Here is what he had to say on condition of anonymity:
The Jewish community of Postville is going through rough times since the immigration raid that took place at Agriprocessors a half a year ago.
Since then, company owner the Rubashkin family has filed for chapter 11 protection, but in the meantime the Jewish shochtim and mashgichim are not getting their salaries, which is causing major financial stress for them all.
The meat department in the factory has ceased production, and the chicken section is producing at a very slow pace. This is going to affect the kosher meat market throughout the US, and the consumer will begin to see the effects in stores shelves and kosher restaurants.
The allegations and lawsuits against the factory and especially those against R’ Sholom Rubashkin, only add to the uncertainties and worries of the Jewish families in Postville about their jobs and their families’ financial future.
Shochtim and Mashgichim were not paid Friday, and it was not the first time time that they have gone without paychecks. The rabbis were asked for patience and promised payments as soon as possible.
There is no doubt that if the situation will continue in this way, the factory will have to close down and the Jewish families will have to leave town and look for new jobs elsewhere. There will be hundreds unemployed. Without Agriprocessors, there is nothing left in Postville for a chassidishe Jewish family. No suitable jobs. 100% of the Jewish families in town are there for the meat factory or the mosdos.
The mayor and residents are worried, and know that if the factory will close the city will go back 20 years, the economy and real estate market will collapse. People will not be able to pay their mortgages, and will lose their homes. Businesses that are dependent on the Jewish residents and the factory will suffer tremendously.
Despite the financial distress of the families in Postville, the schools and community mosdos are still functioning, such as the girls’ school, Cheder and Yeshivah. Every Shabbos there is a big farbrengen and everyone is trying to keep up their spirits through their worries, with strong faith that it’s all for the best and it will soon be over.
The Rubashkin brothers and father, R’ Aaron Rubashkin, who were responsible for the livelihood of hundreds of families in Postville are working day and night to find a solution and bring the company back on its feet.