Readers Respond

Monday, October 2, 2006

Letter to the Pilot

A father fired

To the Editor:

I am not sure what I need to bring to your attention but I am sure that the people of the surrounding communities around Storm Lake, lowa and the rest of those who work hard for a living would like to know what is happening with the big guys... I am referring to Tyson Foods. It seems that they think they are unstoppable and therefore can do whatever they can to their employees. They have a reputation of luring families with little to no education to come and work in their industry. Once they are hired, the abuse becomes apparent.

My parents were among the families who decided to uproot our family to move to Storm Lake, in order to give us a better opportunity about 20 years ago. My parents do not have a high school education and being a minority, they were willing to settle for anything that would provide for the family. About 3 years ago, my mother was wrongfully terminated without any prior "write-ups" or reprimands. We let it go because we thought it was useless to seek lawsuit action. However, my father was 5 months shy of his 20 year anniversary, which would allow him to collect a retirement from the company, was wrongfully terminated also. Again, he was never "written-up" or reprimanded for the actions that lead to this termination. They said that his behavior was an ongoing problem; however ... he never knew of such case until they decided to fire him.

My dad was a very hard worker and gave this company his soul 40 - 48 hours a week. They fired him because they did not want him to reach his 20 year mark so that he can benefit from working there after all those long hard... and I mean hard years because everyone know that employees' hands are never the same after working there due to capo tunnel, joints locking up, and any other problems that could arise due to holding a knife for 8 hours a day.

Through the entire time of his employment, he received raises on a yearly basis which was very minimal.

However, new employees start off at a pay that paid more then what he was making. He never made a stink about it because he was there to work and make a living.

I am writing to you to ask for your help to bring this attention to the hard working people out there. My parents knew very little English and when 95% of their foreman, supervisors, and GM are Caucasian, then there is bound to be some sort of discrimination to their employees. Where is the assertive action here? People fear losing their job at this place because it happens to be the only employment in that area other then another turkey packaging company. People are afraid to speak out so therefore allowing this to go on and continue on, and on, and on...and so forth.

Please, please... help me out and print this up to let others know that they need to speak up and stand strong together.

- Samone Leone, via internet