Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., speaks in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 28, 2023.(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., sent a letter Tuesday to Tyson Foods CEO Donnie King sounding the alarm on allegations that the company "has actively participated in dangerous and illegal child labor practices."
A recent New York Times report detailed allegations of several distressing cases where migrant children, many of whom arrived at the southern border as unaccompanied minors, suffered severe injuries or died while working illegally in chicken processing plants.
The letter also alleged Tyson is outsourcing unlawful child labor from other subcontractors to "avoid legal liability."
"Any company that employs, facilitates, encourages, or excuses child labor must be held to account," Hawley wrote. "In light of the facts, you owe the American people an explanation as to Tyson’s child-labor practices."
By the end of the week, Hawley expects Tyson to respond to a series of questions, including inquiries of past violations, cooperation with authorities, policy changes in light of recent reports and how complaints are managed.
Additionally, Hawley seeks commitments from Tyson to protect whistleblowers, terminate contracts with fined companies and undergo an independent audit to ensure their production chain is free from migrant child labor.
Students hold a poster to mark the World Day Against Child Labor in Kathmandu, Nepal, on June 12, 2022.(Sulav Shrestha/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Hawley’s letter builds off a bill he introduced in May — the Corporate Responsibility for Child Labor Elimination Act — that would outlaw child labor from large corporations’ operations in the U.S.
In March, Tyson Foods and George’s Inc., along with 11 other companies, were discovered using Packer Sanitation Services, which employed minors ages 13-17 for overnight shifts in various plants across the U.S. The U.S. Department of Labor found 102 children in hazardous jobs, and Tyson Foods' Green Forest plant had six underage workers, resulting in fines of $90,828 against Packer Sanitation.
Fox News Digital reached out to Tyson Foods but did not hear back by time of publication.