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Dept. of Labor Sues Pilgrim's Pride, Tuscaloosa VA "Stand Down"

Pilgrim's Pride
John Bonzo
Statue of Pilgrim's Pride founder Bo Pilgrim at distribution center in Pittsburg, Texas.

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed multiple lawsuits against chicken processor Pilgrim’s Pride.

According to an report, the agency is accusing the company of discriminatory hiring practices in Alabama and North Carolina.

A complaint filed last month by the Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Compliance Programs accuses Pilgrim’s Pride of systematically discriminating against African-American, Caucasian and female job applicants at its poultry plant in Athens.

The agency says some black, white and female job applicants were rejected for employment at the Athens plant even though they had comparable education and experience to male Hispanic applicants.

The Department of Labor says it plans to use every action available by law including canceling federal contracts to ensure workers are treated fairly. From 2007 to 2011, Pilgrim’s Pride received more than $36 million in contracts with federal agencies.

The company’s processing plant in Athens closed in 2009.

Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center will hold a “Stand Down” for homeless veterans tomorrow. A-P-R's Stan Ingold has more on the services that will be offered.

The "Stand Down" event will run from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., at the Hargrove Memorial United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa.

The purpose of the Stand Down is to provide services and needed care to homeless veterans in the community. Such services include medical and mental health screenings, haircuts, food assistance and lunch on site.

Something new for Stand Down this year will be a legal clinic with attorney’s and representatives from the Tuscaloosa Municipal Court and U-A Law clinic, who will address legal issues veterans may face.

The original Stand Down for homeless veterans was modeled after the Stand Down concept used during the Vietnam War to provide a safe retreat for units returning from combat operations.

Despite a convincing 27-14 win at home against Arkansas, The Alabama Crimson Tide football team fell two spots to 10th in this week’s Associated Press Poll.

The Tide were down 7-3 late in the third quarter until quarterback Jake Coker found freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley for an 81-yard touchdown pass.

Coach Nick Saban says the momentum swung in his team’s favor from that point on.

“I thought the guys came out and responded really well in the second half. The big play from Jake (Coker) to Calvin (Ridley) was a big momentum changer in the game, and I think from that time on we dominated pretty well until they hit the scramble pass at the end.”

The Razorbacks were held to just 220 yards of total offense. Alabama hits the road to take on #9 Texas A&M this Saturday at 2:30 p.m.

A federal judge has halted the state of Alabama’s plan to use a large dose of a sedative to execute five death row inmates.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order last week denying the state's requests to dismiss lawsuits from five inmates who have challenged Alabama's three-drug lethal injection procedure. The inmates were asked to present alternative means of execution, and among other things suggested single doses of midazolam in amended complaints.

The Alabama Attorney General's office said in a motion that an alternative option to dismissing the lawsuits would be allowing the Department of Corrections to use midazolam to execute the inmates.

Judge Watkins denied the state's motion and ordered the inmates' lawsuits to be combined. A status conference for the combined case is scheduled for Nov. 4.

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