Hard labor at a tender age
- By Franco Ordoñez and Ames Alexander, CharlotteObserver.com, NC
More than 20 former and current workers at three House of Raeford plants – in Greenville, West Columbia, S.C., and Raeford, N.C. – told the Observer that the poultry company frequently hired underage workers.
Six of them, all supervisors, said that top managers allowed the hiring to secure cheap, compliant labor.
Because of the hazards, federal and state labor laws prohibit anyone under 18 from working on a poultry processing line.
Former supervisor Eric Lawson started work at the company's West Columbia plant last year. He said a plant official told him: “Most of (the workers) are illegal or underage. So they won't question anything.”