Tuesday, May 24, 2011
And you thought the EPA was bad for job creation.
A common complaint is that the EPA is the biggest job killer in the Federal bureaucracy. So much so that EPA should really stand for Employment Prevention Agency. However, it seems that the Department of justice is also getting into the act of killing jobs.
Gov. Bob McDonnell, Virginia U.S. Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner, and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (VA-06) sent a joint letter May 19 to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder regarding the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust lawsuit challenging George’s Inc.’s acquisition of Tyson Foods Inc.’s poultry processing facilities in Harrisonburg.
George’s purchase of the Tyson’s plant March 18, rescued it from likely closure by Tyson’s and preserves nearly 500 jobs and 121 grower contracts with Shenandoah Valley farmers.
USDOJ is challenging the sale based on a reduction in competition among poultry companies, despite the fact that Tyson’s departure would have accomplished the same reduction.
The letter urges Holder and his agency to consider the impact of this lawsuit on the local workforce and to “seek a resolution that will ensure that this important facility in Harrisonburg can continue contributing jobs and revenue to the local economy.”
Agriculture is Virginia’s largest industry. The industry has an economic impact of $55 billion annually and provides more than 357,000 jobs across the Commonwealth.
The largest subsector of the state’s agricultural economy is the poultry industry, consisting primarily of poultry integrators and the farmers who make their livelihoods as contract growers for companies like Tyson Foods, George’s, the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative and others in the Valley, Southside and on the Eastern Shore.
In 2010, farm sales of Virginia chickens and turkeys accounted for more than $760 million.