The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union officials report that they have filed a class-action lawsuit Wednesday against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement department related to the Swift and Co. immigration raids last December at six plants. The point behind the lawsuit is to stop federal officials from conducting workplace raids.
UFCW filed in the suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas. It calls for an immediate injunction against what UFCW is citing as excessive and illegal work-site raids. Some of the workers had previously come forward, saying their rights were violated, and now the union will seek damages on their behalf.
An ICE spokesman says that, while agency's attorney's have not yet seen the suit, agency officials believe it to be baseless. The ICE plans to fight the case.
He points out that the Swift raids were "conducted lawfully and in full accordance with ICE policies and procedures." Each person encountered was treated with respect and has been given full access to due process under the law."
The UFCW represents 1.3 million workers nationwide, including 250,000 in the packing and food-processing industries.