South Korean automaker Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS) on Friday told shareholders that it would divest its controlling stake in a major Alabama auto parts plant where Reuters last year documented children as young as 12 were working.
In a Feb. 24 letter to shareholders from Hyundai Chief Executive Jaehoon Chang, the company said recent audits at 29 of its direct suppliers across Alabama made it confident they are “now in full compliance with underage labor laws.”
The audits began last August, after Reuters first reported on the issue, and were conducted by an outside law firm that reviewed documents and did on-site inspections.
Hyundai provided a copy of the letter to Reuters.
Hyundai also told investors it was implementing extensive new corporate measures, including a training program for its parts suppliers to begin next month in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), to prevent future child labor violations. DOL did not immediately respond to a request for comment.