|SD Young Workers: Guess Who?|
Hint: It Isn't Governor Daugaard.
(photo from mitchellrepublic.com)
Daugaard's sentiment at the time of the signing has the makings of a terrible precedent. He stated that he doesn't think this modification of the law is "an affront to the will of the voters" and that the campaign supporting it "focused on adult workers who support a household and not on teenagers." The state's Democratic Party was probably the most visible supporting organization (the AFL-CIO also pushed for it) and did indeed call attention to the fact that 78% of the 62,000 affected South Dakotans were over the age of 20, "often with a family to support." But that factual recitation didn't mean supporters were "focused on adult workers." In general, the support was for all South Dakota workers and their families. And anyway, since when did Daugaard conclude that income earned by younger teenagers wasn't a part of their families' overall household support? Daugaard's casual assumption that the money teenagers earn is of no importance to their families goes against the grains of history and reality. I know plenty of situations where the money earned by the youngsters in a family is pooled and spent or saved--especially for things like college and vo-tech educations. That's especially true in a state like ours, filled with family farms and family-operated businesses. We have a long history in South Dakota of families pulling together in mutual support. The work these kids do and the money they earn for it MATTER, Governor Daugaard.
Ultimately, Daugaard's message to young workers is that their earnings aren't to be regarded as seriously by their employers, their families and themselves as the money made by more mature laborers. I find this to be a violation of every principle of family unity and common
|SD Teen Workers Just Got Stiffed By Daugaard|
He Doesn't Think They Matter As Much As Older Workers
(photo from www.ktiv.com)
Referring it would also delay implementing this official brush-off of the worth of young workers for two full summers. That means the existing $8.50/hr wage--with automatic cost of living adjustments--remains in place long enough for employers, young workers, government officials and everybody else in this state to realize that the prospect of young people being paid the same money as their older counterparts for doing the same work isn't so gosh-awful a predicament after all.
I know that enough activists are scattered around the state to round up the necessary number of signatures. I look forward to adding mine to their petitions.