3 chicken plants hit in 2019 raids agree to pay back wages

3 chicken plants hit in 2019 raids agree to pay back wages
ICE and Homeland Security agents talk to workers at the Peco Foods food processing facility in Canton during the raid.

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three Mississippi chicken processing plants among those targeted in one of the largest workplace immigration raids in the U.S. in the past decade have agreed to pay back wages.

The U.S. Labor Department found they failed to pay minimum wage and overtime to their workers. The department announced on Nov. 20 that three plants have paid more than $45,000 in back wages to 129 employees.

“The Fair Labor Standards Act requires that wages are due on the regular payday for the pay period covered,” said Eric R. Lucero, U.S. Department of Labor. “A violation was cited when the employer failed to pay final paychecks to multiple workers resulting in minimum wage and overtime violations. The employer agreed to comply and has paid the back wages.”

The plants targeted in the investigation were Peco Foods in Canton, Koch Foods in Morton, and Pearl River Foods in Carthage.

Peco says some workers detained in the August 2019 raids failed to retrieve paychecks but denies violating minimum wage laws.