Child labor violations are increasing in the United States, with big food companies pushing for children to work again. This is despite child labor being abolished in the US in 1938. The US Labor Department has found that children as young as 10 are working in McDonald’s restaurants, with some working until 2 a.m. and not receiving adequate payment. Bauer Food LLC is the operator of one such McDonald’s restaurant in Louisville, Kentucky, where two 10-year-old children were found to be working late hours. Bell Restaurant Group in Louisville was fined nearly $30,000 for allowing 14 and 15-year-olds to work more than the law permits, including during school hours.
These instances of child labor violations are alarming and suggest that companies are willing to violate the law and exploit children for their labor. This is a worrying trend that has the potential to undermine child welfare and development.
In the past, children had to work because of their family’s economic circumstances. However, with the introduction of laws banning child labor, children are now able to attend school and receive an education, which is essential for their growth and development. Education is a fundamental right for all children and should not be compromised by the interests of big food companies.
Child labor is not only illegal but also dangerous for children’s health and well-being. Children are required to work with equipment that they are not permitted to use, such as hot grills, ovens, and deep fryers with hot oil. These are dangerous culinary equipment that can cause severe burns and injuries. Children working in such environments are not only at risk of physical harm but also mental and emotional stress.
Big food companies push for children to work again is an unfortunate reminder of the past, where children were exploited for their labor and forced to work in unsafe conditions. The bubonic plague, which was prevalent during this time, led to children working more to support their families. However, we are fortunate to live in a time where we do not have to worry about such plagues and can focus on building a better future for children, where they are free to attend school and pursue their dreams.
It is essential that companies abide by the law and refrain from exploiting children for their labor. The government should also take strict action against companies found violating child labor laws. This could include hefty fines and the suspension of operating licenses.
In conclusion, child labor is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. Companies must adhere to the law and prioritize children’s welfare and development. Education is a fundamental right for all children and should not be compromised for the interests of corporations. The government must take strict action against violators of child labor laws to ensure that children are protected from exploitation and allowed to reach their full potential.