The federal government is investigating Nestle over its treatment of its employees in forced labor camps, a company spokesperson said Monday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said last week that a Nestle warehouse in Texas held more than 3,000 people, many of them Nepalese laborers who were forced to work for the company for weeks or months without pay.
The investigation was launched by the U.S. Department of Labor after a worker at the company’s factory in San Antonio, Texas, was charged with trafficking people for the purpose of slavery.
Nestle, which is based in Belgium, said Monday that the company is cooperating fully with the government investigation.NESTLE’S FIVE-THREE RULENESTLES FIVE THREE RULES: The company is required to provide workers with a copy of its labor contract and to provide a list of all the employees who have worked for the Company, including their dates of birth and other information that can be used to identify and locate them.
Nederland, the Dutch-owned Dutch company that owns Nestle, said it is cooperating with the investigation.
“The investigation is an ongoing one, and we have to be aware that any information provided by the parties may be used in a legal process,” the company said in a statement.
Nostalgia for the 1950sThe government probe is focused on a warehouse in San Antone, Texas where workers were employed in labor camps for more than a decade, according to a government report.
The government found that workers were held in one of three facilities run by Nestle: a former labor camp in San Juan Capistrano, New Mexico, and a second facility in El Paso, Texas.
The former San Juan camp held about 4,000 workers and the second facility held about 1,000.
A Nestle spokesperson said that the workers were “not considered victims of trafficking, but rather workers who were coerced into working for the cause of Nestle.”
The company said it took corrective action to address the labor issues.
“Nestles management and Nestle’s labor department agreed to take steps to address labor issues within the facility and other facilities operated by Nestles in the U., including ensuring proper labor standards and training and monitoring,” the spokesperson said.
The company said that it is reviewing its compliance with the new federal rules, and that it plans to respond to the government’s allegations.