SIOUX CITY -- State economic development officials have restored financial incentives to Seaboard Triumph Foods, saying an investigation has found no credible evidence the Sioux City pork plant abused or mistreated Micronesian workers.
In September, the government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) lodged a formal request for the U.S. government to investigate STF after dozens of the independent island nation's citizen reported "serious and sustained abuse," including verbal, physical and emotional harassment.
In response, the Iowa Economic Development Authority put a temporary hold on remaining portions of the $16.5 million of incentives the agency had awarded the plant.
State officials said they finished their review of the case last month.
"We have been working closely with the city and are monitoring the situation," Kanan Kappelman, an IEDA spokeswoman, said Wednesday. "We haven't received any credible evidence thus far; and the hold that has been placed on the project was lifted in early December."
"I don't think there was credible evidence when there were still so many people down there working every day," Scott said. "Certainly, they obviously must've satisfied the ambassador or whoever it was or it would still be on hold, I would guess."
The plant, which opened in the fall of 2017, employs around 2,000 workers. The city also provided financial incentives, including a $7.7 million property tax waiver for the first five years, based on a scale that will gradually reduce the exemption.