Child Labor Makes A Comeback



In Augusta, Maine, Republicans in both the state Senate and state House of Representatives are trying to pass several laws regarding child labor. The new laws would allow children in high school to work 24 hours a week, until 11 p.m., and earn two dollars less than the minimum wage. Many parents are concerned that the increased work hours will take time away from their children’s school work.

7 thoughts on “Child Labor Makes A Comeback”

  1. Patrick Lawler

    I think that the people who are thinking of this should be taken to a secure location and be deprogrammed because obviously they must be brainwashed. Kids need to study and learn not mop floors until 11 pm. It’s just one more example of corporate America trying to dehumanize people in America, if the kids don’t learn as well they suffer in school, then are more or less doomed to low paying, jobs. The abundance of low paying jobs also reflects in iminished political power. The rich don’t make their kids work at night and so they do better in school and go on to get college degrees and do better in life. Benjamin Franklin was the one who founded the public library system with the knowledge that equal access to information was a cornerstone of our Democracy, and I say that kids in school should be getting the information to be able to combat this Plutocracy that our nation has become.

  2. marlene targ brill

    I totally agree with Patrick. Haven’t we learned anything from history? I think everyone, including students in classrooms across America, should be familiar with books about child labor, such as ANNIE SHAPIRO AND THE CLOTHING WORKER STRIKE, MOTHER JONES AND THE MARCH OF THE MILL CHILDREN, and ASHES FOR ROSES, and other titles that detail awful working conditions and terrible effects on young workers. There were reasons we needed child labor laws and unions in the early 20th century. Loooks like we need them now.

  3. When I was in high school, I got a job at Walmart. They were terrible. Soon after I started, they were scheduling me in at almost 40 hour weeks, this on top of my full day at school. My dad complained and got my hours reduced to 20 “scheduled” hours a week. But, often working until 11 PM means that when I was supposed to be clocking out (according to my schedule) I would actually be assigned to putting returns back on the shelves, making shelves look nice, etc.. sometimes, this would last until 1 AM in the morning! Finally, one night I decided to leave at my scheduled time 11PM and not help with the cleaning up of the store. I had school the next morning! The manager followed me out of the store and told me, “If you leave you are quitting your job.” I thought it was ridiculous to keep someone up this late, working; when it is a known fact that they have school in the morning. I told him I did not need a job like this and I left.

    I liked having a job.. I did not like being taken advantage of or mistreated. I do agree that having a job can be a great thing for young adults. But, why on earth would pass laws that help companies mistreat young people? It is highly unfair to allow companies to pay people less money simply because they are young. They should concentrate on letting children, who do work, know their rights as workers. They should be empowered to defend themselves against companies and bosses that might mistreat them or take advantage of them… not the other way around. It’s absurd.

  4. Why would someone doing the same job earn $2 less? I have heard of the glass ceiling, but to actually put a lesser wage for youth in legislation, as if the work a 17-year old does is less valuable than an 18-year old? Absurd.

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