Economy Politics

Could We Get Them to Work in Shirt Factories, Maybe?

The same state (Maine) whose governor wants to eliminate pro-labor images from the halls of the Department of Labor is also ginning up a new set of rules that significantly increases the amount of work a child in school is “able” to work:

The Maddow Blog – Maine pol: Put those kids to work.

Couple things jump out at me:

The bill starts a kid off at $5.25 an hour for the first 180 days of employment. Because that’s the “training period.” The state’s minimum wage for everybody else is $7.50. 180 days is six months. How many kids do you know that work for more than six months anywhere when they’re in school? The “training wage” is effectively a child-only labor rate that is a boon to businesses throughout the state on the backs of kids.

Eliminating the number of hours an employee “can work” is not a boon for the employee: those rules were set in place to prevent employers from mandating hours well in excess of what we consider (for now) to be normal. Eliminating this rule for kids means, again, introducing them to the world of slave labor… once again, for a discounted wage $2.25 less than their parents would have to work!

The bill also “allows” kids to work *during school hours*, up to four hours a day. School is generally only in session for about six.

Should anybody even need to be told why this bill needs to be killed?

By Tommy Belknap

Owner, developer, editor of DragonFlyEye.Net, Tom Belknap is also a freelance journalist for The 585 lifestyle magazine. He lives in the Rochester area with his wife and son.