Monday, 17 November 2008

Just What We Need - More Child Labour

Luis Castaneda holds a picture of his brother Nery Castaneda, who died at the age of 17 while working an unsafe job. Many employers are ignoring child labor laws which result in injuries and deaths. (Photo: Robert Lahser / The Charlotte Observer)

So, apparently Saskatchewan needs more child labour.

How long before we start seeing headlines like this:

Hard labor at a tender age - Raid at poultry plant reveals problem beyond illegal immigration. Workers as young as 15 were found on the line or

Child labor going largely unchecked or

Federal, state lawmakers vow to get tougher on child labor.

Not long, we already have employers in this province exploiting and ripping off young workers - and that's before the Sask. Party makes it easier yet.

Check it out: Exploitation of young workers in Saskatchewan.

or this: Regina Restaurant Rips Off Workers.


Matthew Bennett said...

Hey Larry,

I was one of the youth delegates that purposed the bill.
Our intent was to avoid hard child labor such as what you outlined at all costs but to allow 14 and 15 year-olds work for their parents or at a corner store for some extra change during High School.
We put in a clause to only allow 30 hour work weeks for these workers as well as a clause for the government to encourage kids to stay in school. We also put in a clause that would require parental consent. This would help out for example restaurants finding dishwashers in this labor shortage.

I sincerely hope that we would never have people under the age of 18 let alone 16 ever working on a line, or ever working in high risk jobs.

Anyways just some insight on the bill from the guy that purposed it :)

Larry Hubich said...


Thank you for participating in the blog.

You indicate that you "purposed the bill". Are you suggesting that you have participated in the writing of legislation to amend or define the minimum age for employment in the province?

If so, when will your bill be introduced in the legislature, and do you think the government will be holding public consultations to ensure all of the things you want remain in the legislation. And/or that unintended consequences are guarded against.

Please advise.

Matthew Bennett said...

No, we purposed the Policy at the convention. Basically the youth delegates have their own "mini-convention", in which we debate policies and we get to take one policy idea to the main convention. Consequently the policy past.

Just to be clear, I helped formulate the policy and pupose the policy.

Though the Sask Party government makes the legislation, the youth wing of the party purposed the policy to the government.

Anyways my point still is that we don't want more "child labor" by any means. This policy is made to reduce the labor shortage, also allowing capable young people who want to work participate in our economy in low-risk jobs. We were very careful to include clauses to direct the government to encourage graduation from High School.