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Al Womble

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Political Director of the Iowa AFL-CIO Al Womble, joined the America’s Work Force Union Podcast to discuss Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signing Senate File 542 into law. Womble then talked about what the law means for child labor in Iowa and possible issues with federal labor laws.

Senate File 542 is a bill that deals with child labor in Iowa. The changes created by the new law are numerous, however a few were considered dangerous and unnecessary by many parents and organizations who voiced their opposition to the bill. Reynolds said the law “instills values in the next generation and provides opportunities for young adults to earn and save.” 

The new law changes the industries where younger workers can work. Now workers as young as 14 are allowed in meat packing facilities, manufacturing jobs and other industries that many consider to be dangerous. Also changing is the age in which workers are allowed to serve alcohol in restaurants, as 16 and 17 year olds are now in the approved age range. According to Womble these are an improvement to the originally proposed bill, as employers are still liable for workers injuries unlike the original proposal. 

The Department of Labor has written to lawmakers and notified them that some of the law changes are considered illegal on the federal level due to pre-existing labor laws. There is a possibility that the Department of Labor could step in if enough violations are reported. However, it would take a high level of vigilance and community involvement to report violations, Womble said. 

Listen to the entire episode to learn more.

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America’s Work Force is the only daily labor podcast in the US and has been on the air since 1993, supplying listeners with useful, relevant input into their daily lives through fact-finding features, in-depth interviews, informative news segments and practical consumer reports. America’s Work Force is committed to providing an accessible venue in which America's workers and their families can hear discussion on important, relevant topics such as employment, healthcare, legislative action, labor-management relations, corporate practices, finances, local and national politics, consumer reports and labor issues.

America’s Work Force Union Podcast is brought to you in part by our sponsors: AFL-CIO, American Federation of Government Employees, American Federation of Musicians Local 4, American Alliance for Manufacturing, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Columbus/Central Ohio Building and Construction Trades Council, Communication Workers of America, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers, International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 50, International Brotherhood of Teamsters, International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Crafts, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 6, Ironworkers Great Lakes District Council, The Labor Citizen newspaper, Laborers International Union of The National Labor Office of Blue Cross and Blue Shield, North America, North Coast Area Labor Federation, Ohio Federation of Teachers, Survey and Ballot Systems, United Labor Agency, United Steelworkers.

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