POSTVILLE — About 50 rabbis charged with supervising the kosher slaughter and processing of meat at Agriprocessors walked off the job Wednesday morning.
The rabbis reportedly took the action because of a decrease in pay since a May 12 immigration raid caused the meat processing plant to drastically reduce production.
“The rabbis were complaining that they didn’t have as much time for overtime and additional shifts,” said Menachem Lubinsky, a spokesman for Agriprocessors.
Rabbis play a crucial role at kosher meat plants like Agriprocessors because production cannot continue without their supervision.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency, a New York-based Jewish news service, reported the walk-off lasted 45 minutes.
Lubinsky acknowledged the issue of decreased pay, as well as increased time between work preformed and payment, has been brewing with rabbinical staff since the raid.
Former Agriprocessors CEO Sholom Rubashkin, who remains involved in the company, did not return a phone call requesting comment.