Fresh Direct in Crosshairs: Teamsters and Government Pounce, Workers Flee

Federal immigration officials notified Fresh Direct that they were launching an investigation of the company’s workers. Fresh Direct told its workers about the investigation. Dozens of the workers ran for the doors. Meanwhile, the workers had been discussing the possibility of unionizing. So now the Teamsters are accusing Fresh Direct of trying to bust the possible union by terrorizing employees about the federal investigation. (Full story in the NYT):

Any good news here?

Not much.

No matter what happens, Fresh Direct loses good workers, the workers lose (presumably) good jobs, and Fresh Direct’s costs (and, therefore, prices) go up, hurting customers.  Fresh Direct’s remaining employees presumably get a raise at some point, and maybe better benefits, but only by forcing the company to hose human beings who were willingly doing the same jobs for less.

If Fresh Direct is/was paying its document-challenged employees slave wages, fine. If Fresh Direct is/was making a piggish profit and intentionally employing only people who have no legal standing on which to complain, fine. If, however, Fresh Direct is/was simply providing employment opportunities to free-willed people who chose to take them, it’s time companies like Fresh Direct stopped getting blamed for the fact that citizens of other countries want to do jobs that Americans don’t.

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