DES MOINES, Iowa (KELO) — Dozens of union workers and parents gathered at the Iowa statehouse on Monday to protest a child labor bill.
“Our kids are not for sale, Our kids are not for sale, Our kids are not for sale,” said a protestor.
The bill would allow 14-year-olds to work in industrial laundries and meat freezers during the school year for six hours. Those hours could be extended during the summer months.
It would also allow 15-year-olds to work on assembly lines. The bill would also reduce liability to employers if a child gets injured.
“These are middle school kids cleaning big machinery sharp machinery…and using harsh chemicals… they are sleeping through class if they were getting paid a better way…their families wouldn’t depend on them as part of the family income,” said Sandy Conway with United Steel Workers 105.
The bill would also allow 16 and 17-year-olds to serve alcohol. Protestors say this is not the solution to Iowa’s worker shortage.