2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi has started a petition on CREDO which helps you tell the United Nations to end child slavery and forced child labor. About one of every 10 kids throughout the world still work, many of them as forced laborers in factories and street markets, and there's no good reason for that. And though tales of kids forced to work in carpet factories or gold mines -- or forced to become soldiers -- elsewhere in the world are legion, the experience isn't as far from ours as we might wish. Some 400,000 kids in America work up to 60 hours weekly in dangerous big agribusiness jobs -- which are not family farms, and there's a plain difference between the work you do as part of a family and the work you do as part of some nameless corporation that doesn't have your best interests or your future at heart. Also recall that Newt Gingrich thought it would be brilliant to replace school janitors with 13-year-olds, and that Gary Johnson worried that child labor laws would prevent him from slipping his grandson a twenty for fixing his computer. I mean, sure, we keep our children out of coal mines now, but reactionaries can always make us backslide, so we keep fighting.
Meanwhile, Democracy for America helps you tell the Department of Labor extend overtime protections to more workers. The current ceiling for overtime -- that salary at which employers no longer have to pay you time-and-a-half for any hours over 40 you might work in a week -- is $23,660, which means some nine out of 10 workers can't get overtime pay, unless they're lucky enough to have negotiated that pay in a collective bargaining agreement. The petition helps you advocate for nearly tripling that ceiling to $69,000 and expanding protections to include teachers, IT professionals, and doctors; these moves would make overtime protections about as vigorous as they were in 1975, when they protected nearly two-thirds of the workforce. And no reasonable person could call that a "job-killer" -- overtime protections are, in fact, job creators, in that they make corporations choose between paying outlandish amounts of overtime or (here's a novel thought!) hiring more workers to get the job done. And in the meantime, workers would be fairly compensated for all the extra work they put in. Everyone's a winner -- except overpaid CEOs, who don't get all the say around here.