Sanitation company allegedly used child labor to clean slaughterhouses

A Wisconsin industrial cleaning company is accused of illegally using child workers, including one who was 13, to clean meat processing plants in Minnesota and Nebraska.

According to a civil complaint filed by the U.S. Labor Department in the U.S. District Court of Nebraska, Packers Sanitation Services Inc. employed more than 30 children, ages 13 to 17, as cleaners in JBS USA meatpacking plants in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Worthington, Minnesota, and at Turkey Valley Farms in Marshall, Minnesota. Federal labor law prohibits the use of workers under age 18 on killing floors or on mechanized processing equipment because the work is a federally designated “hazardous occupation.”

The company is accused of violating federal labor laws by employing at least one worker under the age of 14 to clean a slaughtering and meatpacking plant, employing children under age 15 to work overnight shifts during the school year and employing workers under age 18 to work on the killing floor and to clean power-driven machines.

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