Skip to comments.Who's Picking Your Berries? Feds Find Young Children on Strawberry Farms (Amish?)
Posted on 08/11/2011 3:42:35 PM PDT by flowerplough
(Or just some other kinda ordinary farm kids? My brothers and I dairied well over 40 hours a summer week when we were still in elementary school.)
Nearly two years after ABC News cameras uncovered young children toiling away in Michigan's blueberry fields, federal investigators have found yet another disturbing example of illegal use of child labor in the berry industry.
Three southwest Washington strawberry growers were fined $73,000 last week after the U.S. Department of Labor found children between the ages of six and 11 working in their strawberries fields in June.
While an exemption in the federal child labor law allows 12- and 13-year-olds to work for unlimited hours on large agricultural operations, children under the age of 12 are strictly prohibited from working under similar conditions.
Andrea Schmitt, an attorney with Columbia Legal Services in Olympia, said that the low wages made by workers in the Northwest berry industry are a key factor driving young kids into the fields. She said that berry pickers, who are usually paid a piece rate instead of an hourly wage, often struggle to make the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.
(Excerpt) Read more at abcnews.go.com ...
Picking my own (with a little help from two daughters). Blackberries, Rasberries and Huckleberries. Huckleberry makes a good jelly, The Ras and black are going combined into pies.
So they take their kids to work with them? That's my suspicion.
The local creepy guy stated:
“I used to ride my bike to the berry farm on summer mornings to do exactly that.”
Parents are united in keeping this fellow out of the berry fields.
Where are these poor kid’s parents? Oh, that’s right! The parents are the ones making them pick the berries. The only villans in the article are the companies...
The liberals want these kids in school so they can learn the proper way to put on a condom.
WOW. Kids working in the fields in the summer, instead of TV and video games. The horror!
Good lord. Maybe is was just California but everyone I knew picked berries in the summer for a few extra dollars.
Nothing to get hung about.
Really? You don’t think...the parents have any skin in the game here?
Oh heck! Picking berries and cherries were great summer kid jobs when I was growing up. It was especially funny the first day because you could eat all you wanted, and you could always depend on some kid eating until he puked.
It wasn’t a lot of money, but it was something to do and it kept you busy during the boring part of summer. Plus all the movies, soda and comic books...
I miss those days.
I use to take my grandkids to the strawberry farm to pick. They loved it and I was ready to leave before they were..got to eat all the strawberrys they wanted....It took a lot of quarts to make 4 batches of jam plus strawberry shortcake...
Growing up in Tacoma WA in the 1960s picking Strawberries was a great way for us kids to earn summer money. You had to be 12 with signed permission from you parents is all. The Strawberry bus would pick kids up at a stop two blocks away from my home and take us to the Puyallup Valley, where we would get paid by the flat, so the amount you made depended on how hard you worked. It was great fun, and I always had enough after each day of picking to buy a new plastic model, a bag of candy, and have some left over to save for our family vacation to Disneyland.
Leave it to the Government to call it an abuse of child labor.
why can't kids work?...especially picking blueberries.....its not like we're asking them to work with heavy machinery....
Even children are slaves to the system.
one weekend, with all of us working, the family made about $35 !....of course that was when work and money meant something....
Two words for you:
Crack & Meth
Bruised fruit... not so much if you want to make money.
Don’t tell anybody, but I paid my cousin’s six-year-old $10 to pick my green beans. She was so excited and couldn’t wait to go to the bank and put it in her account!
When I was a kid in California they would delay the start of school in the fall until the prune harvest was in.
As I recall from my, in retrospect, childhood in Elysium; picking strawberries was like therapy after WEEDING half an acre of them.
Picking up drops....ah, the memories. My family owned an apple orchard. It wasn’t bad work if one could avoid the yellowjackets, snakes, and kneeling on the really squishy apples.
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