In case you missed it, Teen Vogue published a story highlighting Governor Chris Sununu’s opposition to child labor protections in New Hampshire.
This follows a story from the New Republic detailing his work to roll back protections for Granite State children and the labor laws that prevent their exploitation.
Following harrowing reports of child labor exploitation across the country and federal officials announcing plans to “crack down,” plenty of Americans expressed shock at the prevalence of the problem despite laws meant to eradicate it.
In New Hampshire last summer, Republican governor Chris Sununu (a potential 2024 presidential candidate) signed a law allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to work 35 hours a week (up from 30), and permitting 14-year-old bussers to clear tables where alcohol had been served.
So why is this happening? Suggests Jeet Heer of the Nation, “[Though] there have been federal laws on the books to prevent child labor since 1938, [the] decline of labor unions combined with the neoliberal evisceration of the regulatory capacity of the government means these laws often go unenforced.” Heer criticized it as a bipartisan issue, citing a lack of regulatory capacity and the overburdened immigration system failing to protect young people in the process.
Maybe we could make child labor – something happening globally, but also right on our soil – a thing for the history books? Just a thought.