Hyundai is investigating child labor violations in its U.S. supply chain and will terminate contracts with Alabama suppliers found to be in breach of child labor laws.
In July, a report from Reuters revealed that there were children working at a metal stamping plant in rural Luverne, Alabama that is controlled by Hyundai. A 12-year-old was among the children found to be working in the facility. A subsequent investigation from Alabama’s state Department of Labor at SL Alabama, another regional supplier plant, found children as young as 13 that were working.
While recently speaking with Reuters, Hyundai Motor Company global chief operating officer Jose Munoz said the company will “sever relations” with the two Alabama suppliers “as soon as possible.” He added that the automaker has ordered a broader investigation into its entire network of U.S. suppliers for potential labor law violations.
Read: Parts Of Your Hyundai Might Have Been Made By Child Laborers Here In America, Claims Report
The Reuters report from July revealed that children from Guatemala found working at the Alabama plants had been hired by recruiting or staffing firms in the local area. Hyundai says it is working to stop using third party labor suppliers and will “oversee hiring directly.”
Munoz has not yet specified exactly when it will end its relationships with the suppliers, nor has it said how long the supplier investigation will take.
SL Alabama says it has taken “aggressive steps to remedy the situation,” confirming that it terminated its relationship with the staffing firm and has taken more direct control of the hiring process. It has also hired a law firm to conduct an audit of its employment practices.
The suppliers found to have been in violation of child labor laws are among a network of dozens that supply Hyundai’s assembly plant in Montgomery, Alabama with parts. Almost half of all the cars that Hyundai sold in the U.S. last year were built in Alabama.