SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) -- The U.S. Labor Department says Cargill Meat Solutions systematically discriminated against more than 4,000 qualified applicants who sought entry-level production jobs at a facility that processes turkeys in northwest Arkansas.

The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs filed an administrative complaint against Cargill Meat Solutions, which is a subsidiary of Minneapolis-based Cargill, Inc. Federal officials want to cancel the Cargill's existing government contracts and prevent future contracts until the company stops what they call discriminatory practices.

Cargill Meat Solutions currently holds contracts worth more than $550 million with the U.S. Department of Defense.

The Labor Department says women were less likely to be employed in entry-level production jobs and Asian and Pacific Islander job seekers were unfairly favored.

A Cargill spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

Copyright 2011 The AP.

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