The Department of Labor (DOL) has opened investigations into Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms after a New York Times Magazine article alleged that the companies used contractors which employed migrant children workers for dangerous jobs, the NYT reported.
The companies employed children for the overnight shift to clean the slaughterhouse, and used acid which reportedly hurt employees’ lungs and caused them to cough, the news outlet reported on Sept. 18. The DOL opened investigations into Tyson, Perdue and several companies who work with the corporations to determine if the corporations’ plants are illegally employing children to work in dangerous positions, the NYT reported. (RELATED: Biden Admin ‘Didn’t Want To Hear’ Repeated Warnings Of Skyrocketing Migrant Child Labor)
“We are long past the day when brands can say that they don’t know that they have child labor in their supply chain,” Seema Nanda, the DOL’s chief legal officer, told the NYT. “The intention is to make sure that those higher up in the supply chain are holding their subcontractors and staffing agencies accountable.”
One sad thing about the rise of child labor in slaughterhouses is that if companies paid just a little better—$2.85 more an hour—studies show adults would do this dangerous work.
Instead, they remain among the worst paid jobs in the US, with more and more migrant kids on shift. pic.twitter.com/fKu8LNeyap
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) September 19, 2023
Tyson and Perdue disseminated information about the journalist investigating the alleged child labor at the various plants and fired those who had spoken to her, according to the outlet’s report. The children who come to the U.S. alone are more likely to be granted entry than adults and to work to send money to support their families in their home countries, the NYT reported.
“We take the legal employment and safety of each individual working in our facilities very seriously and have strict, longstanding policies in place for Perdue associates to prevent minors from working hazardous jobs in violation of the law,” Perdue told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “We hold our suppliers to the same high standards, and we were appalled by these recent allegations. We are conducting a comprehensive third-party audit of child labor prevention and protection procedures including a compliance audit of contractors. We will take appropriate actions based on the findings of that investigation. We have not been notified, but plan to cooperate fully with any government inquiry on this matter.”
This is the second time in less than a year that the DOL has investigated meat packing corporations for child labor law violations, according to the DOL’s website. Several companies, including Tyson, each had to pay hefty fines after the DOL discovered in February that the Packers Sanitation Services, a cleaning company hired by both companies at some of their plants, had employed at least 102 children to work overnight shifts at 13 meat processing plants across the nation.
Tyson and the DOL did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s requests for comment.
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