Hyundai Supplier Accused of Child Labor Violations

    Photo: Bloomberg [via Al Jazeera]

    The Facts

    • The US Dept. of Labor has reportedly accused Hyundai supplier, SL Alabama LLC, of employing underage workers, according to filings submitted on Mon. to the US District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.

    • SL Alabama, which manufactures headlights and rear mirrors for Hyundai and Kia, has been accused of "employing oppressive child labor" in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    The Hyundai affiliate's settlement shows the company's willingness to protect children from any future mistakes like this. Since the hiring process was outsourced to a third party, the company was unaware of these practices and SL has fully committed to reforms to ensure minors never work for them again.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Companies like Hyundai have clearly taken advantage of the current supply chain and labor shortage issues in the US to hire children, and particularly targeted vulnerable migrant children. Not only should every American be outraged by this story, but those who knew of these crimes should be brought to justice.

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