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Child Labor: Helping Dad or Taking Jobs From Adults?



Upon reading this, you might think it’s nice that a son is helping his father doing his construction labor over the summer. But then you realize that this sort of thing is the root of how child labor get established and that it takes work away from law-abiding contractors.

A day after a 13-year-old boy was found doing electrical work at a school construction site, more than a dozen union members staged a protest outside the building.

“We’re asking for a level playing field,” said Ted Duarte, a senior organizer for the New England Regional Council of Carpenters. “We’re asking for legitimate contractors, union or not union, to have a real shot at getting real work and not having to compete against people who are exploiting children.”

The state Department of Labor’s Wage and Workplace Standards Division sent inspectors to the New School, an extension of Rogers Magnet Elementary, Thursday after learning of the violation. Authorities said they found the juvenile helping his father, an electrician working for D.F. McDermott, a contractor out of Ansonia.

Police removed the boy and his father from the construction area, but no one was arrested.

And the UBC should be protesting against this. Even if you don’t want to blame the father, you should blame the school.

There simply is no place for child labor in this country. And 13 year olds should definitely not be working on construction sites as electricians.

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