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Child labor at Missouri meatpacking plants

A company hired to clean meatpacking plants in Missouri and other Midwest states is accused of illegally using children for potentially dangerous jobs. Plus: Eric Schmitt is heading to D.C. as Missouri's next U.S. Senator, but he'll be entering a very different legislative environment than the one he's used to at home.

The U.S. Department of Labor is investigating the potentially illegal use of children working dangerous jobs at meatpacking and slaughtering facilities in at least three states, including Missouri. A federal court complaint was filed in Nebraska to stop Wisconsin-based Packers Sanitation Services Inc. from committing what the agency called “oppressive child labor” violations.

Steve Vockrodt of the Midwest Newsroom explains that minors can hold certain jobs, but federal regulations prohibit them from working in positions deemed “particularly hazardous” and detrimental to their health and wellbeing.

Republican Eric Schmitt will soon be heading to Washington, D.C. as Missouri’s junior U.S. Senator. From the moment Schmitt entered Missouri politics — first as a state senator, and most recently as Attorney General — the Republican Party always called the shots. But that won’t be what he’ll encounter in the U.S. Senate, which will remain controlled by Democrats. St. Louis Public Radio's Jason Rosenbaum reports.

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Kansas City Today is hosted by Nomin Ujiyediin. It is produced by Byron Love and KCUR Studios and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

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Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.
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