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Hershey packer ordered to back-pay foreign student laborers

15-Nov-2012
Last updated on 15-Nov-2012 at 13:26 GMT

Exel was contracted by Hershey to pack goods at a Hershey-owned plant

Exel was contracted by Hershey to pack goods at a Hershey-owned plant

The US Labor Department has recovered back wages for overworked and underpaid student laborers from a company that packaged Hershey chocolates.

Exel has paid $213,000 in back wages to around a thousand foreign students who were employed in summer jobs at a Hershey-owned plant in Palmyra, Pennsylvania, where they repackaged candies for promotional displays.

A settlement was reached between the SHS Group (which hired the students), the Council for Educational Travel-USA, and Exel after the latter committed overtime violations and safety breaches.

Students were paid below the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, worked longer hours than permitted by law and did so in unsafe conditions.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) proposed fines for Exel totaling $283,000 in February. See HERE.

Exel, the SHS Group and the Council for Educational Travel-USA, have now agreed to pay more than $350,000 in back wages and penalties.

ConfectioneryNews.com asked Hershey in February if it would be reviewing its contract with Exel.

“We are confident that Exel will make the necessary adjustments to address the concerns expressed by OSHA,” a spokesperson said.

Exel has agreed to take a number of steps to rectify its actions. For further details see HERE

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