Detroit, MI – UAW commends the U.S. Department of Labor for its swift investigation and fining of SL Alabama LLC, a supplier of parts to Hyundai and Kia. The DOL found that the company illegally employed children as young as thirteen and was fined $30,076 to address their child labor violations. The Alabama Department of Labor also fined SL Alabama and JK USA, a temporary employment agency, $17,800 each for violating state laws that forbid underage children in manufacturing jobs. The children were hired through JK USA, a temporary employment agency which did not provide any required documentation.
“This distressing story is not the first of its kind,” says UAW President Ray Curry. “Reuters reported this summer that another Hyundai supplier – SMART Alabama – employed children as young as 12 to work in their stamping plant. Exploitation of children is shameful in any circumstance, but it is especially distressing to see it take place at a supplier to a major automotive company such as Hyundai.”
“You would think that violations of child labor laws were a relic of our distant past,” adds UAW Vice President Cindy Estrada. “The action of the U.S. Department of Labor and Alabama Department of Labor should serve as a reminder that we must all be vigilant, even in an established and profitable industry such as auto manufacturing. Without a voice at work, nonunion workers and their communities must look to investigative reporters and government regulators to expose this heinous behavior.”
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