The call from congressional lawmakers comes amid a surge in child labor violations—and as Republican state lawmakers seek to roll back over a century of child labor protections.
By Brett Wilkins. Published 2-112023 by Common Dreams
Hyundai’s Montgomery, Alabama manufacturing plant—some of whose suppliers illegally employed children as young as 12 years old—is seen in this aerial photograph. (Photo: Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama/Facebook)
A group of 33 Democratic lawmakers on Friday implored the U.S. Labor Department “to take immediate action to rid Hyundai’s supply chain of child labor and hold those responsible to the fullest extent of the law” after a Reuters investigation revealed that dozens of kids as young as 12 years old—most of them Central American migrants—were working in Southeastern factories supplying the Korean auto giant.
Last July, Reuters began investigating allegations of children working on the factory floor at Hyundai subsidiary SMART Alabama LLC’s metal stamping plant in Luverne after a 13-year-old Guatemalan girl who worked there temporarily went missing. Reporters Joshua Schneyer, Mica Rosenberg, and Kristina Cooke reported that children, the youngest of whom were 12 years old, worked at the plant, which supplies parts for vehicles manufactured at Hyundai’s flagship U.S. factory in Montgomery. Continue reading