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US labor agency cites Hershey distribution plant

US Labor Dept. finds violations at Hershey distribution center where foreign workers protested By The Associated Press

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) ' Federal labor officials say they found nine workplace violations at a candy repackaging and distribution facility owned by The Hershey Co. and operated by Exel Inc. where foreign student workers protested last summer.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Tuesday it has proposed penalties of $283,000 after inspections prompted by a complaint by the National Guestworker Alliance on the students' behalf.

Exel spokeswoman Lynn Anderson says the company plans to fight the findings. She says they involve only the co-packing area within the Palmyra, Pa., plant, and that they mostly involve record-keeping.

Alliance legal director Jennifer Rosenbaum says the citations show Exel didn't have an adequate health and safety system.

Hershey spokesman Jeff Beckman says the company was confident Exel would change its practices to address OSHA's concerns.

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