Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gutting Child Labor Laws in Missouri

Missouri state senator Jane Cunningham has sponsored senate bill 222, which would revoke current state labor law so that kids under age 14 can work more than three hours a day on schools days, and more than eight hours on non-school days. The law would also prevent labor inspectors from monitoring child labor law at work places and it would make it easier to claim that toiling children are not actually “working,” thus exempting business from even the weakened child protections.

Cunningham is using the umbrella of “parents’ rights” to defend her gift to business, saying that the “nanny” state is “so over the top” in Missouri that its labor laws prevent parents from teaching their kids a good work ethic. However, she seems to have some confusion about what a good work ethic is. Working so late into the evening that homework gets ignored is hardly a good work ethic. Allowing oneself to be exploited and abused is not a good work ethic either—it’s called being a doormat.

Cunningham is a strong advocate of “right to work,” laws (also known as right to work for less, since they weaken unions and lower wages and working conditions). Missouri is not currently a right to work for less state. However, legislation has been proposed that would change that.


  1. How does this bill even get considered in a modern society? And when pray-tell would the child attend school, study? And WHO keeps the child's wages, mom and pop, or the child...child labor is slave labor. I guess Cunningham wants to creat a competitive China-India type work force. How do people like this ever get elected?

  2. It used to be that going to school and doing your homework was considered a way to develop a work ethic, and it was a matter of pride for parents that they didn't have to send their children out for salaried work. How anyone does anything but laugh at the obvious interests involved here is a mystery to me.