United States a company convicted of labor quotof at least

United States: a company convicted of labor "of at least 102 children" in slaughterhouses

Packers Sanitation Services paid $1.5 million in fines. Children worked with dangerous chemicals to clean tools like head splitters.

Teens cleaned meat slaughterhouses in the US at night, among other things: their employer, a subcontractor for large corporations, paid a $1.5 million fine and the Department of Labor warned of an increase in child labor cases.

“These children have been working with hazardous chemicals and cleaning meat-processing equipment, including back saws, chest saws and head splitters,” the Labor Department said in a statement released Friday.

Meat giants among the customers

Packers Sanitation Services (PSSI), based in north Wisconsin, which paid $1.5 million in civil fines, is “one of the largest providers of cleaning and food sanitation services in the country,” it said. Customers affected by these child labor cases include meat giants JBS, Cargill and Tyson Foods.

The company “employed at least 102 children, ages 13 to 17, in hazardous occupations and had them work night shifts at 13 meat processing plants in eight states,” and at least three minors were injured, the Labor Department said.

And when officials arrived at PPSI to investigate, “the adults — who recruited, hired and supervised these children — tried to derail our efforts,” Michael Lazzeri, regional director for the Chicago Department of Labor, said in a statement in the release.

“A roughly 50% increase in child labor violations”

But this case “isn’t unique. It’s at every level. So we see a lot of kids working outside of the law,” warned Jessica Looman, a Labor Department official, during a conference call.

“We’ve seen an approximately 50% increase in child labor violations since 2018,” she said.

Several states across the country plan to relax their child labor laws to help understaffed companies recruit.

“The laws passed by each state do not replace or supersede (federal laws),” Jessica Looman commented, adding that “the laws that protect children or workers (…) most will be those that an employer must comply with.” .

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