Hillsboro Argus
And, for the record, my business, we employ upwards of 400 people. Every one of them has documentation. What happens is periodically one will come back that is, we can't verify.
My workers are unionized. And we work with the union to give them curative time to cure it. And if they can't, they are terminated. That happens a few times a year but we follow the law, and because we follow the law, we have never been fined, because we work hand-in-glove with the federal authorities on this.
My workers are paid a union wage. They have health care. They, in '86 when it became illegal to employ foreign workers, we have there isn't a plant in Oregon, a business in Oregon that's under more scrutiny than us.
I have no incentive to in any way take advantage of this, but I also have an incentive not to violate people's civil rights and be sued if I mismanage this. Actually I don't manage it at all. I'm not allowed to manage my company. I don't hold any position in it. My wife's the Chairman of the Board but I have professional people that run the business and I'm not involved in it. But as a stockholder my wife and I tell them go the extra mile to get this right guys because we'll, you know, there's no malice of forethought in this on our part.
But my final thought is, in this day of economic uncertainty, is it a bad thing to employee 400 people at family-wage jobs? Don't we need more of that, not less of that?
Why should I be criminal, um, punished for what Americans need more of? I could have sold my business a long time ago, but I'm afraid of what will happen to that business if Del Monte buys it, closes it, what does that mean for growers, what does that mean for suppliers, what does that mean for employees, what does that mean for the tax base of Umatilla County?
We're the largest, one of the largest if not the largest taxpayer in Umatilla County. Is that a bad thing? This is, but, you know, I'm demonized for doing what America needs more of?