13 year olds it has been suggested….
Over a 100 at one location…..
Tyson Foods and Perdue Farms, which together produce a third of the poultry sold in the United States, are under federal investigation into whether they relied on migrant children to clean slaughterhouses, some of the most dangerous work in the country.
The Labor Department opened the inquiries after an article in The New York Times Magazine, published this past week, found migrant children working overnight shifts for contractors in the companies’ plants on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. Children as young as 13 were using acid and pressure hoses to scour blood, grease and feathers from industrial machines.
Meat processing is among the nation’s most hazardous industries, and federal law bans minors from working in slaughterhouses because of the high risk of injury. The Times article focused on one child, Marcos Cux, whose arm was mangled in a conveyor belt last year as he sanitized a deboning area in the Perdue plant. He was in the eighth grade.
The investigations are a rare instance of two major consumer brands facing federal scrutiny over child labor. Many meat-processing companies outsource cleaning to sanitation firms, which technically employ the workers. After another Labor Department investigation recently found more than 100 childrencleaning plants around the country, one firm, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., paid a $1.5 million fine. But the national corporations that benefited from the children’s work, including Tyson, did not come under investigation…