New Child Labor Laws Expand Work Hours

[Waunakee Tribune]

Tyler Lamb
Regional Reporter

By Tyler Lamb

Regional Reporter

A provision inserted within Gov. Scott Walker’s biennium budget revised Wisconsin’s child labor laws July 1, effectively expanding the hours 16- and 17-year-olds can work.

The state’s child labor laws now mirror federal regulations, but is it a wise idea? Critics contend the change weakens labor laws and makes sure employers don’t have to pay a living wage.

Proponents challenge the measure will provide employers with the flexibility they need to stamp out the confusion between state and federal regulations.

Last month, a provision was placed into the governor’s budget bill by Joint Finance Committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) and Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester) without a public hearing. The measure was later approved along party lines by the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Under the old rules, minors could not work more than 32 hours on partial school weeks; 26 hours during a full school week and no more than 50 hours during weeks with no classes.

The new law no longer limits either the daily or weekly hours, or the time of day minors may work. The measure also repealed a state law which prevented 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than six days a week. Teens of all ages are still banned from working during school hours. Read more


107 Groups Endorse the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment (CARE), which would extend child labor protections to many children working in U.S. agriculture.

The Children’s Act for

Responsible Employment

[CARE has been reintroduced as H.R. 2234 in the current session of Congress]

The CARE Act  has been endorsed by the following 107 organizations:

  • Action for Children North Carolina;
  • AFL-CIO;
  • Alliance for Justice;
  • American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee;
  • American Association of University Women;
  • American Federation of Teachers;
  • American Rights at Work;
  • America’s Promise Alliance;
  • Amnesty International USA;
  • Asian American Justice Center;
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance;
  • Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs;
  • Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers, and Grain Millers  International Union;
  • Bon Appétit Management Company;
  • California Human Development;
  • California Institute for Rural Studies;
  • California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation;
  • Calvert Group Ltd.;
  • Center for Community Change;
  • Change to Win;
  • Child Labor Coalition;
  • Coalition of Immokalee Workers;
  • Coalition of Labor Union Women;
  • Children’s Alliance, Washington State;
  • Communications Workers of America;
  • Covenant with North Carolina’s Children;
  • Dialogue on Diversity;
  • East Coast Migrant Head Start Project;
  • El Centro Latino of Western North Carolina;
  • Farmworker Advocacy Network [North Carolina];
  • Farm Labor Organizing Committee;
  • Farmworker Association of Florida;
  • Farmworker Justice;
  • First Focus Campaign for Children;
  • Food Chain Workers Alliance;
  • Galen Films;
  • Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network;
  • General Federation of Women’s Clubs;
  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities;
  • Hispanic Federation;
  • Honest Tea;
  • Human Rights Watch;
  • Interfaith Worker Justice;
  • International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers;
  • International Brotherhood of the Teamsters;
  • International Initiative to End Child Labor;
  • International Labor Rights Forum;
  • Kentucky Youth Advocates;
  • Labor Council for Latin American Advancement;
  • Laborers’ International Union of North America;
  • La Fe Policy Research & Education Center of San Antonio;
  • Laredo, Texas (City Council)
  • Latino Advocacy Council of Western North Carolina;
  • Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
  • League of United Latin American Citizens;
  • Legal Momentum (formally the Women’s Legal Defense and Education Fund);
  • MAFO (The National Partnership of Rural and Farmworker Organizations);
  • Maine Children’s Alliance;
  • MALDEF—Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund;
  • MANA, A National Latina Organization;
  • Media Voices for Children;
  • Migrant Clinician’s Network;
  • Migrant Legal Action Program;
  • MomsRising;
  • NAACP;
  • National Consumers League;
  • National Education Association;
  • National Employment Law Project;
  • National Farmworker Alliance;
  • National Farm Worker Ministry;
  • National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth;
  • National Association of Consumer Advocates;
  • National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education;
  • National Collaboration for Youth;
  • National Foster Care Coalition;
  • National Hispanic Medical Association;
  • National Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Association;
  • National Organization for Women;
  • National Parent Teacher Association (PTA);
  • NCLR (National Council of La Raza);
  • North Carolina Council of Churches;
  • North Carolina Justice Center;
  • Oregon Human Development Corporation;
  • Oxfam America;
  • PathStone;
  • PCUN—Pineros y Campesinos  del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers)
  • Pesticide Action Network North America;
  • Pesticide Education Center;
  • Pesticide Watch;
  • Pride at Work;
  • Public Education Network;
  • Ramsay Merriam Fund;
  • Results;
  • Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights;
  • Social Advocates for Youth;
  • Southern Poverty Law Center;
  • Student Action with Farmworkers;
  • Swanton Berry Farms;
  • Teaching and Mentoring Communities [Formerly Texas Migrant Council];
  • United Methodist Church – General Board of Church and Society;
  • United States Hispanic Leadership Institute;
  • United States Student Association;
  • United Farm Workers of America;
  • United Food & Commercial Workers International Union;
  • United Methodist Women;
  • Vecinos Farmworker Health Program; and
  • Voices for Ohio’s Children.



American Public: Young Farmworkers Deserve Equal Protection of Child Labor Laws– Consumer Survey Finds Americans Concerned about Youth Working in Ag;

Most Parents Would Restrict their Teens More than Current Laws
Washington, DC – The vast majority of American consumers do not believe 12- and 13-year-olds should be allowed to perform agricultural work for long hours in the fields and would not allow their own children to work on a commercial farm at ages that the government currently allows, according to a survey released today. The survey, commissioned by the National Consumers League (NCL), the organization largely responsible for passing many of the nation’s first laws restricting child labor, reveals that most consumers—four out of five—agree that child labor laws should protect children equally no matter what industry they work in. Two in three survey respondents “strongly agreed” that protections should be equal. Only 1 in 7 favored unequal protection for agriculture.

Only 3 percent of those surveyed would let their own children under the age of 14 works more than 40 hours a week in the fields. Yet, federal law allows farmworker children to work unlimited hours in the fields outside of school hours and many farmworker children report working 60 or 70 hours a week.

Read more


UN Passes Resolution Against Recruitment of Child Soldiers

Agence France-Presse

UNITED NATIONS – The UN Security Council unanimously adopted on Tuesday a resolution against recruitment of child soldiers, pressing nations to halt the abuse of children including rape and attacks on schools.

In its report on child soldiers last year, the United Nations for the first time named military forces and rebel groups that persistently used children in armed conflict.

The groups included Myanmar’s national army and two rebel militant groups in the country; three insurgent groups in the Philippines; the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia; armies and militias in the Democratic Republic of Congo; and pro-government militias in Sudan as well as the southern-based Sudan People’s Liberation Army.

The signatories “call upon member states concerned to take decisive and immediate action against persistent perpetrators of violations and abuses committed against children in situations of armed conflict, and further call upon them to bring to justice those responsible for such violations.”

The resolution highlighted actions prohibited under international law, including “recruitment and use of children, killing and maiming, rape and other sexual violence, attacks on schools and/or hospitals.”

It also cited “the primary role of governments in providing protection and relief to all children affected by armed conflicts,” and said it was “the responsibility of states to end impunity and to prosecute those responsible for genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and other egregious crimes perpetrated against children.”

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the resolution — an initiative by current Security Council president Germany — is the eighth since 1998 to condemn nations and militaries which use children to wage war and subject them to brutal violence like rape and maimings.

“Let us keep working together to ensure that children everywhere can grow up safe, healthy and educated so they can build a secure and sustainable future,” he said.

Late last month Ban expressed concern about the growing number of attacks on schools and hospitals, threatening to employ “targeted measures against repeat violators — especially non-state actors.”

At the time he said he welcomed efforts by the Security Council to negotiate the resolution which adds attacks on schools and hospitals as a listing criteria in the annual UN reports on children and armed conflict.


NCL’s Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens The National Consumer League’s annual guide to help teens select safe employment this summer

National Consumers League

2011 Five Most Dangerous Jobs for Teens

An annual NCL guide to help teens and their parents select safe employment this summer


Introduction: This summer’s job outlook

The risks of teen employment

Advice for parents: be their advocates

Advice for Teen Workers

2011 Most Dangerous Jobs: An in-depth look

  • Agriculture: Harvesting Crops and Using Machinery
  • Construction and Height Work
  • Traveling Youth Sales Crews
  • Outside Helper: Landscaping, Groundskeeping, and Lawn Service
  • Driver/Operator: Forklifts, Tractors, and ATV’s

A special note about meat packing

Read more


Retailers such as Nike and Macy’s Boycott Cotton from Uzbekistan to Protest Child Labor



Daniel Acker

Retailers including Walmart and Macy’s have signed a pledge to not use cotton from Uzbekistan until the country stops using forced child labor.

Retailers are going crazy for cotton — but not in a good way.

Superstores Walmart and Macy’s have joined up with  such big names  as Liz Claiborne, Nike, Eileen Fisher and Nautica to sign a pledge boycotting the use of cotton from Uzbekistan, WWD reported.

They are among the first companies to team up with the nonprofit group Responsible Sourcing Network to demand that the country stop using forced child labor to harvest its cotton crop. Read more


ILO implements project on elimination of child labour in Birim South (Ghana)

Source: GNA [from Ghana Web]

Akyem Swedru, July 6, GNA – The International Labour Organisation (ILO) is implementing a programme dubbed: 93Cocoa Community Project” (CCP) to eliminate the worst forms of Child Labour in Cocoa growing communities across the country.

The project is titled: 93Towards Child Labour Free Cocoa Growing Communities in Cote D’lvoire and Ghana through an integrated area base approach.”

Mrs Stella Ofori, Principal Labour Officer, Child Labour Unit of the Labour Department of the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare, speaking at the end of a two-day district level consultative workshop for cocoa growing communities at Akyem Swedru in the Birim South of the Eastern Region, said the project was to identify communities for interventions and control groups for impact evaluation.

The event brought together 45 participants from various heads of departments, cocoa farmers, District Assembly and unit committee members and cooperative institutions.

She said it was to establish an inventory of available social interventions and other complementary services to which interventions might be linked.

In addition, it was to document the status of child labour interventions in the district plan, budgets, monitor and evaluate frameworks and other mechanism for sustainability.

Mrs Ofori said the CCP would contribute to the National Plan of Action (NPA) through the awareness raising and development of action plan for implementation by the communities and to institutional and technical capacity building to fill the gap of NPA implementation.

“The CPP would also support child labour monitoring systems to track the elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour through integrated approach,” she added.

The project would also provide enhanced livelihoods for sustainable productivity and Agricultural practices.

Ms Lalaina Ratafindrakoto, Resource Person from ILO, said the project was designated to host the Birim South District and three other districts namely, Suhum Kraboa Coalter and Twifo Hemang Lower Denkyira in the Central Region and Wassa Amenfi West in the Western Region.

She urged stakeholders in the communities to ensure that they put in more effort to plan the project interventions in order to eliminate these forms of child labour.

She expressed the hope that, the efforts of participants would yield great results towards the targeted children and the communities.


Omaha Company Loses Appeal of Federal Penalty

Omaha Company Loses Appeal of Federal PenaltyOMAHA, Neb.An Omaha food-processing company has lost its appeal of a $100,000 penalty for violating federal child labor laws.

Reporter: Associated Press

An Omaha food-processing company has lost its appeal of a $100,000 penalty for violating federal child labor laws.

A news release Wednesday from the U.S. Department of Labor says the department had cited Progressive Protein LLC after a 17-year-old worker died on a forklift accident in 2009. The department says the company had allowed Miguel Herrera-Soltero to operate the forklift, violating federal law.

The department said Progressive Protein knew the boy was in high school and should have checked his age.

The company appealed the civil penalty. Administrative Law Judge Stephen Purcell rejected the appeal.

Speaking for the company Wednesday, Bill Rhein said there would be no comment on the judge’s action.


Bicol Takes Fight vs Child Labor to the Internet

Labor officials in Bicol have taken the fight against child labor to the Internet, with a web-based system that profiles and tracks down child labor offenders.

The Child Labor Knowledge Sharing System (CLKSS) program is accessible to child labor program coordinators and the Regional Anti-Child Labor Committee.

“It is basically a regional data hub. Any member of the RACLC, or any claim holder or duty bearer may register or log on to the CLKSS portal” and gain access to its products and services, as well as participate in twits or discussions”, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Child Labor Program (CLP) Coordinator and Statistician Cyre Cabredo said.

DOLE Bicol regional head lawyer Alvin Villamor noted lack of data on child labor is a tough problem in the DOLE’s child labor prevention and elimination program.

“The CLKSS, which is being administered by the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC), contains relevant information on child labor cases, statistics on child labor, and other data that may lead to the detection, apprehension and, hopefully, putting behind bars child labor offenders,” the DOLE said. Read more