Success: Hyundai Commits to Stop Child Labor in its Factories

Target: Jaehoon Chang, Hyundai Chief Executive Officer

Goal: Appreciate the steps taken by Hyundai to prohibit child labor from its supply chain.

An investigative report found out that Hyundai allegedly employs underage workers at its production units. The revelation resulted in a massive outcry of condemnation from all quarters. As a result, a group of 33 Democratic lawmakers sent a strongly-worded letter to the Department of Labor (DOL), demanding swift and heavy punishments against all involved. The ForceChange community took urgent notice of this severe injustice and sent this petition to the Korean auto manufacturer. As a result of the combined efforts, the company has promptly taken necessary steps to prevent child labor at its supply chain. Hyundai has announced its decision to divest from SMART Alabama LLC where the children were reportedly working. The company holds a 72% ownership stake with SMART. In addition, Hyundai has set up a clear roadmap to ensure that such serious labor code violations never happen again. Hyundai CEO Jaehoon Chang stated that it is a “zero-tolerance issue” and the company will ensure that “non-compliance never happens again.”

Two suppliers, SMART and SL Alabama, have already terminated their contacts with third-party staffing agencies. The staffers are accused of using false documentation and illegitimate screening to continue such violations. SL Alabama has agreed to comply with an internal audit committee to ensure such things never happen going forward. CEO Chang agreed that despite the backdrop of false documentation, the ultimate responsibility is with Hyundai to meet the highest standards of responsible corporate citizenship.

The company plans to roll out a training protocol for its suppliers in compliance with the DOL. The follow-up intends to address all key corporate issues, including acknowledgment of child labor laws, verification of employee screening systems, and disassociating with third-party staffing agencies. Furthermore, audits conducted across 29 of its direct supplier locations indicate “full compliance with underage labor laws.”

The auto corp is yet to release the details of its divesture from SMART Alabama LLC. Nevertheless, the strong steps taken ensure that such incidents never find their inroads into the supply chain. Sign the petition below to acknowledge the action taken by Hyundai.


Dear CEO Chang,

Hyundai has been accused of labor code violations in the US by employing underage workers. The company owns a 72 % ownership stake in SMART Alabama LLC, the production unit using ‘oppressive child labor,’ according to the United States Department of Labor.

We acknowledge the steps taken by Hyundai Motor Co to ensure full compliance with state and federal laws. Your company has decided to divest from SMART and has agreed to follow up with the DOL to enforce a training program for suppliers. Furthermore, we appreciate that SMART has decided to cut ties with third-party staffing agencies allegedly using false documentation procedures.

We recommend your “zero-tolerance” stance on this matter to ensure “non-compliance never happens again.”


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Anonyme

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