Prison Labor Shortages Affect Effort To Fight Wildfires

William Anderson
August 29, 2020

Prison labor is exploited to fight wildfires. These imprisoned firefighters get only $2 to $5 a DAY, in addition to $1 per hour when they’re working a fire. 

This exploitation is coming back to haunt authorities this year thanks to an unexpected issue.

In California, the COVID-19 pandemic forced early releases and quarantine measures that reduced membership in the program. 

It’s exposed how much the state relies on what is essentially slave labor. Now, the fires are getting worse in many ways.

The blazes are some of the biggest EVER. Air quality in California because of fires has been the worst ON THE PLANET!

This shows how important these firefighters are – but there’s something else it shows, too.

If these imprisoned firefighters are good enough to risk their lives, they should be compensated appropriately. It’s no different from prison labor that’s been exploited to make hand sanitizer, dig graves, and more since the pandemic started. 

And when they get out? They can’t even use all of that experience to get a job as a firefighter!

Prisons are an extension of slavery, and these fires show how that can come back to bite us. But we don’t just need better pay for a more equitable slave labor system. We should be fighting the system that enables this sort of exploitation altogether!

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