The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) obtained a federal court order to restrict an Alabama-based automotive parts manufacturer for Kia and Hyundai from employing children, many as young as 13, according to a recent DOL press release.
The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama ruled in a September consent judgment that the company, SL Alabama LLC, a subsidiary of South Korean SL Corporation, violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and engaged in “oppressive” labor practices, the release stated. The ruling follows an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division, and will effectively block SL Alabama LLC from shipping any products within 30 days of violations.
One month after a Reuters investigation revealed that Hyundai supplier SMART Alabama LLC was using children as young as 12 to manufacture car parts in an Alabama factory, a second Alabama supplier of the automotive giant was found to be employing children in a complaint filed by the Department of Labor.
The next time you’re in traffic, stop and look at the cars surrounding you. If on a city street, also look at the cars passing you as they go in the opposite direction. In a sense it’s fascinating.
Doing this the other day on the Key Bridge (it connects Washington, D.C. and Arlington, VA), the variety of cars was really something. Mostly foreign cars. Lots of Mercedes and BMWs, numerous Toyota, Honda and Nissan vehicles, and somewhat surprisingly, countless Kia and Hyundai models. About the surprise expressed, it’s remarkable how quickly the twin Korean brands have built enormous market share in the world’s greatest car market.