Child Labor in LA

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Federal labor investigators are demanding an L.A.-area poultry company forfeit money they said it made by employing minors in dangerous jobs. At least two minors had been working in, deboning raw poultry with sharp knives at a poultry processing plant in Irwindale, the U.S. Department of Labor alleged in a lawsuit filed Saturday.

On Monday a federal judge in Los Angeles issued a temporary restraining order against the defendants and their companies, ordering them to stop using child labor, to not ship any products from facilities accused of using child labor, and to provide requested information to the labor department.A lawyer representing Chen Lu and the other defendants accused the labor department of planting an under-aged worker in the facilities. The labor department denies this.

“The defense counsel’s allegations are false. The Labor Department has previously responded to the defense counsel on this issue, but he has nevertheless chosen to press his baseless claims,” said Marc Pilotin, regional solicitor for the labor department.Investigators discovered children working at the poultry processing plant on March 20 when they served a search warrant against Chen Lu’s company, Moon Poultry, according to the lawsuit.

The labor department’s investigators “discovered that 794 boxes of processed chicken and seven 1,500-pound bins of chicken had been removed from the Irwindale facility,” court documents state.— Michael Eastwood, an enforcement director for the U.S. Labor Department When investigators visited the Irwindale plant again on March 27 they found it had shut down, according to court documents.

The labor department lawsuit asks a judge to order the defendants to give up all profits earned from child labor and pay additional civil penalties arising from labor law violations.The actions follow a December judgment against another L.A.-area poultry processing company, The Exclusive Poultry Inc. The labor department ordered its owner and associated front companies to

“In these showers, there'll be some heavier downpours and possible thunder and small hail,” Fisher said. It will be windy in the deserts — air quality officials have issued a wind dust advisory in the low desert and eastern Riverside County starting at 11 a.m. until 5 a.m. Friday due to strong winds that's expected to increase lift dust and soil, leading to poor air quality. The advisory applies to the San Gorgonio Pass area, Coachella Valley and eastern Riverside County where strong winds of up to 45 mph is expected, and gusts up to 70 mph.

 

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