Hyundai said it will shed its controlling stake in an Alabama auto parts plant that was fined last year over child-labor accusations after children as young as 13 were found working for the Korean-operated supplier, Reuters said.
The South Korean automaker shared its decision in the matter with shareholders Friday in a letter. Reuters reported that the letter indicated Hyundai audited 29 of its direct suppliers in Alabama that it said gave it confidence it’s “now in full compliance with underage labor laws.”
A U.S. district court ordered SL Alabama LLC last fall to stop violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s child-labor provisions after the federal and state labor departments investigated the supplier, finding “oppressive child labor by employing minors under 16 in a manufacturing operation.”
Reuters said Hyundai’s audits of its Alabama suppliers were done by an outside law firm.
In its letter to shareholders, Hyundai said it’s implementing extensive measures that include training of parts suppliers starting in March in collaboration with the federal labor department in an effort to prevent child-labor violations.
Reuters said that one of the plants where children worked is a direct Hyundai subsidiary of which Hyundai said it’s in the process of divesting an ownership stake.