Perdue, Tyson Foods under Department of Labor scrutiny for alleged child welfare violations

Perdue, Tyson Foods under Department of Labor scrutiny for alleged child welfare violations

Two companies - Perdue Farms and Tyson Foods - are under scrutiny from the Department of Labor.

Some of their purported nighttime cleaning work involved use of caustic chemicals, the New York Times Magazine quotes them as saying. In the Perdue location, they also had to deal with discarded chicken parts, blood and other substances as part of their duties.

The New York Times said its report, which described analleged incident in which a then-14-year-old Guatemalan child worker received severe injuries, was ahead of the DOL's investigation.

Tyson's spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation, saying it had not been made aware of any probe.

The New York Times also reported that Vincit Group's QSI provided cleaning services to Tyson in Virginia, while Fayette Industrial did so for Perdue. They are also being looked into by DOL authorities, the FBI said in a statement.

A source said that Fayette Industrial had not been informed of any DOL investigation so far. In the event that it does, the company plans to cooperate, the source said.

QSI will also collaborate with any industry investigation regarding this issue, the company said in a statement.

The company added another measure about a month ago, the company said. The firms included third-party auditing by an immigration-focused law firm, more HR and field staff training, and facial recognition technology to prevent unauthorized clock-ins, according to Fayette Industrial.

Tyson Foods said it could process a total of 47 million chickens per week in fiscal 2022. Perdue is also a major poultry company.

The DOL said illegal employment of children had jumped by 69% compared to five years ago. In fiscal 2022, more than 800 companies committed violations of child labor laws, the agency said.