(Foto: Ilustrativa/Pexels)

Our family was very poor in Las Animas Colorado, and we needed more income to feed our large family in 1956. My father a respected farmworker was getting 65 cents an hour. Or $6.50 a day for 10 hours of work.

Marcos my father convinced the crew boss to hire me at the same meager wage and there I was under the hot sun working side by side with my father. Because of my inexperience my father had to work extra hard to keep us up with the rest of the crew.

Now with the two of us working we were bringing home a grand total of $13 a day the wages for two individuals working 10 hours.

At the age of 12 I got a job working all night at a dry ice plant 20 miles south of town. I had to present a social security card which you could not get unless you were 14 of age. My friend Paul Fernandez lent me his card and I went to working packing train cars with dry ice with out the proper gloves and clothing. It was super hard and dangerous work.

By the old age of 13 I left with a Texas sheep shearing crew to shear sheep in the Dakotas far from my home in Las Animas, Colorado. It was an adventure and very hard on a young teenager. We did not have cell phones and no medical plans should I get injured. At one point one man a fellow worker who gave haircuts tried to shoot me with his 22 pistol when I refused his services. I was lucky that he was drunk and was not a good shot. But as I ran amongst the sheep I was scared and moving fast like a pro football half back dodging right and left quickly.

I continued to work at many farms and not farm jobs as a hard-working laborer during my youth. Later I would find out that none of my early employers paid into social security.

I never learned to enjoy baseball as a young man given that my summers were spent out in the hot sun working for very little money.

Today many states are lowering the ages for children to go to work and with no protections. At the same time, they are deporting immigrant workers who could fill these jobs properly

One startling situation has young children under the age of 18 working in bars and serving drinks. I have done these bar jobs when I was 19 years of age and know of the abuse and problems a younger person might encounter with some clients who have had too much to drink.

Many of the children already working already and who will be filling these new opportunities will be children of color, immigrants, and poor white kids. The children of these legislators who are changing the laws will not have  to work at these precarious jobs. Their families have enough money so that they will not be forced to work to survive.

We must protect our children from this expanded form of child abuse.


Por favor ingrese su comentario!
Por favor ingrese su nombre aquí