In the first half hour, we talk about the impact of good journalism, specifically in the case of the New York Times piece on migrant child labor and how quickly the Biden admin jumped into action. Then we have a discussion about work trends. More and more people are opting for part-time work, while some people are juggling two full-time remote jobs.
Guest: Greg Bach
A couple weeks back, we discussed a Wisconsin based company that was fined for illegally employing more than 100 children in hazardous work. As of today, Packers Sanitation Services (PSSI), Wisconsin food safety sanitation services provider, has paid $1.5 million in penalties for illegally employing more than 100 children, ages 13 to 17, in hazardous occupations including overnight shifts at meat processing plants in eight states, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
But when we first covered the story, one of the facts that stood out was that PSSI is far from the only company to violate child labor laws in recent years. Since 2018, the Department of Labor has seen a 50% increase in child labor violations nationally.
Then, on February 25th, the New York Times published “Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.,” a story that documented the migrant children, who have been coming into the U.S. without their parents in record numbers and are working some of the most punishing jobs in the country. This shadow workforce is part of a new economy of exploitation that extends across industries in every state, flouting child labor laws that have been in place for nearly a century.
Then, within TWO DAYS after its publication, the Biden administration has announced sweeping changes to fix multiple system failures.
In Nicole Hannah Jones’ own words:
Speaking of local journalism, please take a moment to read Raqel Rutlegde’s piece on how local journalism actually protects you and consider attending, “Pulitzer on the Road: How Local Journalism Helps You,” March 28 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Overture Center for the Arts in Madison. There will be a reception with light food and beverages following the program. The event is free, but please register here.
Over a million Americans joined the part-time workforce in December and January—and most of them chose the temporary grind over a full-time hustle. Key word: chose. As of last month, over 22 million part-timers were working fewer than 35 hours per week voluntarily, compared to just 4 million that wanted full-time hours and couldn’t get them. That nearly six-to-one ratio is the highest it’s been in two decades, per the WSJ.
Simultaneously, there is now a surge in people who are secretly working two or more full-time jobs without their employers’ knowledge.
Greg, Kristin, and Jane talk about these and other work trends (quiet quitting), what drives this sort of behavior, and the general social contract of what “having a job” now means.