As reported by Reuters, 50 migrant children were discovered working at a metal stamping plant operated by SMART Alabama LLC. The article says SMART is "listed by Hyundai in corporate filings as a majority-owned unit. They supply various parts for popular cars/SUV's assented at Hyundai's flagship U.S. plant in Montgomery, Alabama.
According to the families of three underage workers, children as young as 12 were discovered working in the facility, in addition to eight current and former employees. Over the weekend, Hyundai said they don't "tolerate" underaged employment. It said,
"We have policies and procedures in place that require compliance with all local, state and federal laws."
The outlet points out the company didn't answer specific questions from them. SMART made a similar statement and denied any wrongdoing. In addition, they rely on temporary work agencies to fill job positions. They said they deny "any allegation that it knowingly employed anyone who is ineligible for employment." They also said the company "expects" the temporary work agencies to follow the law while recruiting workers.
Investigative reporter, Mica Rosenberg, was initially raised questions about illegal employment earlier this year when a 13-year-old girl from Guatemala got a job at a chicken processing plant in Ala., which is hazardous. According to him, she had gone missing, and an amber alert was for her. It was later discovered she worked at the plant. Rosenberg says he got calls about more illegal employment after he published that story.
Rosenberg also said they alerted local police, who referred the matter to the state attorney general's office, but they didn't want to comment. After his story went out, the Alabama state department of labor said they would investigate.
We'll keep you updated as the investigation continues.