Reporting agency DOL said SL Alabama LLC employed underage workers at its Alexander City, Alabama plant. From Reuters:
Since last November, SL Alabama has “repeatedly violated” labor regulations by “using oppressed child labor” and “minors under the age of 16,” the DOL said in a statement. The complaint is 6 pages long.
In a statement to Reuters, SL Alabama admitted the children had worked at a plant that made headlights, taillights and other parts for companies including Hyundai and its Kia subsidiary. SL said the minors were employed by an outside labor recruitment company, which has not been identified.
When news of another factory in JulyHyundai gave declared to Jalopnik, “Hyundai does not tolerate illegal employment practices in any Hyundai organization. We have policies and procedures that require compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. “
The the latest is from a real factory not owned by Hyundai, unlike the SMART factory.
The discovery of child labor at Hyundai’s second supplier signals a growing scrutiny of labor practices in the U.S. automaker’s supply chain. In an emailed statement late Monday, Hyundai said “it does not tolerate illegal recruitment practices within any Hyundai organization”.
“We have policies and procedures that require compliance with all local, state and federal laws,” it added.
Along with the lawsuit against SL Alabama, a proposed settlement between the government and the parts manufacturer was filed in court. Under the terms of that settlement, SL Alabama agreed to stop hiring minors, punish any manager who knew about the use of underage employees, and suspend any relationship with any employer that offers child labor.
The agreement between attorneys for SL Alabama and the Department of Labor hasn’t been approved by a judge.
“We fully cooperated with the investigation by the Department of Labor, and we are in the process of complementing our verification system so that minors will not work going forward,” SL said in a statement to Reuters.