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Iowa Meat Plant Charged with Child Labor Violations

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By Admin on September 10, 2008 10:01 AM

A meat packing plant in Iowa has been charged with committing more than 9,000 state child labor law violations, some involving the workplace safety of employees under the age of 16, according to the Iowa Attorney General.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday against Agriprocessors Inc. of Postville, Iowa alleges that the kosher meat packing facility engaged in a number of unlawful employment practices involving 32 workers under the age of 18 -- seven of whom were under 16. A News Release from the Iowa Attorney General's Office sums up the charges as including:

"Employing a child under age 18 in a meat packing plant; employing a child under age 18 in an occupation that exposes the child to dangerous or poisonous chemicals; employing a child under age 16 who operated power machinery; employing a child under age 16 who worked during prohibited hours or more hours in a day than permitted by law; and employing a child under 16 who worked more hours in a week than permitted by law."

The Des Moines Register quotes an Agriprocessors Inc. spokesperson as stating: "All of the minors at issue lied about their age in order to gain employment at the company. At the time of hiring, all of the minors, like all job applicants, presented and signed documents stating that they were over 18."