Cheap labor. The cheapest.
Underage workers, in some cases as young as 12, have recently worked at a metal stamping plant operated by SMART Alabama LLC, these people said. SMART, listed by Hyundai in corporate filings as a majority-owned unit, supplies parts for some of the most popular cars and SUVs built by the automaker in Montgomery, its flagship U.S. assembly plant.
Reuters learned of underage workers at the Hyundai-owned supplier following the brief disappearance in February of a Guatemalan migrant child from her family’s home in Alabama.
The girl, who turns 14 this month, and her two brothers, aged 12 and 15, all worked at the plant earlier this year and weren’t going to school, according to people familiar with their employment. Their father, Pedro Tzi, confirmed these people’s account in an interview with Reuters.
Police in the Tzi family’s adopted hometown of Enterprise also told Reuters that the girl and her siblings had worked at SMART
Why do you think the illegal aliens are coming here in droves?
Child labor follows illegal migration as reliably as night follows day. And with a tight labor market and rising salaries, you just slip some kids from south of the border in.
In Enterprise, home to a bustling poultry industry, Reuters earlier this year chronicled how a Guatemalan minor, who migrated to the United States alone, found work at a local chicken processing plant
These aren’t isolated incidents.
Once you start hiring “undocumented” people, it becomes very easy to overlook minor matters like age. The whole thing is a shadow economy bolstered by official sanctuary jurisdictions, the “discretionary” prosecutions of the Obama and Biden administrations, and the fact that nearly as many Republicans are willing to keep this economy going on at least some level.
Because it’s useful and it’s profitable.
The labor market has exciting new ways to outsource everything, passing the buck so that no one is really responsible.
Many of the minors at the plant were hired through recruitment agencies, according to current and former SMART workers and local labor recruiters.
Although staffing firms help fill industrial jobs nationwide, they have often been criticized by labor advocates because they enable large employers to outsource responsibility for checking the eligibility of employees to work.
One former worker at SMART, an adult migrant who left for another auto industry job last year, said there were around 50 underage workers between the different plant shifts, adding that he knew some of them personally. Another former adult worker at SMART, a U.S. citizen who also left the plant last year, said she worked alongside about a dozen minors on her shift.
Sure we could have a functioning economy and legal employees, but it’s much easier to virtue signal and pretend that open borders that ends with child labor is a noble social justice cause.
Another former employee, Tabatha Moultry, 39, worked on SMART’s assembly line for several years through 2019. Moultry said the plant had high turnover and increasingly relied on migrant workers to keep up with intense production demands. She said she remembered working with one migrant girl who “looked 11 or 12 years old.”
The girl would come to work with her mother, Moultry said. When Moultry asked her real age, the girl said she was 13. “She was way too young to be working in that plant, or any plant,” Moultry said.
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