Answers from Agriprocessors - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Answers from Agriprocessors

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By Bob Waters

POSTVILLE (KWWL) -- Still no paychecks and no work at Agriprocessors as the Postville plant remains closed. With rumors swirling about the company's future, a spokesman is clearing the air.

Rumors and frustration have continued to boil since last Friday when Agriprocessors didn't or couldn't issue paychecks to its workers. Many of them left town, others stayed behind still waiting to go back to work. All want answers on why they haven't been paid and when they might get their checks.

"The company knows about as much as anybody else knows," said Menahem Brook, the Poultry Operations Manager at Agriprocessors. "It's not up to us, it's up to the trustee now."

The bottom line, workers haven't been paid because Agriprocessors money is tied up by a federal bankruptcy court trustee.

"As soon as we know something, we'll tell our employees, but when we don't know, we don't know," said Brook.

"We've been told wait until tomorrow," Dean Olson said. "Tomorrow comes and still no checks."

Olson is the plant electrician and a maintenance shift supervisor. He says frustration continues to mount as employees are left waiting and wondering about their checks and futures on a daily basis.

"We're feeding as many at my place as we can, giving rides to people," Olson said. "Our funds are limited also, we need checks."

"If somebody would say they were having money problems, we can't pay you for two weeks, I would be willing to work every other week just to get the company back going," said Matt Stubbs, another Maintenance Supervisor at the plant.

Stubbs and other workers have used the multi-cultural center as a gathering place, listening post and place for help.

"They can't go anywhere, they're stuck, they don't have the money, the food, or electricity," Stubbs said. "Lots of people will be on the streets in a few days."

Until now, rumors of the company's future and those paychecks change almost by the hour.

"We're not going to go out and spread rumors like everybody else does. As soon as we know something, we'll tell them," Brook said. "We're not trying to hide anything, it's in the best interest of the company when we know something, we'll tell them. When we don't know we don't know.

Pay checks could come any day. Once those pay checks come, production will resume within a few days. Agriprocessors says the earliest production could resume now is Sunday.

Online Reporter: Bob Waters

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