Because of recent Iowa Child Labor Law proposed changes to current legislation, the Quad City Federation of Labor AFL-CIO will host a news conference and rally to create awareness about effects these changes could have on children in the community, according to a news release.

Parents, labor leaders, and legislators are invited to attend from noon until 1 p.m. Saturday, March 25, at the UFCW Local 431 Hall, 2411 W. Central Park Ave., Davenport.

According to the release, some Iowa representatives and senators are proposing child-labor laws in a bill (SF 542 & HF 647) that includes:

  • Allowing youth as young as 14 to work six-hour nightly shifts, and even longer hours during summer months.
  • Allowing 15-year-olds to work on assembly production lines or loading/unloading shipments of items up to 50 pounds.
  • Allowing 16- and 17-year-olds to serve alcohol.
  • Allowing employers to recruit teens for “work-based learning” programs in jobs formerly off-limits as hazardous but now open to 14–17-year-olds under waivers provided by Iowa Workforce Development.

“As a parent, this bill disgusts me. I’m thankful that it has been amended as it reached the Senate’s office, but it saddens me that it made it that far. Children are meant to learn, not earn. Keep our children out of bars, away from factories, and in school where they belong,” said parent Ashley Danner, of DeWitt, in the release.

“Depending on the type of job, these proposed changes could put our teenagers at risk of loss of education, severe injuries, or loss of life. Rather than rolling back protections, they should be working on increasing living wages so parents wouldn’t need their kids to go to work to help support the family,” said Dan Gosa, president of the Quad City Federation of Labor AFL-CIO, in the release.