Allegations lead state to put hold on incentives for Sioux City plant

SIOUX CITY — State officials have frozen tax incentives for a Sioux City pork processing plant due to an investigation of alleged mistreatment of foreigners recruited to work at the plant.

Seaboard Triumph Foods was awarded $16.5 million in tax credits and sales tax breaks for the Sioux City facility which opened in 2017.

“We’ve put a hold on any of the state incentive payments that have been awarded to the company,” Reynolds said.

Micronesia’s government asked the U.S. government to investigate after dozens of people who moved from Micronesia to take jobs in Sioux City accused recruiters of misleading them about the work. The workers also have complained they’ve been verbally and physically harassed inside the plant.

“We are going to hold and not allocate any of the incentives until the investigation is finalized and we understand if that took place and how they are reacting to the allegations that they are accused of,” Reynolds said.

Seaboard Triumph released a written statement to The Sioux City Journal, saying “many of the allegations are untrue.” Company officials indicated they are working with local, state and federal authorities as well as the union that represents workers to address any labor violations at the plant.

A document posted online by Micronesia’s government indicates workers are accusing Seaboard Triumph of issuing false Social Security numbers and seizing their passports. According to The Sioux City Journal, Seaboard Triumph is conducting its own investigation of the recruiting firm it has used in Micronesia.