Maine Now Second State to Push Child Labor
Wish the citizens were allowed to come up with ways to get around stuff like this! It all comes down to money, yet they will keep making their high wages.
Why is it that some Republican lawmakers really want to see the return of child labor?
State legislative sessions have been brutal enough for working families this year, but Republicans, first in Missouri and now in Maine, want to go even further—by “relaxing” laws preventing children from being exploited. As Amanda Terkel reports:
The minimum wage in Maine is $7.50 an hour, and there is no training or subminimum wage for students. But under a new piece of legislation introduced in the state’s House of Representatives, employers would be able to pay anyone under the age of 20 as little as $5.25 an hour for their first 180 days on the job.
The bill, LD 1346, also eliminates the maximum number of hours a minor 16 years of age or older can work on a school day and allows a minor under the age of 16 to work up to four hours on a school day during hours when school is not in session.
This move works well with Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s unilateral removal of an 11-panel mural from the Dept. of Labor. The mural depicted the history of working people and their struggles for improvements at the workplace. Improvements like the elimination of child labor, say. As Joseph McCartin, associate professor of History at Georgetown University writes today about Lepage’s actions:
The effort to erase this past is dangerous. More than a mere exercise in political score settling, it is an effort to rewrite the nation’s history, erasing unions from it.