COVID Forcing Companies to Move Faster Toward Automation

What does that mean for the masses of refugees and other immigrants waiting to find a spot on the chicken or pork processing line in America?

Frankly, it spells doom and our great minds in Washington had better be working on a plan for managing the millions admitted to the US each year as cheap expendable labor.

“As companies have recovered their revenues and reopened their supply chains, they have increasingly invested not on rehiring the workforce but on automation and on reducing their dependence on manpower.”

(Leslie Joseph at Foresters)

The story is from Forbes and it addresses one of the many changes coming to America in the wake of the Chinese virus ‘crisis.’

Coronavirus Is Forcing Companies To Speed Up Automation, For Better And For Worse

Coronavirus will force companies to speed up their plans to replace jobs with automation, according to a report published by analyst company Forrester. In its report, Forrester notes that many companies are set to invest more in automation than in rehiring in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, corroborating earlier reports that had claimed many businesses were already planning to accelerate their automation strategies.

The news comes as businesses ponder how they can resume working amid lockdowns and social distancing. And while many will take the news as confirmation of their worst automation-themed fears, Forrester’s report urges companies who haven’t already done so to ramp up their automation plans. Indeed, Forrester holds that automation may become key to surviving a coronavirus recession, at least as far as businesses are concerned.

Let’s hope some in Washington are thinking ahead, but don’t hold your breath!

Update:  After I had posted this story, I spotted this one at The New Yorker entitled:

An A.F.L.-C.I.O. Adviser Considers the Future of American Workers

It is all about Presidential politics, race and voting, but a key word is missing when Michael Podhorzer, the former political director of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., who now serves as a senior adviser to the union’s president, Richard Trumka, discusses the future of the American worker in the wake of COVID.

The missing word is AUTOMATION!

Refugee Advocates Join Forces with Major National Wildlife Protection Group


Presumably because global warming (they say) is producing more refugees, or, because the Left has complete control of old line traditional conservation groups, or is it simply because the CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) is married to the CEO of the National Wildlife Federation.

The power couple in 2016

These Leftists never miss a trick!

When I saw this story with a small mention of a joint video between the Hindu CEO of LIRS and the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) it got my attention.

Back in the day, the NWF, as the largest of the politically active national groups working to supposedly protect the environment, was about as far right as you could get on the Enviros spectrum of groups working in Washington.  I know, I was there.

(The Nature Conservancy was the largest financially, but NWF had a greater grassroots network of activists that were often hunters and fishermen concerned with true conservation of wildlife and who could be counted on to call their Congressmen and Senators.)

Apparently like all of the groups, starting with the Sierra Club, NWF is now thoroughly immersed in the promotion of Leftwing political goals. See what Influence Watch has to say:

The National Wildlife Federation is one of the nation’s largest and highest-profile environmentalist organizations. In recent years, along with its associated NWF Action Fund advocacy organization, it has transitioned from being a conservation organization representing the interests of hunters and outdoor recreation enthusiasts into a left-leaning pressure group focused on global warming advocacy and promoting left-wing social causes.

Like refugees!

You’ve got the picture.

Now here is the story about Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, the former Michelle Obama staffer and former gubernatorial candidate in MD, now CEO of LIRS, arguing that Trump is hurting national security with his refugee and immigration restrictions that have been tightened since the Chinese Virus ‘crisis’ arrived.

It is the usual stretch….

From The National Interest:

How Blocking Immigration Hurts U.S. National Security

President Donald Trump’s new executive order barring broad categories of immigrants from entering the country may bring real harm to U.S. national security.

“The pandemic has highlighted for us that national security also involves the assets that we can harness and put against an invisible enemy,” said Krish O’Mara Vignarajah during an interview with Ploughshares Fund podcast, Press The Button. “And that includes the health care providers, the nurses, the doctors, the aides who are serving in assisted living facilities. So many of them are made up by refugees and other immigrants.”

Vignarajah is the president and CEO of the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, one of nine resettlement agencies working with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to provide advocacy and support for immigrants and refugees. She argued that the central justification for the immigration clampdown – the Trump administration’s claim that a faltering US economy cannot absorb any more foreign workers – is based on a myth.

“Saying this order is needed to protect American workers plays into the patently flawed idea that American prosperity is a zero-sum game,” said Vignarajah. “We see consistently that immigrants are essential workers. They’re entrepreneurial, they’re tax paying, they’re job creating members of society.”

Far from being a threat to the United States in its fight against COVID-19, immigrants are providing vital national services, explained Vignarajah, particularly in a time when experts are redefining traditional notions of national security.

Funny no mention that her big ‘get’ in making a joint video with the NWF is most likely because her hubby is the CEO of the NWF.


Vignarajah is advocating for a pro-immigration united front.

Last year, her organization partnered with the Hispanic Heritage Foundation “around a campaign responding to threats of mass deportations from the administration.” [LIRS is almost completely taxpayer funded!—ed]

Vignarajah is also joining with some non-traditional allies. Just last week, she recorded a video with the National Wildlife Federation on how the climate crisis is affecting immigration. “Two thirds of the migrants that we see today are actually a result of climate displacement,” said Vignarajah. “This is only going to get worse going forward.”

More here.



Doing well by doing good!

As I have said before, tell your kids to grow up to be Leftwing/Democrat non-profit CEOs!  As head of an approximately $80 million a year organization O’Mara makes just over $350,000 a year. (See recent Form 990)

The missus makes surely as much as her predecessor Linda Hartke who left under a cloud ($376,000-$400,000 a year) heading an approximately $60-70 million a year organization that is at least 85% taxpayer funded.

Changing South Dakota One Slaughterhouse at a Time

This is just a quick update on the post I wrote, here a week ago about Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods’ role in creating a massive Chinese virus hot spot in South Dakota.

Apparently the company is blaming the workers’ community culture and the workers point a finger at the company’s management of the plant. Thanks to reader John for bringing my attention to the story.

Buzzfeed News:

Smithfield Foods Is Blaming “Living Circumstances In Certain Cultures” For One Of America’s Largest COVID-19 Clusters

Was there any way to prevent the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in South Dakota from becoming one of the country’s largest known coronavirus clusters, with more than 700 workers infected? It’s hard to know “what could have been done differently,” a Smithfield spokesperson said, given what she referred to as the plant’s “large immigrant population.”

“Living circumstances in certain cultures are different than they are with your traditional American family,” she explained.

The spokesperson and a second corporate representative pointed to an April 13 Fox News interview in which the governor of South Dakota, Kristi Noem, said that “99%” of the spread of infections “wasn’t happening inside the facility” but inside workers’ homes, “because a lot of these folks who work at this plant live in the same community, the same buildings, sometimes in the same apartments.”

But internal company communications and interviews with nearly a dozen workers and their relatives point to a series of management missteps and half measures that contributed significantly to the spread of the virus. A BuzzFeed News investigation has uncovered new information showing the company did little to inform or protect employees during the critical two weeks after the first case at the plant surfaced. Then, with confirmed cases rising quickly, Smithfield introduced new safety protocols but applied them unevenly across the plant’s departments, leaving hundreds of workers exposed.

In late March, as word of the first confirmed case leaked, workers began seeing flyers on notice boards and doors. “If you are at work and feeling sick,” the flyers stated, “tell your Supervisor and go directly home.” But the directive was posted only in English, three employees said, even though many of the plant’s 3,700 workers have limited comprehension of English. Safety notices at the plant are usually translated into as many as five languages.

It is a long story, if you are interested in the gory details, continue here.

Someone could write a very useful book, a new version of The Jungle, by focusing on one plant like Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, SD.

Giant global corporations are changing the American heartland with the continued pressure on government to import (for them!) cheap foreign labor.

An author could hit all the key elements of greed, politicians and fake ‘religious’ charities as enablers, the suffering of American workers, the changing culture of middle America and the federal government’s complicity in the whole mess.

The opening chapter would detail the spread of the Chinese virus through the plant and the impact it is having on Sioux Falls.

Meat Giant JBS Closes Greeley, CO Plant Due to Chinese Virus Outbreak

That was last week’s news in the Denver Post.  The Brazilian-owned plant was forced to close as 277 employees tested positive for the Chinese virus.

According to the Post, the closure was necessary earlier this month to avoid overwhelming local health care services.

State and local health officials in a Friday letter warned JBS CEO Andre Nogueira of the virus’ rapid spread among employees, particularly those who work the first shift at the plant, and said continued exponential spread would “quickly overwhelm” medical resources in Greeley and the surrounding communities.

The JBS slaughter house at Greeley, Colorado has played a large role over the years on the pages of RRW.

JBS US headquarters are in Greeley. This is a photo I took when I traveled through the Midwest and West in 2016 mostly to have a look at a few meatpacking towns.

In fact, it is through the controversy surrounding refugee (mostly Somali) workers there in 2008 that I became interested in the concept of foreign-owned meatpackers (I call BIG MEAT) encouraging the admission of cheap legal immigrant labor—refugees—which then changes the character of American towns.

Not to mention the fact that US taxpayers subsidize those low wage workers.

I had devoted an entire category I labeled Greeley, Swift, Somali controversy.  See it here.  Posts go back to 2008!

But problems for the beef giant are bigger than a few facility closings…..

We can thank the COVID-19 situation for helping to expose the globalist fat cats that own these plants—like the Brazilian brothers featured in the New York Post on Saturday.  Hat tip: Judy.

And, don’t miss my post about Chinese-owned Smithfield Foods and how the leftwing media (and refugee contractors!) have for years supported the movement of migrants to the US to work these kinds of jobs.

Corrupt billionaire brothers’ meat plants are riddled with coronavirus

The world’s largest meat-processing giant was forced to shut down some of its US plants as more than 100 of its workers tested positive for COVID-19 last week, but the pandemic may be the least of its problems.

The Brazilian billionaire brothers — one of whom owned a Manhattan penthouse — controlling the massive meat producer JBS, which slaughters 13 million animals a day and has revenues of $50 billion a year, have been linked to high-level government corruption that has rocked the South American country.

Joesley (left) and Wesley Batista are the controlling shareholders of two prominent U.S. companies, JBS USA and Pilgrim’s Pride.

The Batistas’ company is also being probed in America now for bribery, and has been accused of price-gouging during the COVID-19 crisis. The New York attorney general, meanwhile, has been asked to look at the company as “an imminent threat” before it goes public on Wall Street.


After admitting to bribing nearly 2,000 elected officials in Brazil in order to secure government funding to fuel their company’s US expansion a few years ago, Joesley and Wesley Batista were slapped with more than $3.2 billion in fines in 2017, the highest in the country’s history.

Now JBS’ parent company, J&F Investimentos, is reportedly the subject of US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission investigations for alleged bribery here. Last year, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and Bob Menendez (D-NJ) urged the federal government to investigate the beef conglomerate and its alleged dealings with the Venezuelan government after the company developed business ties with the administration of President Nicolas Maduro. The US has levied sanctions against the Venezuelan leader.

Last week, US legislators, including Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), renewed calls for the federal government to investigate alleged price-fixing by JBS and other big beef producers during the pandemic. According to Grassley, big meat processors are using the pandemic to “gouge” US cattle producers.


Last week, JBS, which sells beef and chicken under its Pilgrim’s Pride and Swift labels, said it was closing a packing plant in Greeley, Colorado, where four workers died from the coronavirus, including longtime plant employee Saul Sanchez, 78. Sanchez, a father of six, had worked for more than 30 years at the plant. A daughter, Beatriz Rangel, said Sanchez was willing to work at the plant even during the outbreak because he trusted his employer.

There is much more here.

We will be watching to see if the President follows through on his tweet last night, here.

LOL! Is he listening to my man Jeff?

Why Do Reporters on the Left Support BIG MEAT Jobs for Immigrants?

The dark underbelly of the giant globalist meatpacking industry in the US is being exposed as large numbers of slaughterhouse workers are creating US hotspots for the spread of the Chinese virus.

Neil Munro writing at Breitbart takes a stab at finding out why the mainstream media, populated by Leftwing ideologues, have for years been on the side of the meat industry (I dubbed it BIG MEAT a number of years ago) as are the refugee resettlement contractors (six of nine are ‘religious’ charities)*** which have been acting as head hunters for globally owned corporations for decades. (See Bill Clinton brings refugee laborers to Iowa linked below.)

Wouldn’t you think the Lefties would be on the side of the struggling worker rather than acting like they are doing migrants and refugees a giant favor by admitting them to America and placing them in dreadful working conditions (now being exposed in the COVID crisis)?

There are many reasons they have turned a blind eye, but I think Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies provides one answer.

Here is Munro at Breitbart:

NYT Says Immigrants ‘Mourn’ Loss of Deadly, Low-Wage Meatpacking Jobs

Immigrants are “mourning” the loss of low-wage jobs in a Chinese-owned, crowded slaughterhouse run by Smithfield Foods in Sioux Falls, SD, according to an article in the New York Times.

Smithfield Foods, Inc., is a meat-processing company based in Smithfield, Virginia, in the United States, and a wholly-owned subsidiary of WH Group of China.

The main character in the story is an immigrant from Sudan who has worked “11-hour days at Smithfield, six times a week for nearly seven years,” says the April 15 article:


The Chinese-owned hog disassembly plant has been shut down indefinitely after 600 workers caught the Chinese coronavirus while working alongside each other.

“Why would lefties be supporting this?” asked Mark Krikorian, the director of the Center for Immigration Studies. “The immigrants are working for low wages in terrible jobs!” The answer is that progressives prefer to pose as the defenders of migrants against claimed threats from ordinary Americans, he said, not from the real economic exploitation by employers.


The article ignores the American workers at the Sioux Falls mill and instead lauds migrants and refugees, most of whom are assigned jobs at the slaughterhouse by the government-funded refugee settlement groups that bring them into the United States as refugees.


Establishment journalists are now eager to downplay the painful impact of cheap migrant labor on Americans, Corcoran said. “The reporters are basically working for these globalist companies, for Brazil’s JBS [USA Holdings] and for China’s Smithfield Foods [in Sioux Falls]. They are carrying the water because they want more immigration. They are willing to overlook these workplace conditions, and that Americans would do these jobs if they paid enough — as they did at one time.”

Worshiping the god of diversity!

Who cares what the working conditions are when the Left is busy changing America by changing the people!

S**** the working conditions, we get diversity!

The reporters’ underlying message is that the migrants’ pain and labor are worth trading to get more diversity, said Krikorian. “These holier-than-thou-types [are] saying ‘We are doing such a good thing by letting them in the country, when it is, in fact, horrible work, but it is all so good in the end because we get diversity.’”

There is much more here.

If you bother to read the NYT story Munro dissects, although not explicitly stated, there is an underlying message that these poor migrants are slaving away to provide our hams and bacon in Trump’s mean America.

See my BIG MEAT archive by clicking here.  I had already been writing about meatpackers within the first year of writing RRW and their refugee labor appetites when I came across this news in 2008 about how Bill Clinton first came up with the idea of supplying his meatpacking buddies with Bosnian refugee laborers—in Iowa!

And, on the issue of health, maybe one day, it won’t be COVID we are talking about, but some of the other diseases we don’t screen for as migrants enter the US—I can dream!


*** For new readers these (below) are the nine federally-funded refugee contractors that operate as a huge conveyor belt monopolizing all refugee placement in America.  Some have received direct funding from meat giants.

And, they do not limit their advocacy toward only legal immigration programs, but are heavily involved in supporting the lawlessness at our borders.

The question isn’t as much about refugees per se, but about who is running federal immigration policy now and into the future?  

I continue to argue that these nine contractors are the heart of America’s Open Borders movement and thus there can never be long-lasting reform of US immigration policy when these nine un-elected phony non-profits are paid by the taxpayers to work as community organizers pushing an open borders agenda.