Friday, September 29, 2023

'Our kids are not for sale' | Union workers, parents rally in Davenport ... - WQAD Moline

DAVENPORT, Iowa — Union workers and parents came together in Davenport at the UFCW Local 431 hall, rallying against proposed changes to Iowa's child labor laws.

The bills in question are Senate File 542 and House File 647 which protestors claim could put working teens in danger.

Supporters of the bills assert that changes would help address labor shortages and give students more work experience, but the Quad City Federation of Labor and some parents in the Quad Cities area disagree.

Several times at the indoor rally, demonstrators chanted the phrase "our kids are not for sale!"

Speakers claimed the bills could bring unfair changes for teens as young as 14 years old, such as allowing them to work 6-hour night shifts and even longer hours during the summer.

"What we're seeing a lot at the schools is over-scheduling, where students who are in work are being scheduled for too many shifts and it's interfering with their extracurriculars," Evan Schenck from the Davenport Education Association said, who teaches social studies at Davenport North High School.

The union is also concerned over 15-year-olds being allowed to work on assembly production lines or handling shipments of items up to 50 pounds.

"Kids would be at much greater risk of injury, accident, chronic injuries — even back injuries that could last them the rest of their lives beginning when they're 14," Schenck said.

Schenck said he's not opposed to teens working, but wants it to be safe.

"I've done construction, I've...

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