‘Dumb and dangerous’: US sees surge in efforts to weaken child labor regulations | The Guardian

This March a bill was reintroduced in the US House and Senate that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to work in certain mechanized operations in the logging industry under parental supervision. Timber industry groups have strongly backed the legislation. For Wendy Bostwick, the news was a nightmare.

Bostwick’s son Cole, who had just turned 18, died in a logging accident in 2014 on a job site in Washington where his father, Tim Bostwick, was also working.

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“Obviously that was a tragic situation, but somebody who does want to get into logging can and should be supervised by their parents,” Senator Jim Risch of Idaho, chief sponsor of the Future Logging Careers Act, said in an interview with the local Washington paper the Chronicle. “If a child is going to go into logging, what better way than to start with your family and having your family teach it to you?”

“Bullshit!” Bostwick told the Guardian. “It should open our eyes.

“One of the most dangerous jobs in the world and people want to put their children out there? Kids that age are not emotionally ready for something like this. They don’t have the mental faculties to drink alcohol, but they can go out there and make life-and-death decisions? I don’t think so. It’s dumb and dangerous,” she said.

One of the most dangerous jobs in the world and people want to put their children out there?
Wendy Bostwick
The logging bill is just one of several efforts across the US to roll back child labor protections at a time when many employers are still struggling to fill jobs.
— Read on www.theguardian.com/law/2023/may/01/us-surge-efforts-reduce-child-labor-regulations


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