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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:26 AM

Labor Department backs off new limits on child labor on farms

Source: Associated Press

WASHINGTON Under heavy pressure from farm groups, the Obama administration said Thursday it would drop an unpopular plan to prevent children from doing hazardous work on farms owned by anyone other than their parents.

The Labor Department said it is withdrawing proposed rules that would ban children younger than 16 from using most power-driven farm equipment, including tractors. The rules also would prevent those younger than 18 from working in feed lots, grain bins and stockyards.

While labor officials said their goal was to reduce the fatality rate for child farm workers, the proposal had become a popular political target for Republicans who called it an impractical, heavy-handed regulation that ignored the reality of small farms.

"It's good the Labor Department rethought the ridiculous regulations it was going to stick on farmers and their families," said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. "To even propose such regulations defies common sense, and shows a real lack of understanding as to how the family farm works."

Read more: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/labor-department-backs-off-new-limits-on-child-labor-on/article_ccccc16d-99b9-59d1-a68b-9df6a3e06537.html



Thank goodness. This is the kind of foolishness that can deny the President the ability to win Iowa again.

18 replies, 3041 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Labor Department backs off new limits on child labor on farms (Original post)
Freddie Stubbs Apr 2012 OP
raps Apr 2012 #1
fasttense Apr 2012 #18
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #2
bluedigger Apr 2012 #3
Horse with no Name Apr 2012 #8
bluedigger Apr 2012 #14
bread_and_roses Apr 2012 #4
AlbertCat Apr 2012 #7
raps Apr 2012 #12
Demit Apr 2012 #15
raps Apr 2012 #16
greiner3 Apr 2012 #5
hootinholler Apr 2012 #11
Omaha Steve Apr 2012 #6
colorado_ufo Apr 2012 #13
hootinholler Apr 2012 #9
tech3149 Apr 2012 #10
colorado_ufo Apr 2012 #17

Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:36 AM

1. Glad to see this was dropped

 

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Response to raps (Reply #1)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:40 PM

18. So let the children continue to die and be dismembered so factory farms can make a few bucks.

This bill had absolutely NOTHING to do with working on family farms. It had everything to do with reducing the large numbers of fatalities and injuries to children who labor on other people's farms.

It had Nothing to do with a couple of families getting together to help harvest each other's fields. It had a lot to do with forcing children into dangerous situations without supervision.

I make a living farming right now. There are many dangers on a farm from poisons to badly wired electric fences, to large farm equipment that can get you killed easily.

Too bad this regulation was killed. It would have helped some kids avoid death and injury.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:47 AM

2. People around here have been going nuts over this

Politically, it was a wise move to take it out...but realistically, any other industry that has 15,000 injuries/deaths a year to a certain subsect of workers would be swiftly dealt with.

Kids....get ready for your new place in the new world order.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:50 AM

3. Smart of them.

This was a bad position for the Administration to defend - regulation that benefited BigAg at the expense of small family farms.

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:14 AM

8. Yet it didn't

The legislation exempted kids that worked on their family farms.

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Response to Horse with no Name (Reply #8)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:29 AM

14. Families share labor.

Small farming is a cooperative venture, especially at planting and harvest time. This was about BigAgra trying to gain a crippling competitive advantage over traditional farmers, not the children.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:54 AM

4. So now we're defending child labor for political expediency?

just. speechless.

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:07 AM

7. just. speechless.

Me too.

I thought all those hoards of illegal aliens were keeping American children from getting those jobs!

or something....

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Response to bread_and_roses (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:22 AM

12. Children can work

 

Pretty much anywhere right now. This would have prevented them from working on farms specifically. In rural farming areas typical youth jobs are quite limited so many work on farms as their first jobs instead of McDonalds or the usual retail outlets. It's good work. It was a protect the children bill, nothing more. And a misdirected one at that.

Where I live there are a ton of farms and they are major employers of the high school kids in the area.

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Response to raps (Reply #12)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:31 AM

15. Why do you say that a 'protect the children bill' is misdirected?

I'm curious.

Also, wouldn't the bill still have allowed children to work, not only on their own family's farm, but other farms too?

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Response to Demit (Reply #15)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:42 AM

16. Everything is dangerous

 

Picking out farm work isn't necessary. Seems like it would have prevented several types of work on farms for children of specific ages. Having done farm work before I just disagree with the bill and find it unnecessary and harmful for an industry that desperately needs more young people involved with it.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:55 AM

5. Fellow DU posters;

As I read the regs, this bill would ONLY have affected the children NOT working on their own farms, but those working on OTHER farms.

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Response to greiner3 (Reply #5)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:20 AM

11. Which often happens in family farming

Especially when making hay and harvesting grains. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with 10 and 12 YO kids working feed lots and other industrial scale 'farms'.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:57 AM

6. Two 14 year olds die in electrocution accident in Illinois cornfield ( Monsanto Corp. )


http://www.kmov.com/news/local/2-die-in-electrocution-accident-in-Ill-cornfield-126151238.html

KMOV.com

Posted on July 25, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Updated Monday, Jul 25 at 9:11 PM

TAMPICO, Ill. (AP) -- Two farm workers were killed in an electrocution accident while they were removing tassels from corn in a rural area of northwestern Illinois.

The Whiteside County Sheriff's Department says four crew members received an electrical shock when they came into contact with a farm irrigator Monday near the village of Tampico. Several others also felt the shock.

Pronounced dead at CGH Medical Center in Sterling were Jade Garza and Hannah Kendall, both 14, of Sterling. Two others were seriously injured in the accident, one was airlifted to St. Anthony's Hospital in Rockford. The other was being treated at CGH Medical Center.

Authorities say six other workers were treated for non-life threatening injuries.

About 72 people working for Monsanto Corp. were detasseling corn in a field when the accident occurred.

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Response to Omaha Steve (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:24 AM

13. Rest in peace, Jade and Hannah

and all the other children who have died, and Gold bless those who have had limbs ripped off by farm machinery or otherwise have had their lives changed forever by working in environments that would be deemed hazardous for adults. I live in an agricultural area, have horses myself, and I know the risks involved. One of my co-workers (now in financial services) had a large portion of his leg and hip ripped off when he was 14 while working with a piece of large equipment on his parents' South Dakota farm. Here in Colorado, I have seen children four and six years old riding on tractors in local parades, on the FENDERS, near the wheels and power take off, and the parade organizers, parents, etc. did not see the danger. I saw one approximately four year-old riding in the uplifted BUCKET of an front loader - he was STANDING UP - while the adult (presumably father) drove the damn thing down the road, coming towards me. The kid could have fallen out and been crushed under the treads before the father even knew he was gone.

I guess sometimes we have to just accept what we cannot change: If such regulations were passed, they would likely be ignored.

Like comedian Ron White says, "There's no cure for stupid."

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:16 AM

9. Feed lots and stockyards

Are not family farming operations. They are industrial.

I do know many family farms with grain bins, but I suspect the ones referenced by the bill are more elevator in scale.

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Response to Freddie Stubbs (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:18 AM

10. I'm of two minds on the subject

I grew up and live in farmland. I know how dangerous the work can be but that was also the best chance of earning a few dollars. Most of the kids under 18 that work on farms around me are family members or neighbors. They and their employers would be seriously pissed by cutting off that source of income.

On the other side of the debate, kids are generally stupid or think they are invulnerable to physical harm. You can't blame them their brains aren't fully developed. I'm surprised I survived my teenage years or even beyond that. I survived too many close calls because I was just trying to get the job done and didn't think about the risks.

The only organizations that would employ young kids just for their low wages are big operations that really don't need the financial break.

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Response to tech3149 (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 10:46 AM

17. There is also the "We've always done it that way" mentality, which is deeply, deeply ingrained.

When it comes to "earning a few dollars," those few dollars look pretty pale next to a gigantic medical bill. And if you approached any of these farmers and said, "Here's $100. Sell me your son," do you think they would take the money? But if your son or daughter dies doing the work, that's exactly what you have done. You sold your kid, cheap.

Some of this is community: A kid dies, or is maimed, and the rural community gathers round to sympathize with and support the family. They bring casseroles. They pat shoulders, and offer shoulders to cry on. And they offer all sorts of comfort and solace. This just reinforces the idea and mindset that such events are part of life, part of the agricultural life, and cannot be helped or changed. If the COMMUNITY took the attitude that anyone who allowed their underage child to work on a neighbor's farm (where they had no control over the working conditions and could not offer their child supervision), especially if that child was hurt or killed, should be held accountable, that mindset would change rapidly. Isn't that they view they would take if a 12 year old was allowed to drive on the Interstate and caused a fatal accident? They don't seem to see the comparison.

Working and learning with your family on a farm is one thing; having your child work off property requires a lot of care and forethought. And that's what these regs would have affected.

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