USA: Dept. of Labor sues for restraining order against fishing processors over alleged intimidation of migrant workers during live investigation
Date Reported: 19 Sep 2023
Location: United States of America
CompaniesBattle Fish North - Employer , Magnolia Processing - Parent Company
Total individuals affected: Number unknownMigrant & immigrant workers: ( Number unknown - Location unknown , Fishing , Gender not reported )
IssuesFreedom of Expression , Intimidation , Access to Non-Judicial Remedy , Work & Conditions
Response sought: No
Action taken: The complaint included a request to prevent the companies interfering in the investigation.
Source type: Government publication
The department alleges that a Tunica, Mississippi-based fish farm and processing plant and their owners and operators retaliated against and intimidated workers in violation of federal law during an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division. The agency’s investigation is part of a larger collaborative effort to investigate working conditions for migrant workers.
The department alleges that during the agency’s investigation, the employers attempted to hide evidence, provide false information and interrupt communications with witnesses. Investigators also found that the employers – Battle Fish North and Magnolia Processing Inc. and members of the family that owns both companies – told workers they did not have to speak with the investigators and threatened to retaliate against them if they did or if they did not lie to the investigators.
Filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Mississippi, the complaint is accompanied by a motion asking the court to issue a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to prevent the employers and the owners and operators from interfering with a federal investigation into the employers’ pay practices.