The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

John Deere Caught Using Child Labor

Apr 8, 2024

The U.S. Department of Labor found ten minors, as young as fourteen years old, working at a Tennessee factory making parts for John Deere lawnmowers. The young people were working late-night shifts around power-driven equipment in a busy plant.

The company, Tuff Torq, immediately shifted blame: they say the minors were employed by a temp staffing agency and that they used false names and papers. Tuff Torq wants us to believe they couldn’t tell these workers were years underage? They can’t spot a fourteen-year-old on their own factory floor? Tuff Torq was only too happy to exploit vulnerable migrants, temporary or not. And John Deere was happy enough getting the parts they made.

Child labor has more than doubled since 2018, according to the Labor Department. The department fined Tuff Torq $300,000 and required them to set aside 1.5 million dollars to assist the migrants. That’s nothing—a slap on the wrist—next to the 160 million that Tuff Torq made last year. John Deere, which made 61 billion last year, will not even notice.