Mar 2, 2012
Sauerkraut workers protest their canning

In a federal class action, 66 Mexican citizens with visas to work in the United States claim the world’s largest sauerkraut factory fired them when faced with the prospect that it might have to pay them higher wages.

Lead plaintiff Alejandro Jurado Jimenez sued GLK Foods and its owner and president Ryan A. Downs. GLK Foods (Great Lakes Kraut Foods), of Bear Creek, Wisc., “considers itself to be the largest sauerkraut producer in the world, and maker of America’s top selling brands of sauerkraut,” according to the complaint.

Jurado says GLK fired him and his 65 co-workers when the cannery believed it would have to increase their pay, under a U.S. Department of Labor rule on foreign guest workers.

Congress blocked the Labor Department from implementing the wage increase, but Jurado says GLK fired him and his class and replaced with a migrant work crew provided by a farm labor contractor from Florida. Courthouse News Service

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