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(BBC-US)   Flouting international labor laws, children forced to work on North China tobacco farms, routinely poisoned from contact with pesticides and nicotine ... wait, no, not North China. I meant North *Carolina* tobacco farms   ( bbc.com) divider line
    More: Sick, child labour, tobacco company  
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6115 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 May 2014 at 12:48 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-05-14 11:40:08 AM  
They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?
 
2014-05-14 11:50:10 AM  

JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?


It's the paying them at all part that's new...
 
2014-05-14 11:53:23 AM  

haemaker: JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?

It's the paying them at all part that's new...


That's when they began making demands and getting uppity.
 
2014-05-14 12:03:10 PM  
For three months last summer, Fernando and his older brother Brandon Jayubo, each worked up to 72 hours a week harvesting tobacco. Then 12 and 14 years old, they earned $500-$600 (£297-356) per week.
Surprising as it may be, that does not currently violate American labour laws.


WTF?
 
2014-05-14 12:10:27 PM  
My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning. That stuff goes right through your skin. We didn't think much of it at the time, everyone worked the fields during summer break. Kind of a right of passage thing. Picked cucumbers sometime after. That was worse. Cukes are covered in little hairs that work like fiberglass shards. Got 25 cents a bushel if I remember correctly. Learned my lesson to stay the hell away from farm work.
 
2014-05-14 12:15:54 PM  
I worked tobacco a few summers, in Western Mass when the ex-wife and I first got together. It's hard work, you learn to wear socks on your arms, or long sleeves to keep the sticky stuff off your skin. And yeah, there are a lot of kids out in the fields, because it's summer work, and legal. Rebecca Lobo worked the crew I was on back in the day, along with her sister and her brother--who missed his NBA tryout, but consoled himself with a law degree, and he is an impressively tall motherf*cker.

You want fun? The kids used to throw tobacco worms into the leaves that the barn crews sewed--Mass does shade tobacco for rolling cigars, and you have to cure the suckers sewed onto lats to be hung--and they were often disappointed when the girls--women tend to do better at sewing than men, and most of the sewing crews, as well as winding crews, to keep the plants upright thanks to better hand-eye coordination--failed to scream. Most of the boys wound up suckering, or hoe crews to keep the plants' base strong, and limit the number of leaves produced so that the upper leave would wind up larger and broader, and they'd typically find the worms trying to suckle sweet, sweet, poisonous goodness to keep them from being bird bait, and they'd be removed, by hand. Problem is, the girls deal with worms, and the adult moths all the time, and very few of them ever freaked out. But, it didn't stop them from trying. Of course, the boys usually found this out when the girls would save all the worms that they tucked into the loads, and then pelt them with the squishy, explosive bundles of nastiness. Hornworms tend to get awfully bloated, and they pop in a very audible fashion when you huck them at someone...
 
2014-05-14 12:16:33 PM  
Not new. I grew up in tobacco country, in an era long gone. The farm kids would routinely come to school buzzed on nicotine from working in the fields. I don't remember any of them getting seriously ill, but maybe I wasn't paying attention.
 
2014-05-14 12:26:03 PM  
Hmmm didn't grow tobacco in my neck of the woods but kids working on farms is par for the course. You could even get a special drivers license that allowed you to drive at 14 for farm work. Maybe shoveling shiat or throwing hay is better than chopping tobacco but work is work.
 
2014-05-14 12:28:32 PM  

F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC


First outside the family job was bailing hay at two cents a bail up in the loft and all I could eat two meals a day.  Prayed for no rain.
 
vpb [TotalFark]
2014-05-14 12:38:58 PM  

JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?


Like there are people who work in tobacco fields who don't live in poverty?
 
2014-05-14 12:49:46 PM  
Growing up on a farm, I was going to have to say "What US child labor laws?"
 
2014-05-14 12:51:02 PM  
Mennonites?  Those guys have zero regard for child safety around farm equipment.
 
2014-05-14 12:51:07 PM  

F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning. That stuff goes right through your skin. We didn't think much of it at the time, everyone worked the fields during summer break. Kind of a right of passage thing. Picked cucumbers sometime after. That was worse. Cukes are covered in little hairs that work like fiberglass shards. Got 25 cents a bushel if I remember correctly. Learned my lesson to stay the hell away from farm work.


Gloves?
 
2014-05-14 12:51:24 PM  

vpb: JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?

Like there are people who work in tobacco fields who don't live in poverty?


Actually, a lot. I mentioned Rebecca Lobo as a for instance. In Western Mass, you see a lot of fairly well to do kids earning summer money working on farms, as well as guest workers. Some families have worked these farms for generations, doing summer work. My ex-wife and her family were third generation to work the farm we did our time at.
 
2014-05-14 12:53:29 PM  

Walker: For three months last summer, Fernando and his older brother Brandon Jayubo, each worked up to 72 hours a week harvesting tobacco. Then 12 and 14 years old, they earned $500-$600 (£297-356) per week.
Surprising as it may be, that does not currently violate American labour laws.

WTF?


All that has to happen is that they make sure you attend school.
 
2014-05-14 12:54:14 PM  
Around here they bus in teens to detassle the corn. No poison, but there are sharp knives, heat stroke, and dehydration to worry about.
 
2014-05-14 12:54:14 PM  

F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning. That stuff goes right through your skin. We didn't think much of it at the time, everyone worked the fields during summer break. Kind of a right of passage thing. Picked cucumbers sometime after. That was worse. Cukes are covered in little hairs that work like fiberglass shards. Got 25 cents a bushel if I remember correctly. Learned my lesson to stay the hell away from farm work.


I used to date a girl from St Pauls, NC and your post is exactly what she described to me about summer farm work in INC. Her daddy owns some tobacco fields somewhere around South of the Border too.
 
2014-05-14 12:54:43 PM  

hubiestubert: I worked tobacco a few summers, in Western Mass when the ex-wife and I first got together. It's hard work, you learn to wear socks on your arms, or long sleeves to keep the sticky stuff off your skin. And yeah, there are a lot of kids out in the fields, because it's summer work, and legal. Rebecca Lobo worked the crew I was on back in the day, along with her sister and her brother--who missed his NBA tryout, but consoled himself with a law degree, and he is an impressively tall motherf*cker.

You want fun? The kids used to throw tobacco worms into the leaves that the barn crews sewed--Mass does shade tobacco for rolling cigars, and you have to cure the suckers sewed onto lats to be hung--and they were often disappointed when the girls--women tend to do better at sewing than men, and most of the sewing crews, as well as winding crews, to keep the plants upright thanks to better hand-eye coordination--failed to scream. Most of the boys wound up suckering, or hoe crews to keep the plants' base strong, and limit the number of leaves produced so that the upper leave would wind up larger and broader, and they'd typically find the worms trying to suckle sweet, sweet, poisonous goodness to keep them from being bird bait, and they'd be removed, by hand. Problem is, the girls deal with worms, and the adult moths all the time, and very few of them ever freaked out. But, it didn't stop them from trying. Of course, the boys usually found this out when the girls would save all the worms that they tucked into the loads, and then pelt them with the squishy, explosive bundles of nastiness. Hornworms tend to get awfully bloated, and they pop in a very audible fashion when you huck them at someone...


Jesus fark dude is there a job you HAVEN'T done?
/Not doubting you, mind.
//Just, holy shiat, man!
 
2014-05-14 12:54:53 PM  
After failing to push through a change in US legislation two years ago, rights groups are now hoping cigarette companies, and even smokers themselves, will decide to take an ethical stand when it comes to children and tobacco farming.

gifrific.com
 
2014-05-14 12:54:55 PM  
I was told these are jobs americans won't do..
 
2014-05-14 12:56:30 PM  

cgraves67: Around here they bus in teens to detassle the corn. No poison, but there are sharp knives, heat stroke, and dehydration to worry about.


I never did that, but I've hoed beans and trimmed acres and acres of Christmas trees for the family tree farm.

I like to joke that I've got more than enough carbon offsets to last a lifetime.  I've planted thousands of trees, most of which have never been used for Christmas trees (goddamn fake trees....).
 
2014-05-14 12:56:53 PM  
If I grow my own tobacco. What reparations am I due?

won't someone please think of the children economy?!?

/grows his own tobacco
 
2014-05-14 12:58:09 PM  

hubiestubert: vpb: JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?

Like there are people who work in tobacco fields who don't live in poverty?

Actually, a lot. I mentioned Rebecca Lobo as a for instance. In Western Mass, you see a lot of fairly well to do kids earning summer money working on farms, as well as guest workers. Some families have worked these farms for generations, doing summer work. My ex-wife and her family were third generation to work the farm we did our time at.


There is nothing wrong with children working.
Friends and I got up at Odark thirty to wait for a bus that took us to berry fields in the summer when we were 5th and 6th grade. We loved the money.

/still love raspberries
 
2014-05-14 01:00:08 PM  
Smokers taking an ethical stand? Hahaha! Good luck with that.
 
2014-05-14 01:01:09 PM  

meat0918: cgraves67: Around here they bus in teens to detassle the corn. No poison, but there are sharp knives, heat stroke, and dehydration to worry about.

I never did that, but I've hoed beans and trimmed acres and acres of Christmas trees for the family tree farm.

I like to joke that I've got more than enough carbon offsets to last a lifetime.  I've planted thousands of trees, most of which have never been used for Christmas trees (goddamn fake trees....).


Heh...I spent a summer doing that. Guy had big dreams of a Christmas Tree farm. Planted the trees and then moved away a few years later. Everytime i go back home I get to see my little forest.
 
2014-05-14 01:02:02 PM  
I though all of the tobacco farms in NC moved to VA after they passed the no smoking in public laws and raised tobacco taxes. I know the Philip Morris farm next to the Speedway shut down. That was a loss of about 3,500 jobs.

www.royarden.com
 
2014-05-14 01:02:53 PM  
No one is forcing anyone to do anything subby.
 
2014-05-14 01:03:18 PM  

txchad: Smokers taking an ethical stand? Hahaha! Good luck with that.


Because drug addicts are bad, unethical people and should be treated as such by society.
 
2014-05-14 01:03:24 PM  
So no one has a problem with this except the people doing the documentary.

img.fark.net
 
2014-05-14 01:04:19 PM  

Felgraf: hubiestubert: I worked tobacco a few summers, in Western Mass when the ex-wife and I first got together. It's hard work, you learn to wear socks on your arms, or long sleeves to keep the sticky stuff off your skin. And yeah, there are a lot of kids out in the fields, because it's summer work, and legal. Rebecca Lobo worked the crew I was on back in the day, along with her sister and her brother--who missed his NBA tryout, but consoled himself with a law degree, and he is an impressively tall motherf*cker.

You want fun? The kids used to throw tobacco worms into the leaves that the barn crews sewed--Mass does shade tobacco for rolling cigars, and you have to cure the suckers sewed onto lats to be hung--and they were often disappointed when the girls--women tend to do better at sewing than men, and most of the sewing crews, as well as winding crews, to keep the plants upright thanks to better hand-eye coordination--failed to scream. Most of the boys wound up suckering, or hoe crews to keep the plants' base strong, and limit the number of leaves produced so that the upper leave would wind up larger and broader, and they'd typically find the worms trying to suckle sweet, sweet, poisonous goodness to keep them from being bird bait, and they'd be removed, by hand. Problem is, the girls deal with worms, and the adult moths all the time, and very few of them ever freaked out. But, it didn't stop them from trying. Of course, the boys usually found this out when the girls would save all the worms that they tucked into the loads, and then pelt them with the squishy, explosive bundles of nastiness. Hornworms tend to get awfully bloated, and they pop in a very audible fashion when you huck them at someone...

Jesus fark dude is there a job you HAVEN'T done?
/Not doubting you, mind.
//Just, holy shiat, man!


I have never worked in a bank. I have never done anything related to computers. My sales experience has been limited. I have never worked as a mechanic nor have I ever been a musician or a busker. My office experience was waaaaay back in college, and I didn't like it overly much. Never done metal work, though theater does sort of train you in a lot of weird areas.
 
2014-05-14 01:05:55 PM  
"Forced to work", subby?
I didn't see anywhere that these kids are slaves or are working against their will.  Sure it's a crap job, but so is flipping burgers at Scrawny Ronnie's.  There should be random inspections, and fines for farm owners caught not providing proper safety gear, but beyond that what's your point?

My dad grew up on a farm, and as he was the eldest son, my grandfather told him "I'll leave the farm to you if you want, but there are a lot of better ways to make a living".  My dad went on to become a university professor with a PhD in Mathematics, and his younger brother took over the family farm.  Both are making a decent living, though my uncle was clever enough to realize the farm alone wasn't the way to propserity, so became a skilled collector of antiques, which I suspect has been more profitable than the farm.
 
2014-05-14 01:06:19 PM  

JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?


Actually, believe it or not, as civilization progresses, it is considered an improvement to get kids out of the fields and into classrooms to learn things beyond how to survive at just above the poverty line in an agrarian economy.

Shocking, I know.
 
2014-05-14 01:06:22 PM  

Tellingthem: meat0918: cgraves67: Around here they bus in teens to detassle the corn. No poison, but there are sharp knives, heat stroke, and dehydration to worry about.

I never did that, but I've hoed beans and trimmed acres and acres of Christmas trees for the family tree farm.

I like to joke that I've got more than enough carbon offsets to last a lifetime.  I've planted thousands of trees, most of which have never been used for Christmas trees (goddamn fake trees....).

Heh...I spent a summer doing that. Guy had big dreams of a Christmas Tree farm. Planted the trees and then moved away a few years later. Everytime i go back home I get to see my little forest.


I spent summers from 10-20 doing that before my dad finally hired some migrant workers to help.

He does a brisk business. The Scotch Pines are not the nicest trees, but he sells those extra cheap, I think $5 a tree.  The Blue Spruce look great though and sell for $5 a foot I think, and the Doug and Balsam Firs do too, even though they took forever to get a good height in Michigan.

JoieD'Zen: hubiestubert: vpb: JoieD'Zen: They have been doing this for centuries subby. It's better that they sit on their asses and their families live in poverty?

Like there are people who work in tobacco fields who don't live in poverty?

Actually, a lot. I mentioned Rebecca Lobo as a for instance. In Western Mass, you see a lot of fairly well to do kids earning summer money working on farms, as well as guest workers. Some families have worked these farms for generations, doing summer work. My ex-wife and her family were third generation to work the farm we did our time at.

There is nothing wrong with children working.
Friends and I got up at Odark thirty to wait for a bus that took us to berry fields in the summer when we were 5th and 6th grade. We loved the money.

/still love raspberries


The issue isn't them working, it's them being poisoned by the work.  We've tended to frown on that in the last 100 years or so.
 
2014-05-14 01:07:58 PM  
For three months last summer, Fernando and his older brother Brandon Jayubo, each worked up to 72 hours a week harvesting tobacco. Then 12 and 14 years old, they earned $500-$600 (£297-356) per week.
Surprising as it may be, that does not currently violate American labour laws.


Not sure why all the outrage

So assuming they worked 72 hours, they would earn roughly 88 hours (40 hours regular - 32 hours OT so 16 hours of OT pay).

If they earned $600 they would make $6.81 per hour which is close to NC min wage of $7.25.  So if the reporter is over reporting the hours (shocking) and under reporting the pay (more shocking) it would skew the pay per hour.

Probably working about 70 hours per week and earning (pre tax / FICA) and about $616
 
2014-05-14 01:08:48 PM  
The South, she has her diamonds, and every one is great. But North Carolina is a cigarette state.
 
2014-05-14 01:09:14 PM  
Sounds like a bunch of Free Trade Communists wanting to push kids off the family farms and replace them with Illegal Aliens working on Corporate Farms

In the Corn Belt, school kids are hired to remove tassels on corn stalks. Kids make money, farmers keep their corn crops
 
2014-05-14 01:09:17 PM  

GoldSpider: txchad: Smokers taking an ethical stand? Hahaha! Good luck with that.

Because drug addicts are bad, unethical people and should be treated as such by society.


I don't have a problem with drug addicts. It's just if you wave a cigarette in front of them you can get them to do just about anything. When they have beaten the addiction, then yeah.
 
2014-05-14 01:09:56 PM  
Drugs
 
2014-05-14 01:10:14 PM  
I caddied when I was a kid, at Camargo Country Club. Because I was a big kid, I typically doubled, which meant I would get double tips. I didn't have to put up with sticky poisonous substances, but I learned that rich men are disgusting creeps who lust after high-school girls who work at the club, and say some really nasty things about them.

One of the men I caddied for was the owner of the Cleveland Browns. I'm sure he's dead now. He was actually pretty nice and would usually tip well. He had a cool straw hat too.
 
2014-05-14 01:11:18 PM  

FloridaFarkTag: Sounds like a bunch of Free Trade Communists wanting to push kids off the family farms and replace them with Illegal Aliens working on Corporate Farms

In the Corn Belt, school kids are hired to remove tassels on corn stalks. Kids make money, farmers keep their corn crops


Tasseling is done on the seed corn, which last I checked is a corporate contract farm usually.

The job sucks too.  Great motivation to better your lot in life.
 
2014-05-14 01:11:41 PM  
After failing to push through a change in US legislation two years ago, rights groups are now hoping cigarette companies, and even smokers themselves, will decide to take an ethical stand when it comes to children and tobacco farming.

Yes, I'm sure the tobacco companies will make the ethical choice.
 
2014-05-14 01:11:54 PM  

F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning.


I worked in tobacco operations for a dozen years or so and I don't recall ever seeing anyone throw up as a result of nicotine poisoning (not including the time we stole a cigar from one of the drivers and got really sick smoking it).

I did however see some folks suffer from heat stroke or dehydration, since the work is done in the heat of summer.

/can't wait to start hearing stories about "my summer job harvesting da sweet, sweet kine bud"
 
2014-05-14 01:12:33 PM  
At the risk of sounding like a "Greatest Generation" member, the idea that your kids should have it better than you did used to be a major cultural linchpin around these parts.

I grew up working in cotton and cane fields in South Texas, and wouldn't wish that sort of labor on the worst trolls on this site. Cotton bolls are not fun to hand-pick when grandpa can't afford a combine.
 
2014-05-14 01:13:46 PM  

El Dudereno: The South, she has her diamonds, and every one is great. But North Carolina is a cigarette state.


Was wondering how long it would take for a Robbie Fulks reference...
 
2014-05-14 01:14:08 PM  
Joey Scott says children working on farms is a part of US tradition

You know, like slavery.
 
2014-05-14 01:15:47 PM  

hubiestubert: I worked tobacco a few summers, in Western Mass when the ex-wife and I first got together. It's hard work, you learn to wear socks on your arms, or long sleeves to keep the sticky stuff off your skin. And yeah, there are a lot of kids out in the fields, because it's summer work, and legal. Rebecca Lobo worked the crew I was on back in the day, along with her sister and her brother--who missed his NBA tryout, but consoled himself with a law degree, and he is an impressively tall motherf*cker.

You want fun? The kids used to throw tobacco worms into the leaves that the barn crews sewed--Mass does shade tobacco for rolling cigars, and you have to cure the suckers sewed onto lats to be hung--and they were often disappointed when the girls--women tend to do better at sewing than men, and most of the sewing crews, as well as winding crews, to keep the plants upright thanks to better hand-eye coordination--failed to scream. Most of the boys wound up suckering, or hoe crews to keep the plants' base strong, and limit the number of leaves produced so that the upper leave would wind up larger and broader, and they'd typically find the worms trying to suckle sweet, sweet, poisonous goodness to keep them from being bird bait, and they'd be removed, by hand. Problem is, the girls deal with worms, and the adult moths all the time, and very few of them ever freaked out. But, it didn't stop them from trying. Of course, the boys usually found this out when the girls would save all the worms that they tucked into the loads, and then pelt them with the squishy, explosive bundles of nastiness. Hornworms tend to get awfully bloated, and they pop in a very audible fashion when you huck them at someone...


I read the second paragraph three times and all I understood was that some worms pop when you throw them.
 
2014-05-14 01:16:35 PM  

ristst: F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning.

I worked in tobacco operations for a dozen years or so and I don't recall ever seeing anyone throw up as a result of nicotine poisoning (not including the time we stole a cigar from one of the drivers and got really sick smoking it).

I did however see some folks suffer from heat stroke or dehydration, since the work is done in the heat of summer.

/can't wait to start hearing stories about "my summer job harvesting da sweet, sweet kine bud"


In Western Mass, the Jamaican guest workers had their patch out near the reservoir, but they tended that on their own, though they might sell some on the side...
 
2014-05-14 01:17:12 PM  
Shouldn't these kids be scoring drugs in school and getting beat-in to gangs?

Sheesh, what's come of our utes?
 
2014-05-14 01:17:36 PM  

hubiestubert: El Dudereno: The South, she has her diamonds, and every one is great. But North Carolina is a cigarette state.

Was wondering how long it would take for a Robbie Fulks reference...


My favorite line from that song is "Alabama's grand - the state not the band".
 
2014-05-14 01:19:01 PM  

F-14Tomcat: My first paying gig was priming tobacco in Smithfield NC . Puked my guts up from nicotine poisoning. That stuff goes right through your skin. We didn't think much of it at the time, everyone worked the fields during summer break. Kind of a right of passage thing. Picked cucumbers sometime after. That was worse. Cukes are covered in little hairs that work like fiberglass shards. Got 25 cents a bushel if I remember correctly. Learned my lesson to stay the hell away from farm work.


Hope you got a discount on cigs at the company store.
 
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