LULAC Alert To Consumers: US Meatpackers Require Our Oversight To Prevent The Use Of Child Labor And Other Abuses
Nation's Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Demands Meeting with Tyson Foods and JBS Over Reports Children 13 to 17-Years-Old Worked In Graveyard Cleaning Shifts
Washington, DC – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) announced it calls for an immediate meeting with TYSON Foods and JBS after the recent charges filed in federal district court involving their facilities. Packers Sanitation Solutions, Inc. (PSSI), based in Kieler, Wisconsin, is accused of using "oppressive child labor" as young as 13 years old to clean plants owned by some of the nation's largest meatpacking companies. Investigators want a court order to stop these alleged violations at as many as 400 meatpacking plants across the United States. Lulac supports those actions.
"LULAC is putting TYSON Foods and JBS on notice that we are outraged by these reports of child labor being secretly used in the dark of night to clean the blood and bone off their floors and machines," said Domingo Garcia, LULAC national president. "This is one of the worst workplace child abuse cases LULAC has ever witnessed, and we are demanding immediate termination of contracts with any employer using child labor. LULAC was at the forefront of inspecting meatpacking plants at the height of the pandemic when our workers were dying because of unsafe working conditions. It is disappointing and unacceptable that these companies continue allowing illegal practices, this time using our children," said Garcia.
Officials report they uncovered evidence of children who speak mostly Spanish being worked from 11 PM to 7 AM to clean animal killing floors as many as seven days a week. The complaint alleges that some children suffered caustic burns from corrosive chemicals and other injuries while working to clean the industrial equipment. Also, investigators say the violations extend to hundreds of meatpacking sites across the United States, including plants owned by JBS USA, the world's largest protein producer. Further, the complaint alleges the children were intimidated into remaining silent about their suffering.
"LULAC will fan out nationwide, notifying meatpacking companies that we're coming to conduct plant inspections again and have face-to-face meetings with their CEOs," said Garcia. "No child should be forced to work in inhumane and dangerous conditions out of a family's necessity. We call upon our elected officials to swiftly ban minors from working at any food processing facility in our country. Shame on meatpacking plants for doing business with companies that place their profits over a child's safety. We urge the federal investigators to work with LULAC to investigate and take all actions necessary to stop these practices," said Garcia.
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation's largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC's programs, services, and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting the critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/