Brazil's JBS unit does not know if it is on a list of firms using slave labor

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - The world’s largest meatpacker JBS SA said on Monday it does not know if its unit JBS Aves Ltda is on a government list of employers that use slave labor in Brazil, after a local media outlet alleged the unit was included in the roster.

JBS said JBS Aves, which operates in the state of Santa Catarina, has not been notified so far of any decision to include the company on such a list.

“The company and all of its brands do not condone this type of practice and enforce rigid controls when hiring service providers and suppliers,” the statement said.

JBS said it has been a signee, since 2007, of an agreement to eradicate slave labor in Brazil.

The list of companies accused of using slave labor was disclosed by a Globo television show on Sunday night and is available for download on Globo’s website.

Press representatives at the Labor Ministry did not comment on the authenticity of the Globo list, which was dated Oct. 6 and featured more than 100 companies and individuals, including JBS Aves Ltda, according to a copy on Globo’s website.

The latest official government list of companies allegedly involved in slave labor is dated July 27, the ministry said. JBS Aves is not on it.

JBS has been embroiled in scandal after the Batista brothers, who own the company, confessed in a plea deal to paying bribes to scores of politicians to advance their own business interests.

Reporting by Alberto Alerigi and Ana Mano; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Cynthia Osterman