Hyundai Subsidiary Employed 13-Year-Old Girl to Work 60-Hour Weeks in Alabama Factory

The recent revelation of underage workers being exploited in an Alabama factory has shocked many. The U.S. Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against the foreign automaker, Hyundai, for profiting from the use of oppressive child labor in its supply chain. The factory in Luverne, Alabama, owned by Smart Alabama, LLC, a subsidiary of Hyundai, employed underage workers who were recruited by another company.

Hyundai’s President, Jay Chang, issued an immediate apology and expressed zero tolerance for such practices. The automaker has since sold off Smart Alabama and claimed it was misled by the subsidiary. However, with the Department of Labor now seeking to hold Hyundai accountable for the profits made during the exploitation of children, the automaker has changed its stance.

In its latest statement, Hyundai acknowledged that child labor is not consistent with its values and took immediate remedial actions upon discovering the violations. The company emphasized that it has cooperated with the investigation and intends to vigorously defend against the lawsuit. Despite Hyundai’s attempts to distance itself from the issue, the fact remains that the violations occurred at a factory it technically owned, making it ultimately responsible.

While it may be challenging to hold every automaker accountable for every violation committed by its suppliers, Hyundai’s direct ownership of the factory where child labor was employed cannot be overlooked. The company must take full responsibility for ensuring ethical practices throughout its supply chain to prevent such incidents from happening again.

In conclusion, the exploitation of underage workers in the automotive industry is a serious issue that requires immediate attention and action. Companies like Hyundai must uphold the highest ethical standards to protect vulnerable workers and uphold their corporate values. The lawsuit filed by the Department of Labor serves as a reminder that accountability and transparency are essential in addressing labor rights violations and promoting a fair and just working environment.

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