Target: Rod Kuegel, President of the Council for Burley Tobacco
Goal: Praise tobacco organization for not hiring child laborers
Human rights activists have been pressuring tobacco companies in the United States to stop hiring child laborers to grow this toxic practice. The Council for Burley Tobacco has listened to the demands and have pledged to stop hiring children under the age of sixteen to work on the tobacco fields. The council is one of the leading tobacco organizations in the United States, and they should be praised for listening to demands and setting an example for the rest of the country.
A petition on this issue was recently posted on the ForceChange website, and while child labor has not been banished completely from tobacco fields, this is a step in the right direction.
Poor, migrant children are the target of tobacco companies, as they are hired to work the fields where the noxious plants interfere with the children’s growing bodies. They suffer from nictotine poisoning, which is absorbed through the skin and prompts the children to feel sick, nauseated, and develop skin rashes. The children are also exposed to the pesticides used on the crops, and they are not given protective coverings or moved to a safer location. Working at least fifty to sixty hours a week out in the blazing sun, many of these children skip school or fail it all together because they are focused on supplying their families with money.
Hearing the demands from human rights activists, the Council for the Burley Tobacco organization stated that they will not employ anyone under the age of sixteen in the United States or anywhere else in the world. The organization is made up of five thousand growers hailing from Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Indiana. The council has been praised for this move, as child laborers are against international law. Praise the company for their opposition to child labor and encourage other tobacco companies to follow suit.
Dear President Rod Kuegel,
The Council for Burley Tobacco has recently stated that they will not permit any worker under the age of sixteen to work in their tobacco fields due to the unethical and hazardous work environment it presents to the children. Under international law, child laborers are not permitted in the work environment because they should be in school bettering themselves.
I am writing this letter to praise you for your stance on this issue. I hope you will expand upon this statement and revise it to state that all workers under the age of eighteen shall not be permitted to work on tobacco fields. I also hope that you will urge other tobacco companies to shift their stance and oppose child labor. All of our children should be in schools, not working fifty or sixty hours a week.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Kevinbercaw via Wikimedia Commons