The Department of Labor (DOL) is investigating two major companies for allegedly employing migrant children for hazardous work.
“Child Labor in Their Supply Chain”
According to The Times’ report dated September 18, both Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms were implicated in employing children for overnight shifts to clean slaughterhouses.
They were exposed to harmful acids, leading to lung problems and persistent coughing among these young workers.
The DOL has initiated investigations not only into Tyson and Perdue but also into several other firms affiliated with these corporations, aiming to ascertain whether these plants have been illicitly employing children in perilous positions.
Seema Nanda, the DOL’s Chief Legal Officer, emphasized the critical need for accountability throughout the supply chain, stating, “We are long past the day when brands can say that they don’t know that they have child labor in their supply chain.”
The DOL’s focus is on ensuring that higher-ups in the supply chain take responsibility for the actions of subcontractors and staffing agencies.
The New York Times report also alleged that both Tyson and Perdue went to great lengths to identify and target the journalist investigating child labor allegations at their various facilities, subsequently firing individuals who cooperated with her inquiries.
The report showed that unaccompanied children arriving in the United States are more likely to be granted entry compared to adults, as they often work to send money back to support their families in their countries of origin.
Perdue responded to the allegations by asserting their commitment to the lawful employment and safety of individuals working in their facilities.
They stated that they have robust, long-standing policies to prevent minors from engaging in hazardous roles in violation of the law.
Perdue is subjecting its child labor prevention and protection procedures to a comprehensive third-party audit, including contractor compliance checks.
They also expressed their appallment at the recent allegations and declared their intention to take appropriate actions based on the investigation’s findings.
Department of Labor Issues Fines
Tyson Foods did not provide a response to The Daily Caller’s inquiries.
Remarkably, this is not the first time in less than a year that the Department of Labor has been compelled to investigate both Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms for violations of child labor laws.
In February, both companies were fined after the DOL revealed that Packers Sanitation Services, a cleaning company hired by Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms at some of their facilities, had employed at least 102 children for overnight shifts at 13 meat processing plants across the country.
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