Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms, two major food packing plants in the U.S., are facing federal investigations into alleged child labor being utilized at their facilities — with a new report alleging that the companies had illegally contracted illegal alien children to work in dangerous jobs at meat packing plants.
According to a Monday report from the New York Post, a spokesperson for the Department of Labor has confirmed that the agency is investigating two Virginia-based facilities — one owned by Tyson and the other by Perdue.
However, the spokesperson noted that “no additional details can be provided as the investigations are ongoing.”
Currently, Tyson is only operating one plant in Virginia, which is located in Temperanceville — while there are six Perdue-operated facilities in the state.
The investigation was not announced until after the New York Times published an exposé last week about a 14-year-old illegal alien who reportedly had his arm mutilated by a deboning machine in Perdue’s slaughterhouse facility located in Accomack County, Virginia.
New York Times reporter Hannah Dreier noted a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, that the Perdue facility was “full of migrant kids working in violation of child labor laws.”
“The whole town heard about the accident. But even teachers and police kept it quiet,” she added, sharing a link to the exposé.
14-year-old Marcos Cux had his arm shredded at a Perdue slaughterhouse in Virginia last year.
The plant was full of migrant kids working in violation of child labor laws.
The whole town heard about the accident. But even teachers and police kept it quiet.https://t.co/gwqF3IAWdu
— Hannah Dreier (@hannahdreier) September 19, 2023
The article reveals that the Guatemalan teenager had been hired over a year ago using false documents claiming he was in his 20s, and had been working at the facility from midnight to 5 a.m.
The New York Post reported that, according to a Perdue spokesperson, the company had not yet been notified about the Department of Labor’s investigation. However, the company has since released a statement on its website addressing the allegations of child labor law violations.
“We are appalled by these recent allegations as they are not representative of who we are as a company and what we stand for,” Perdue’s statement read, in part. “All associates we hire must provide documentation to confirm compliance with hiring requirements and authorization to work in the United States. Once an associate accepts an offer, we enter this information into E-verify for employment authorization confirmation and I-9 compliance.”
“We have stringent, long-standing policies in place to ensure the safety of everyone working in our facilities, including robust measures to prevent minors from engaging in hazardous work in violation of the law,” the statement continued.
Perdue went on to note that it plans to conduct “a comprehensive third-party audit of child labor prevention and protection procedures” — adding that the company will “cooperate fully with any government inquiry on this matter.”
This news comes after Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) sent a letter to Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King demanding that he respond to the allegations presented in the New York Times exposé.
“I am alarmed by new reports that Tyson Foods has actively participated in dangerous and illegal child labor practices,” Hawley wrote. “Any company that employs, facilitates, encourages, or excuses child labor must be held to account. In light of the facts, you owe the American people an explanation as to Tyson’s child-labor practices.”
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) September 19, 2023