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Thursday, 16 June 2011

Wisconsin Wants to Repeal Child Labor Laws, Too

by: Robin Marty


Now that Wisconsin has that pesky "collective bargaining" thing taken care of, it's time for the next logical step in making sure employers don't have to pay a living wage -- repealing child labor laws.

To show how happy the Republican majorities are to make the state "business friendly" the legislature asked key business leaders what could be done to help them grow.  The response?  Repeal laws blocking teens from working more hours.

Via the Cap Times:
According to an analyst with the Wisconsin Fiscal Bureau, the new law would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work an unlimited number of hours per week. Current law caps the number of hours they can work at 32 hours on a partial school week; 26 hours during a full school week; and 50 hours during non-school weeks, such as over spring break or during the summer.
The proposal would also allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work unlimited hours per day, except when they are supposed to be in school. Currently they are restricted to working eight hours on Saturday, Sunday and the last day of the school week — which is typically Friday — and five hours a day on school days.
The motion would also repeal the state law that prevents 16- and 17-year-olds from working more than six days a week. And 14- and 15-year-olds would be allowed to work until 9 p.m. on a school day, but only on the few school days that fall between June 1 and Labor Day (currently they can only work until 8 p.m.). Teens of all ages would still be banned from working during school hours.
Much like the laws being passed in Maine, businesses are claiming it will help students be "competitive" when it comes to fighting adults for low wage jobs.  Which is true, since now the industries don't need to offer a pesky "livable" wage that a person can support him or herself on, and can instead offer a minimum wage that only a child being supported by his or her parents can afford.

Keep the Republicans in power long enough and maybe we can bring back sweatshops, too!
Read more: politics, child labor, workers rights

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