a relocation stipend, sending them to the Tyson plant in Humboldt, Tennessee, and perhaps other locations in the heartland. The illegals will receive $16.50 an hour with benefits, as well as temporary childcare, transportation, and optional English classes. The cherry on top:  Tyson has set aside $1.5 million to cover the costs of immigration attorneys for their new hires.

The line companies such as Tyson give is that “Americans don’t want those kind of jobs.”  I think the thousands of American workers who Tyson just put out of work would disagree with that statement.  How long before other companies follow Tyson’s lead and start laying off American workers, knowing they can be replaced with cheap labor from illegal immigrants?  Even if Tyson had a hard time finding workers, perhaps if they used the money spent on perks for illegal aliens, including the $1.5 million for immigration attorneys, to increase wages for American workers they would have an easier time filling those slots.

The inconvenient truth for the Biden administration is that the job gains President Biden often boasts of aren’t going to American workers.  Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that between July and August 2023, there was a staggering decrease of 1.2 million U.S.-born workers; yet in the same period, 688,000 foreign-born workers were added to the workforce.

Tyson’s Garret Dolan also stated this about the illegal immigrants Tyson employs: “They’ve been uprooted and what they want is stability…” They haven’t been uprooted – they chose to enter our country illegally.  In addition, American employees fired by Tyson also want stability; yet Tyson is putting the needs of illegal aliens over the needs of American workers.

As Senator J.D. Vance stated: … what this means is the eradication of the American Dream. Every time an American is replaced with an illegal immigrant, it means that an American family loses a good family-supporting wage. It means that American companies are literally replacing our own citizens with people who will work for slave wages. … That is the decimation of the American middle class via illegal immigration.

Many people are calling for a boycott of Tyson Foods for betraying American workers.  In addition to chicken, Tyson also owns the following brands: Jimmy Dean, Ball Park, Sara Lee, Barber Foods, State Fair, and other lesser-known brands.  Please consider joining the protest with your purchasing dollars.


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