Web Blog for anything related to Union Labor

21st Century and Some Child Labor Still Legal in U.S.

Posted on May 6, 2010 | in Labor News | by
 
    

Did you know it’s legal for kids as young as 12 and sometimes younger to pick food on U.S. commercial farms? According to a new report by Human Rights Watch, hundreds of thousands of children are employed as farm workers and they often work 10 or more hours a day with sharp tools, heavy machinery and dangerous pesticides.

One-third of all child farm workers don’t graduate from high school, reports “Fields of Peril: Child Labor in U.S. Agriculture.” And many risk their health and their lives. From 2005 to 2008, at least 43 children under age 18 died from work-related injuries in crop production—27 percent of all children who were fatally injured at work. The risk of fatal injuries for agricultural workers ages 15 to 17 is more than four times that of other young workers. Deadly pesticides are sprayed even as they work in the fields. As Hector H., an 18-year-old farm laborer who works alongside children, describes it:

You can smell them. [Recently] the plane sprayed, sprayed the cotton….I felt dizzy. I covered my face and kept working. No one told us to get out of the field.

Human Rights Watch is urging Congress, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Environmental Protection Agency to take steps to address child farm labor abuse.

One recommendation includes amending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to apply the same age and hour requirements to children working for hire in agriculture as applies to all other working children.

A bill now in Congress would do just that: the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (Care Act, H.R. 3564). Tell your members of Congress to support it.

As the video here puts it, the bill is needed

so that more kids can play with their food—instead of picking it.

Leave a Reply

Categories

TITLE

Tags

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Maybe It’s Time to Phase Out Jeb: Winners and Losers of the Week In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers...
Default utility Image Trumka Calls on Congress to Cancel Early Recess AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the House Republican leadership’s...
Default utility Image What Union Members Are Doing This Week Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other...
Default utility Image With Malaysia Upgrade, Administration Puts TPP Agenda Ahead of Trafficking Victims and Workers’ Rights Today, the Obama administration made the disastrous decision to upgrade Malaysia—a major player in the...
Default utility Image IMF: Unionization, Higher Wages Reduce Income Inequality The notion that unionization and higher wages decrease income inequality is a fundamental premise of...

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image Default utility Image

Recent Posts

Default utility Image Maybe It’s Time to Phase Out Jeb: Winners and Losers of the Week In our regular weekly feature, we’ll be taking a look at the winners and losers...
Default utility Image Trumka Calls on Congress to Cancel Early Recess AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka released the following statement in response to the House Republican leadership’s...
Default utility Image What Union Members Are Doing This Week Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other...
Default utility Image With Malaysia Upgrade, Administration Puts TPP Agenda Ahead of Trafficking Victims and Workers’ Rights Today, the Obama administration made the disastrous decision to upgrade Malaysia—a major player in the...
Default utility Image IMF: Unionization, Higher Wages Reduce Income Inequality The notion that unionization and higher wages decrease income inequality is a fundamental premise of...

Tag Cloud