News & Commentary

January 29, 2018

Vivian Dong

Vivian Dong is a student at Harvard Law School.

Children working with heavy farm machinery risk serious bodily injury and even death, yet the practice remains common on America’s family farms.  Every year, thousands of children and teenagers are injured doing farm work, and at least 100 are killed.  In rural towns, and among safety groups, people debate whether children should routinely use farm equipment.  Tradition, and the need to save money on labor as farm prices plummet, halt attempts to restrict children from using machinery.  When the Obama administration tried to pass rules restricting children from work in manure pits and driving tractors and other heavy equipment, public revolt caused the government to quickly drop the proposals.  Now, the U.S. Department of Labor states that children of any age “may work at any time in any job” on their parents’ farms. The New York Times reports.

Professional tennis players are considering unionization in order to ensure more revenue generated from tournaments goes to players.  During the recent Australian Open, the idea of unionization resonated among male and female players alike.  For female players, a major issue is whether there should be a joint union with male players.  Currently, female players are part of the Women’s Tennis Association, and male players are part of the Association of Tennis Professionals.  The ATP has historically been more organized and successful in getting their grievances addressed.  Some female players, however, worry that a joint union would drown out women players’ voices.  Though men and women now often receive equal prize money at tournaments, some male players have expressed resentment at this.

Germany’s largest union, IG Metall, plans to go on a 24-hour strike across the country next week after regional labor talks failed to produce an agreement.  The union represents workers producing cars, car parts, and machinery at, among other companies, BMW, Audi, and Daimler.

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