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FOOD LION RESPONDS TO NEWS 'LEAK' OF ALLEGED CHILD LABOR VIOLATIONS

 FOOD LION RESPONDS TO NEWS 'LEAK' OF ALLEGED CHILD LABOR VIOLATIONS
 SALISBURY, N.C., Nov. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a statement issued by Food Lion, Inc. (NASDAQ-NMS: FDLN):
 Today Food Lion responded to the news "leak" regarding alleged child labor violations with the U.S. Department of Labor. Vince Watkins, vice president of government affairs said, "We still don't have the specifics from the DOL but we were told verbally that 90 percent of the alleged charges are related to 16- and 17-year-old workers placing cardboard in non-operating balers. We don't believe it's any coincidence that the story was 'leaked' the day after a negative story aired on TV."
 "We view these alleged violations seriously and will investigate thoroughly. The DOL investigation is not limited to Food Lion, but is being conducted on an industry-wide basis. In fact, A&P was fined over $300,000 and is fighting this unfair practice of retroactive citings. But the public needs to be aware that the DOL changed the regulation. Prior to September of 1991, teenagers could place cardboard in -- but not operate -- the baler, yet DOL's investigation goes back three years. Even the National Grocers Association has recently brought suit against the DOL on behalf of the entire grocery industry," continued Watkins.
 Balers are machines that are used to crush empty cardboard boxes so they can be shipped for recycling. The baler has safety features such as a pull down safety gate which must be in the closed position before the machine will
even operate. The override switch is 133-inches high on the top of the machine, easily out of reach.
 Immediately after Food Lion officials were notified of the rule change, the company took additional steps to ensure the safety of their younger workers. These steps included a blue code on their name badges so supervisors could easily identify them; bigger and better warning signs printed on fluorescent paper displayed on the equipment warning young workers not to even place cardboard in the non-operating machine; and a policy 16- and 17-year-olds must sign when they are initially employed stating that they understand the policy that they cannot even place cardboard in the machine, much less operate it.
 "We have always been concerned with the safety of our young workers. We've considered not hiring workers under 18-years-old, but we believe it is important to offer teenagers the opportunity to grow and learn self-confidence while on the job," concluded Watkins.
 -0- 11/7/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: For baler specifications please contact National Grass Roots & Communications, 703-519-0800./
 /CONTACT: Mike Mozingo of Food Lion, 704-633-8250, or National Grass Roots & Communications, 703-519-0800, for Food Lion/
 (FDLN) CO: Food Lion, Inc. ST: North Carolina IN: REA SU:


CK-JP -- NYSA007 -- 8415 11/07/92 14:20 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 7, 1992
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