Agriprocessors workers concerned about paychecks - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Agriprocessors workers concerned about paychecks

POSTVILLE (KWWL) -- A rough week for Agriprocessors in Postville.

Wednesday, a human resources employee pleaded guilty to helping illegal workers obtain false documents.

Also that day, the state fined the company $10 million for wage violations.

Thursday, former plant manager Sholom Rubashkin appeared in fedaral court accused of conspiring to harbor illegal immigrants and help them get fake IDs.

Now, First Bank in St. Louis has filed suit claiming Agriprocessors defaulted on a $36 million loan.

If the bank prevails, it would result in foreclosure sales of the company's assets.

It all built up to create a lot of anxiety among workers and residents on Friday - pay day at Agriprocessors.

Workers spent the afternoon waiting and wondering whether they would get paid.

Millions in fines and pending lawsuits to their employer coupleed with a delay in getting out paychecks left people on edge.

Ginger Warthen quit the plant a few weeks ago.

Her husband still works there.

"They don't put money in the bank until whenever and so right now, they don't have the funds available. They said it's tied up in litigation so we're waiting," says Warthen.

Workers were told to come back around 5pm Friday.

Many still weren't sure if they would get their checks or not.

Many said if they didn't, they wouldn't come back.

Those checks were handed out.

Still, some were skeptical they wouldn't bounce.

"We don't know yet. If we go to the bank, they can accept the check cash or money or... We don't know yet. We'll go and find out," says worker Carl Crospy.

While some made a quick dash to the bank, others walked out check in hand -confident their job will still be there

"They tell us we're coming in Sunday. We're working. I'm thinking, if we're working next week, next month or 6 months from now and they shutdown, what's going to happen to us? That's my concern," says worker Esiang Riungel.

A concern that may linger as Agriprocessors future remains in the air.

Agriprocessors wouldn't comment.

Jacobsen Staffing pulled its 450 workers from the company Thursday.

Workers told us only chicken and turkey are being produced at the plant.

They say the beef line shut down Sunday.

Online Reporter: Bob Waters

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