BusinessMeat cleaning company fined $1.5 million for hiring more than 100 children

    Meat cleaning company fined $1.5 million for hiring more than 100 children

    A company that provides the nation’s largest cleaning services for food processing plants was fined $1.5 million. for hiring more than 100 children to do dangerous work in 13 meatpacking houses in the United States.

    The sanctioned company was identified as Packers Sanitation Services Inc., or PSSI, which employs about 17,000 people working at more than 700 locations across the country.

    Last summer, Labor Department officials searched three meatpacking plants owned by JBS USA and Turkey Valley Farms in Nebraska and Minnesota, and found 31 workers under the age of 13.

    They also searched PSSI’s headquarters in Kieler, Wisconsin and other plants in eight states, all finding underage workers.

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    The department went on to review the records of 55 locations where PSSI provided cleaning services and found even more violations involving children ages 13 to 17.

    In the past three years, children were found to be using caustic cleaning chemicals and cleaning “dangerous electrical equipment.” such as skull cutters and bone sawssaid Jessica Looman, principal deputy administrator for the department’s Wage and Hour Division.

    At least three of those minors, including a 13-year-old, suffered burns from chemicals used for cleaning at the JBS plant in Grand Island, Nebraska, authorities said.

    Some of the children worked night shifts and they were also enrolled in schools during the day.

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    The fine that PSSI paid on Thursday, $15,138 dollars for each minoris the maximum allowed by federal law.

    But researchers believe that the company actually employed many more than the 102 children who verified.

    “Do not get wrong, this is not a clerical erroror actions of dishonest people or bad managers,” Looman said.

    “These findings represent a systemic failure throughout the PSSI organization to ensure that children did not work in violation of the law.

    The company’s vice president of marketing, Gina Swenson, said in a statement that the company has “a zero-tolerance policy against the employment of anyone under the age of 18.”

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    Following the sanction, the company conducted audits and hired an outside law firm to help strengthen its policies.

    PSSI has also made additional training for hiring managersincluding how to spot identity theft, he said.

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    Source: La Opinion

    This post is posted by Awutar staff members. Awutar is a global multimedia website. Our Email: [email protected]


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