HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Sen. Franken praises Labo...

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:10 PM

Sen. Franken praises Labor Department for withdrawing new child labor rules

Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) has applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture for withdrawing proposed rules dealing with children who work on farms.

“I’m relieved that the Department of Labor decided to shelve these regulations,” Franken said. “I’ve heard from a lot of Minnesotans about this proposal — and I’ve worked to make sure that we protect our proud tradition of family farming. For generations, Minnesota’s kids have grown up on farms, learning the trade and the values that are so important to our state. And on the farms I’ve toured in Minnesota, I’ve always seen how seriously everyone already takes safety. While they may have been well-intentioned, these rules would have had a negative impact on our state’s ag community, and I want to thank the Department of Labor for hearing our concerns.”

The Labor Department had proposed updating the Fair Labor Standards Act by strengthening current child labor regulations related to work with animals, pesticides, timber operations, manure pits, and storage bins. The regulations would have prohibited those under the age of 16 from operating heavy machinery, working with pesticides, and working in dangerous locations, such as grain silos.

The Labor Department said it proposed the new regulations because of studies showing that children are significantly more likely to be killed while performing agricultural work than while working in all other industries combined.

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/29/sen-franken-praises-labor-department-for-withdrawing-new-child-labor-rules/

13 replies, 1385 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread

Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:18 PM

1. Thank heaven we have Democrats to hold the line against regulation of child labor.

I have seen Amish children working indoors (greenhouses) spraying fungicides and pesticides. (In one case I saw the Sevin label.) Barefoot. No masks. Spray vapor so thick you wouldn't want to be there for a minute.

I don't suppose we would want any sort of regulation to prevent parents from being able to use their children this way on their family farms.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:27 PM

2. This is a mixed bag for me. While I am sure Big Ag would use this law

to gut family farms (while they themselves used kids in the same way), I don't think kids should be working with pesticides and in grain silos. Having grown up in a farm community, those kids on tractors were better drivers than most soccer moms. So I guess I can see that one, especially if they are moving at slow speeds and usually not on the roads. But kids working with pesticides? I don't think anyone should use them, but kids are a whole new ball of wax.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:33 PM

3. I grew up detasseling corn and helping out on the farm.

It seems the only people who supported these regulations were people who had never stepped foot on a farm. I agree there should be safety standards and measures put into place but this was complete overkill.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:35 PM

4. There need to be good protections.

When I was 16, way back in 1962, I took a summer job, spraying weeds in the citrus orchards in the town where I lived. At that time, they were sprayed with light diesel oil. The oil sealed the holes in the leaves and cut off respiration for the weeds, aided by the sun, which beat down on the leaves and basically cooked them. It was very effective. It was an easy job, but smelly. You'd start the tractor that was pulling a spray trailer down the row at walking speed. It was kept going straight by the irrigation furrows between the rows of trees. Nobody was actually driving the tractor, and a couple of teenagers walked along behind, spraying that oil on the weeds.

One day, though, the adult worker on the large farm we were working dumped a big bag of powder into the oil tank. It was something new, that was supposed to increase the effectiveness of the oil. I went and got the bag after the worker left and read it. I can't remember any more what the material was, but the safety instructions on the bag involved full-protection suits and masks. Well, we were in jeans, t-shirts, and tennis shoes.

So, I walked over to talk to the orchard foreman about it and pointed out the label on the bag. He said, "Screw that. That shit won't hurt you." Both of us quit right then and walked off the job. The $1.00/hr we were getting just didn't seem enough, somehow. I told my father about what had happened, and showed him the bag, which I had taken with me when I quit. He got on the phone to the owner of that big citrus farm and explained the situation. My dad was the fire chief in that little town, and highly-respected.

The next day, my friend and I were back on the job, spraying weeds with the plain oil again. That foreman was looking for work.

Regulations are needed, but will often not be followed until someone raises a stink about a specific thing. I'm not sure why Al Franken was opposed to this, but I'll send him an email and ask. He usually replies.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:03 PM

6. Can you please include a link to this clip in with your email

to Senator Franken when you contact him? If his purpose in making his pro child labor statement was not just to give lip service to the small proportion of his constituents who are involved in family farming, then I have real trouble trying to imagine how he could have said what he did in light of the blatant truth behind the wide spread matter of child labor abuse in agriculture in our country.


http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002617732

logo

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to MineralMan (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:20 PM

11. DING!!! Well done! I want to read this several times for inspiration. And nostalgia.

 

Nostalgia for the days when people like your father would be listened to, and positive changes would be made.

Nowadays we'd all be told to fuck off if we raised hell about that.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 02:38 PM

5. Anyone who thinks for even a second that Franken speaks common sense needs to watch this clip

This clip is taken from another thread on DU regarding the same topic. I was able to come upon and view this information without even being interested in the subject. In contrast, it is a part of Franken's job to research this information, being that his less than informed ass voted on what our nation's policy is to be regarding it. I would say, judging from his comments in attempting to make the entire issue seem to be about the relatively small percentage of family farms that are affected by the child labor tragedy in our country, that he has not done his homework with respect to investigating the real problem with our countries' children laboring in dangerous and brutal conditions just so that the wealthy conglomerates can become even more wealthy.

It wouldn't have taken very much effort for him to have written a rider into the bill that says that only the children of a farms' principal owners are exempt from protection from child labor laws.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002617732

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left on green only (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:10 PM

8. I thought the family farm issue was misrepresented by the critics

at least I have heard that it was. I haven't read the legislation.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to left on green only (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:22 PM

12. There was an exemption for family farms and Franken should have known it. Link-

The Labor Department received thousands of comments on the proposed rule from safety advocates, ranchers, unions, agriculture associations and members of Congress. Many were concerned the rule would apply to family farms, despite an exemption included by the Labor Department.

.....

The department announced in February that it would rework a portion of the child-labor rule focused on a “parental exemption.”

That exemption would apply to children who work on their own parents’ farms. The exemption also would have applied to families who partially own or partially operate a farm.

http://thehill.com/business-a-lobbying/224169-obama-administration-scraps-child-labor-rules-for-farms


Even those who were concerned about kids working for on relatives' farms would have been exempted per The Hill.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:10 PM

7. What is Franken talking about, it is my understanding that family farms were exempt

Even the article in the OP says it doesn't apply to family farms or 4H activities. All the people against this are either liars or idiots who didn't bother to look into what the law actually says.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:13 PM

9. Good for Franken. This silliness was nothing more than handing the GOP a gift to beat Democrats over

the head with (metaphorically of course; too many deliberately obtuse people here at DU, so disclaimers always have to be made) throughout this election cycle.

Kids helping their Dad's bail hay was going to be regulated? Really? That's not a fight Democrats should be spoiling for.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to apocalypsehow (Reply #9)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:23 PM

13. That was exempted in the proposed rules

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Playinghardball (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 03:17 PM

10. How about strengthening farming safety laws instead?

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread