DeCoster fined $3.6 million for abuse of workers
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, August/September 1996:
BOSTON––U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich
announced on July 12 that DeCoster Egg Farm, of Turner,
Maine, has been fined $3.6 million for multiple alleged violations
of wage and hour standards, safety codes, housing codes,
and workers’ rights, some of them allegedly ongoing for 30
years. Related criminal charges may follow. DeCoster is
expected to appeal, having repeatedly won reductions of lesser
fines imposed by various agencies and courts.
Most of the 325 DeCoster employees, many of them
Hispanic or Vietnamese immigrants, are densely housed in
run-down trailers on site. In January 1995, the Maine Supreme
Judicial Court ruled that DeCoster violated their civil rights by
excluding visitors, including social workers and legal advisors.
DeCoster Egg Farm, with 1995 sales of $40 million,
is solely owned by lifelong Turner resident Austin J. DeCoster.