February 17, 2006

Reporters get the show at Triumph Missouri plant

The media were there in St. Joseph, MO to cover the long anticipated visit by East Moline officials and QC business figures in order to assess what the proposed plant in East Moline would be like. They'd braved icy roads and made the long drive to the location.

But East Moline officials and business figures felt they had to fly down, and the weather had kept them grounded. So the media figures found only hogs to cover, and of course, were spoon-fed corporate information.

Jenny Lee and the Dispatch/Argus file a report and provide several photos of the operation.

One interesting passage:
On the plant's "kill" floor, drains carry the blood from the carcasses to a pre-treatment sewage facility, where chemicals are added to make the waste safe enough to enter the city sewage system, Mr. Hoffman said.
Wow. How bad does a substance have to be before you need to clean it up before it's fit for a sewer system??

The piece notes that, according to company sources, the St. Joseph plant currently employs 850, and notes,
They're now able to slaughter over 5,000 hogs a day, Mr. Hoffman said. Eventually, Triumph wants to slaughter 16,000 hogs a day with two shifts. Mr. Hoffman said he expects the number of employees to reach 1,000 in a few weeks.
These figures and predictions are nearly identical to those the company made for the East Moline plant.

The issue of foreign workers was obliquely touched on as well.
In the process area, workers of different ethnic backgrounds lined up body parts for the cutting machines. Mr. Hoffman said about 75 to 80 percent of employees are from the St. Joseph area. Triumph recruited some management from Iowa and other states.

My inner Beavis and Butthead also took note of the job title of the worker interviewed in the article (as well as in the QC Times piece), a former Quad City resident who now holds the position of "general foreman for boning operations", a title which would no doubt impress and amuse adolescent boys (and men who would never admit it) everywhere.

16 Comments:

At 2/17/2006 10:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This seems like better news than I anticipated. I find it ironic that one man left the QC for a job in St. Joseph. He looked American also.

 
At 2/17/2006 10:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The plant looked a lot better than I expected. The neighbors seemd to be OK with it and one working man left the QC to work in St Joseph pig plant. He looked legal also. I am now for the plant. Great news reporting.

 
At 2/17/2006 11:49 AM, Anonymous puzzler said...

It would have been helpful if the newspapers would have listed the pre-plant unemployment rate and the average wage rate for comparable jobs in St. Joseph and the surrounding county. I'm willing to bet that the average wage rate in the St. Joseph area is far below the average wage rate in the Quad Cities, and the pre-plant unemplyment rate was much higher. I still don't believe you will find 1000 people within 60 miles of the Quad Cities willing to work in industrial conditions for $8.25 or $8.75 an hour. I think the company will have a hard time finding 500 locals willing to work in less than desirable conditions for $8.75, and that means importing workers who, with a wage of $8.75 per hour, will be making $18,200 a year.

 
At 2/17/2006 11:54 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Anon 10:01

What exactly does an American look like?

 
At 2/17/2006 12:52 PM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Dope, I guess it depends on whether you ask Archie Bunker or someone more reality based....

 
At 2/17/2006 4:49 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

I just wonder what will happen to all the people opposed to this if it really turns out to be ok. Would most of you admit it? Or will it never be good enough?

 
At 2/17/2006 5:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Admit what? That we had serious concerns about the plant? OK, I confess.

And what do you mean by "ok"? Totally pollution free, no illegals working there ever, no gouging the taxpayers with millions of subsidies which will never be returned, no taking money from school funds and other areas because of the tax dodges, no increased burden on social services and police, etc.?

 
At 2/17/2006 5:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the plant isn't what they talk it up to be, smells, attracts large numbers of illegals, taxes our municipal services and the millions given to the company in infrastructure improvements and tax dodges, resulting in less money for schools, etc. will supporters "admit it"?

I just think the whole concept is silly.

 
At 2/17/2006 7:13 PM, Blogger QuadCityImages said...

And what do you mean by "ok"? Totally pollution free, no illegals working there ever, no gouging the taxpayers with millions of subsidies which will never be returned, no taking money from school funds and other areas because of the tax dodges, no increased burden on social services and police, etc.?

Yeah, that's pretty much what I was meant by ok, although maybe not quite to that extreme.

As far as the less money for schools thing, I don't get that point. No one is living at the factory, and whatever house or apartment employees end up living in should pay property taxes to support the schools. TIF for residential is a bad thing because it takes money away for the schools while adding new students. TIF for industry is arguably less bad.

 
At 2/17/2006 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Doppy...
As you asked me Anon 10:01

What exactly does an American look like?

17/2/06 11:54
Well as Anon 17/2/06 17:20 said...
no illegals working there ever.

I hink that pretty much sums it up for the rednecks of the QC who started off calling them Mexicans then went to the more universal and politically correct term illegals.

 
At 2/17/2006 10:51 PM, Blogger highxlr8r said...

I'd like to again point out that a TIF doesn't necessarily take any money away from schools, since if the land isn't developed in the first place, the school district gets $0 anyway.

If the area had any real chance to be developed without the community offering a TIF, then I would agree that creates a valid reason to think twice about it. But, the truth seems to be that the area likely will not draw in development without the offer, and so the school district loses nothing.

 
At 2/18/2006 12:12 PM, Anonymous puzzler said...

highxlr8r..

That may be, but if East Moline believes that the pork plant will be a catalyst for other development than why is the TIF twice as large as the pork plant property? Why TIF an area that's going to develop anyway, if you accept the city's argument? How can the city argue on one hand, that the pork plant is giong to spur other development, and on the other hand, argue that the area surrounding the plant won't develop without TIF? TIF gives cities a method of financing that doesn't require any creativity. Just take the tax money away from other taxing bodies and don't consider other funding options. IF I were the other taxing bodies, I'd be asking for a bigger slice of the TIF pie, especially considering the size of the TIF.

 
At 2/19/2006 5:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of great stuff here. The question that hasn't been answered is where Mikey Boland is on this issue. Is he for the Pig Slaughtering facility or is he not. This is a big issue to be sitting on the fence.

 
At 2/20/2006 12:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rep. Mike Boland is for the Pig Processing plant. He knows that 1000 jobs is a big deal. He doesn't have to tell his view on every topic though.

 
At 2/20/2006 10:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am relieved to hear that Boland is for the hog processing plant. He should be a bigger voice to help his district to come together on this issue. It is nice to have the whole team working on this one. It is important for us working people.

 
At 2/21/2006 6:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry but when has Boland gone public with any statement on the hog plant and what position he is taking on the subject? I'd like a reference to a public statement or press release or link please so that I know this is not just someone saying they know what he thinks......

 

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