Missouri Senator Josh Hawley used part of his speech at last week’s Missouri Farm Bureau annual meeting to lash out at a major meatpacker’s decision to close two poultry processing plants in the state, impacting 2200 jobs. Hawley criticized Tyson Foods’ closure of their facilities in Dexter and Noel, and called the Northwest Arkansas-based company out by name during his remarks:
The Senator’s accusation followed The New York Times’ report in September that the Department of Labor had opened an investigation into Tyson and another meatpacker. Hawley then recounted a recent visit with Tyson leadership.
When asked by Regional Radio for a response to Hawley’s comments, a Tyson company spokesperson said via e-mail:
Our company has a longstanding policy against employing anyone under the age of 18 in our facilities and we require all suppliers to abide by our supplier code of conduct, which specifies no child labor is used.
“We enforce policy compliance with all third-party service providers and conduct in-person monitoring of our facilities to ensure there are no violations. Tyson contracts clearly state non-compliance with our policy is grounds for termination.