At Mar-Jac Poultry using hazardous child labor is “the norm”

At Mar-Jac Poultry using hazardous child labor is “the norm”

At Mar-Jac Poultry using hazardous child labor is “the norm”

On May 1st, the Department of Labor searched Mar-Jac Poultry, a meat processing plant in Alabama, and found that the company had been illegally employing children… again. This discovery comes less than a year after Duvan Peréz, a 16-year-old boy, was killed at the company’s facility in Mississippi. This tragic incident made Peréz the second employee who died while working at the facility in just two years at the time. With disregard for the past, the company still put at least six more children at risk of the same fate.

Children pay the price of lessons never learned

CNN reports that the DOL investigators “discovered oppressive child labor at [Mar-Jac’s] poultry processing facility, namely children working on the kill floor deboning poultry and cutting carcasses,” adding that “the children had been working at the facility for months.”

Peréz was fatally injured doing work of the exact hazardous nature that these children were discovered doing when he was sucked into a deboning machine.

Cleaning or using machinery in slaughterhouses and meat packaging plants is banned as a type of work children can do under federal labor laws. Yet, the DOL stated in their filed complaint:

“Several minors under the age of 18 in the particularly hazardous occupations of working on the kill floor hanging poultry along fast-moving machine lines, deboning poultry, and cutting poultry carcasses,” adding that “products from this facility through the end of the month are tainted by child labor making them hot goods under the Fair Labor Standards Act.”

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