Entries by Reid Maki

U.S.DOL News Release: U.S. Department of Labor Announces 2024 Iqbal Masih Award Winners; Recipients in Egypt, Ghana Lauded for Contributions to End Child Labor

News Release/June 5, 2024 [from USDOL] Wadi El Nil Association, Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe recognized for stellar efforts WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor, presented annually to recognize exceptional efforts by an individual, company, organization or national government to end the worst forms of child labor. The recipients are an Egyptian civil society organization, Wadi El Nil Association and a leading trade unionist in Ghana, Andrews Addoquaye Tagoe. “The recipients of the 2024 Iqbal Masih Award are champions in the fight against child labor,” said Deputy Undersecretary for International Affairs Thea Lee. “Their unwavering efforts and achievements in the ongoing campaign to eliminate child labor have rescued children from the dangers of hazardous work and created economic opportunities for families to help derail the cycle of child labor in Egypt and Ghana.” A pivotal force in combating child labor in Egypt’s limestone mining sector for more than two decades, Wadi El Nil Association rescues children from hazardous quarries, offering them pathways to education and skills development. The association seeks to break the connection between poverty and the cycle of child labor by providing microloans to families to help them to achieve economic stability. In recent years, Wadi El Nil has extended additional support to vulnerable […]

U.S. DOL obtains order to force Los Angeles-area meat processor, staffing agency to give up $327,000 in profits from oppressive child labor

USDOL News Release June 25, 2024 Investigation revealed children working dangerous jobs, unlawful hours CITY OF INDUSTRY, CA – The U.S. Department of Labor has obtained a consent judgment in a federal court ordering a City of Industry meat processor and a Downey staffing agency to surrender $327,484 in illegal profits made from sales of products associated with oppressive, exploitative child labor. The judgment also requires the employers to pay the department $62,516 in penalties. The June 20, 2024, judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles follows an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that determined A&J Meats and The Right Hire jointly employed and endangered children as young as 15 by tasking them to use sharp knives, allowing them to work inside freezers and coolers, and to scheduling them to work at times not permitted by law, all in violation of federal child labor regulations. “A&J Meats and The Right Hire knowingly endangered these children’s safety and put their companies’ profits before the well-being of these minors,” said Western Regional Solicitor of Labor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco. “These employers egregiously violated federal law and now, both have learned about the serious consequences for those who so callously expose children to harm.” Specifically, division investigators found that children worked […]

CLC’s Reid Maki joins America’s Workforce Union Podcast for World Day Against Child Labor

Listen to the podcast by clicking here.   [From America’s Workforce Union Podcast] In honor of World Day Against Child Labor, Reid Maki, the director of child labor issues and coordinator of the Child Labor Coalition, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to talk about his organization’s work to end abusive child labor practices. He discussed some of the major violations over the past 18 months in America and how the CLC is educating legislators on proposed legislation that could improve the regulation of child labor. The CLC, a part of the National Consumers League, has been in operation for the last 35 years and has worked closely with unions since its inception to help prevent child labor abuse in the workforce. Maki discussed some of the organizations that regularly work with the CLC to prevent child labor violations. He also discussed what the Fair Labor Standards Act did to prevent many, but not all, of the child labor issues in America. Despite the efforts from the labor movement and the CLC, there are far too many child labor violations in the U.S. Maki talked about the recent incident where a 13-year-old was found that working overnight shifts at a Hyundai production plant in Alabama and how something like could happen. He also talked about similar events over the past […]

2024 Domestic Child Labor Bills the Child Labor Coalition endorses:

Bills to increase fines: R. 2956 — “Combating Child Labor Act” by Rep. Kildee (D-MI) 42 cosponsors as of  4/16/2024 R. 2388 — “Justice for Exploited Children Act of 2023” by Rep. Scholten (D-MI) 7 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024. [This bill is Bipartisan]. 637 — “Child Labor Prevention Act” by Sen. Schatz (D-HI) 12 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024 3051 – Stop Child Labor Act by Senator Schatz (D-HI) 1 cosponsor as of 4/16/2024 [This bill is an update of Schatz’s bill listed prior and is also bipartisan]   Bills that seek increased fines AND multiple other improvements: R. 6079 – CHILD Labor Act by Rep. DeLauro (D-CT) also known as “Children Harmed in Life-threatening or Dangerous Labor Act” 21 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024 3163 – CHILD Labor Act by Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) also known as “Children Harmed in Life-threatening or Dangerous Labor Act” [Companion bill to H.R. 6079] 16 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024 R. 4440 – “Protecting Children Act” by Rep. Scott (D-VA) 8 Cosponsors as of 8/11/23 9 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024     Protecting child farmworkers: R. 4020 – “Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco Farms Act by Rep. DeLauro” (D-CT) 2 cosponsors as of 4/16/24 1921 – “Children Don’t Belong on Tobacco Farms Act” by Senator Durbin (D-IL) 3 cosponsors as of 4/16/2024 R.4046 – “Children’s Act […]

Shareholders demand McDonald’s and Wendy’s tackle child labor problems.

[Via The Washington Post, May 9, 2024] Citing work by The Washington Post, shareholders are asking the companies for a zero-tolerance policy at their franchises. “A group of powerful investment managers and public treasurers with assets invested in McDonald’s are demanding that the company take tougher steps to address child-labor violations at its franchises.” Read the rest of the article here.  

USDOL Press Release: DOL Fines Children Employed Illegally in Dangerous Jobs, Obtains $4.8M in Wages, Damages for Poultry Industry Workers in California

[May 2, 2024] Investigation finds 14-year-old children using razor-sharp deboning knives WASHINGTON – In one of the largest wage violation settlements ever reached for U.S. poultry workers, a federal court in Los Angeles has entered a consent judgment that orders Fu Qian Chen Lu, Bruce Shu Hua Lok and others as owners and operators of a network of California poultry processors and distributors to pay $4.8 million in back wages and damages to 476 workers and $221,919 in penalties after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation. The settlement requires the employers to give up $1 million in profits earned from the sale of goods tainted by oppressive child labor and pay assessed penalties of $171,919 for their child labor violations. The judgment follows the grant of a temporary restraining order that barred the shipment of hot goods into commerce and required the employer to disgorge all profits related to any such shipment. Go here for the rest of the release.

USDOL Press Release: Tennessee Cleaning Firm Fined $649,000 in Child Labor Penalties; Kids, as Young as 13, Cleaned Killing Floor and Machinery

Investigations found 24 children, some just 13 years old, doing dangerous work in Iowa, Virginia SIOUX CITY, IA – The Department of Labor has entered into a consent order and judgment, approved by a federal court in Iowa on May 6, 2024, with a Tennessee cleaning contractor that requires the employer to pay $649,304 in civil money penalties, hire a third-party to review and implement company policies to prevent the employment of children in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and establish a program for reporting concerns about the illegal employment of children. Read the full release here.

Press Release: National Consumers League condemns legislation in Florida that preempts local ordinances to protect workers from heat exposure

March 15, 2024/in Child labor, Labor, Press release, Statement, Uncategorized, Workers’ Rights, Workplace safety child labor, forced labor, press relases, press release, press releases press_releases, workers_rights Press Releases, Statements March 15, 2024 Media contact: National Consumers League – Melody Merin, melodym@nclnet.org, 202-207-2831 Washington, DC – The National Consumers League is condemning a vote by the Florida House of Representatives to approve legislation that will upend Miami-Dade’s proposed local workplace standards requiring drinking water, cooling measures, recovery periods, posting or distributing materials informing workers how to protect themselves, and requiring first aid or emergency responses. The Florida Senate approved the measure yesterday. This measure rushed through the state legislature ahead of adjournment on Friday, March 8th and will prevent local governments throughout Florida from requiring water, shade breaks or training so workers can protect themselves from heat illness, injury, and fatality. Reid Maki, director of child labor advocacy for the Child Labor Coalition under the National Consumers League, made this statement: “Not only is the Florida legislature usurping the duty of local government to protect workers from heat stress in one of the hottest states in America, but by denying workers access to water and protection this Dickensian measure ignores the reality of heat and heatstroke among Florida’s workers. Indeed, hundreds of workers die across the U.S. from heat exposure each year. The legislation also forbids the posting of educational materials to help workers protect themselves from the heat. NCL has […]

Child Labor Coalition welcomes the Senate Introduction of the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment and Farm Safety Act of 2024 (CARE Act)

Press Release March 25, 2024 Media contact: National Consumers League – Reid Maki, reidm@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2820   Washington, DC – With the beginning of Farmworker Awareness Week today, the Child Labor Coalition (CLC), representing 37 groups engaged in the fight against domestic and global child labor, applauds Senator Ben Ray Luján (D-NM) and for introducing the Children’s Act for Responsible Employment and Farm Safety (CARE). The legislation, introduced on March 21, would close long-standing loopholes that permit children in agriculture to work for wages when they are only 12 and 13—younger than other teens can work. The bill would also ban jobs on farms labeled “hazardous” by the U.S. Department of Labor if workers are under the age of 18. Current U.S. law allows children to perform hazardous work at age 16. “With their whole future ahead of them, our country must do better protecting children working in the agriculture industry,” said Senator Luján. “Across the country, thousands of children are working under hazardous conditions in the agriculture sector, risking their health and education. I’m introducing the CARE Act to raise the floor and bring our agricultural labor lines in with other industries to better protect children and improve the working conditions they operate in.” “It’s amazing to us that discriminatory loopholes, which allow very young kids to work 70- and […]

Child Labor Coalition lauds Wage and Hour’s child labor enforcement strategies that include creating a fund for victims and use of “hot goods” provisions

March 27, 2024 Media contact: National Consumers League/Child Labor Coalition – Reid Maki, reidm@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2820   Washington, DC – The Child Labor Coalition (CLC), representing 37 groups engaged in the fight against domestic and global child labor, expresses support for the innovative enforcement strategies in this week’s enforcement action by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). The action, announced March 25th, involved fines of $296,951 for a Tennessee parts manufacturer, Tuff Torq, and required the company to set aside $1.5 million as “disgorgement” of 30 days’ profit related to the company’s use of child labor. Disgorgement is a legal term for remedy requiring a party that profits from illegal activity to give up any profits that result from that activity. Tuff Torq, which makes components for outdoor, power-equipment brands such as John Deere, Toro, and Yamaha, illegally employed 10 children, including a 14-year-old, for work that was hazardous—an identified task involved permitting a child to operate a power-driven-hoisting apparatus, which is a prohibited occupational task. The Department employed several new or recent strategies in the case, including employing the Fair Labor Standards Act’s “hot goods” provision, which was used to stop the shipment of goods made with oppressive child labor. “The use of the ‘hot goods’ enforcement tool is also an important new strategy, which […]