, December 12 According to NBC, the U.S. Department of Labor said on the 5th local time that a poultry processing factory in Los Angeles, USA, hired 4-year-old child laborers, let them use sharp knives to process chicken, and hid minors in closets when investigators came to question.

The head of the Ministry of Labor said that the poultry processing plant deliberately withheld the wages of workers and retaliated against employees to cover up its illegal acts. The head added that the Ministry of Labor "will continue to work at all levels of the industry to prevent workers, including children, from being exploited by employers or retailers".

Labor investigators visited the poultry processing plant several times and said in their testimony that they saw young workers, estimated to be between 14 and 17 years old, but that they refused to speak to investigators, the report said. The Ministry of Labor then learned that some of the workers were as young as 14 years old.

In court deposition, investigators said other employees told them that the minors' jobs included deboning chickens, working overtime six days a week and not attending school, and that some of the children had been injured on the job.

Workers also said that when they were investigated, the minors were also hidden in closets and bathrooms to avoid detection.

According to the latest news, the processing plant has reached a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor, agreeing to pay more than $380.20 million, including unpaid wages, damages and $<>,<> in civil penalties for child labor.