USDA Sends a Warning to Meat and Poultry Industry On Child Labour Violations in The U.S.! - Karma Global
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USDA Sends a Warning to Meat and Poultry Industry On Child Labour Violations in The U.S.!


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As late as April 2021, Karma Global took a very bold step of venturing into foreign shores in terms of shoving up its business prospects in countries like US, UK, UAE, Canada, Philippines and South East Asia.             

It has already made its mark in terms of providing excellent services in the areas of payroll, outsourcing, recruitment and talent acquisition, facility management services and regulatory compliances including immigration, negotiations and employment contracts in these foreign countries as well. 

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USDA Sends a Warning to Meat and Poultry Industry On Child Labour Violations in The U.S.!


Multiple violations of child labour laws: 

The USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) has sent a letter to the meat and poultry industry, warning it to police itself better after investigations revealed multiple violations of child labour law.

In the new letter, the USDA reminds vendors that “The use of illegal child labour — particularly requiring that children undertake dangerous tasks — is inexcusable.

The letter is part of a broader effort by the administration to crack down on the use of child labour. The Labour Department has reported a 69% increase since 2018 in the number of children being employed illegally in the U.S.


What is the USDA asking?

The USDA is asking companies to identify any child labour taking place in their facilities, and to increase its monitoring effort and to also sharpen its language sternly warning against the use of child labour in their contracts with other vendors.

They have also asked companies to set higher standards, including only working with vendors that have policies for reporting and addressing labour law violations.


Labour Department discovers 3800 children working illegally at 835 companies in various industries

Just last year, the Labour Department found that more than 3,800 children were working illegally at 835 companies in various industries. In the most egregious recent case, Packers Sanitation Services Inc., or PSSI, agreed earlier this year to pay a $1.5 million fine and reform its hiring practices after investigators confirmed that at least 102 children were working for the company at 13 meat processing plants nationwide.

PSSI, which is based in Wisconsin, employs about 17,000 people working at more than 700 locations, making it one of the largest food-processing-plant cleaning companies. The plants where PSSI was found to be employing minors were in Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, Tennessee and Texas.


The background for this stern action:

The call comes after an investigation found more than 100 children working overnight for a company that cleans slaughterhouses, handling dangerous equipment like skull splitters and razor-sharp bone saws.


What are the steps given in this letter of USDA?

To that end, the USDA has requested that all leaders in the food supply chain take important precautionary steps toward the following actions:

  1. Determine whether illegal child labour is being used anywhere in your supply chain.
  2. Include strong language in supplier, subcontractor, and vendor contracts to prohibit illegal child labour, including, but not limited to putting in place stronger sanctions for doing so, regular unannounced investigations of vendor activity, and more effective reporting, monitoring, or auditing where appropriate.
  3. Adopt standards for suppliers, subcontractors, and vendors that will better guard against the use of illegal child labour, including, but not limited to, hiring high-road contractors— for sanitation services and otherwise—that create procedures for workers to report labour law violations without fear of retaliation, particularly those contractors that have effective and trusted partnerships with workers, unions, and/or community organizations.


CONCLUSION:  A beautiful but strong message given by USDA: 

The food industry and USDA have a shared commitment to ensure that there is zero tolerance for illegal child labour. In recent months, it has been brought to light that there is a growing problem in the industry, and we believe that together, we can develop meaningful strategies to prevent or eliminate illegal child labour.

For USDA, this means that we will use our procurement and regulatory authorities to provide the necessary attention and increased oversight to curb this recent trend as quickly as possible.

We look forward to continued engagement with you on the necessary mechanisms for eliminating illegal child labour in your supply chains. Our colleagues at DOL stand ready to provide compliance assistance and best practices toward these ends.

Karma Global while dealing with all such issues and cases, always takes the approach to act trust-worthily and to be compliant with the laws of the land.

Karma Global encourages employees to promptly raise concerns about safety, quality, potential violations of the law, or on its various policies.

Karma Global also works to foster an environment in which employees feel safe seeking guidance, raising concerns, and identifying areas for improvement.

Karma Global also believes and appreciates that speaking up may not always be easy, and the company offers several options for raising concerns confidentially, including through managers, toll-free phone numbers, and web-based portals.

Karma Global has a policy of code of ethics in place and the HR Head is also designated as the Site Compliance and Ethics Officers to provide in-person and online support to employees who are looking for guidance or need to report a concern, and can provide additional compliance and ethics resources. Any retaliation against employees who raise a concern is not tolerated and is grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.

Our deep, country-by-country knowledge, expressed through a 250 -strong network of local offices, makes light work of the most intricate local and global reporting obligations.


Proprietary blog of Karma Global Tech Management LLC

This blog has been collated and compiled by the internal staff of Karma Global with the knowledge and expertise that they possess, besides adaptation, illustration, derivation, transformation, collection and auto generation for its monthly newsletter Issue 11 of May 2023 and in case of specific or general information or compliance updates for that matter, kindly reach out to the

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