Found this blog post about the child labor bill being passed in May of 1918. My grandfather would have been 15.
...no minor between 14 and 16 years shall be permitted to work more than 51 hours a week or more than nine hours a day. Such children shall also be compelled to go to a vocational school at least eight hours each week, the time they spend in such school to be counted in the 51 hours.
The local newspaper at the time explained why everyone hated the new law and how it was just bad, because the poor widows were going to starve since their little boys could not go off to work now as breaker boys now that the mine had eaten their husbands/daddies. And besides that work is not really that hard, and they want to do it, and all the smart kids these days want to be breaker boys!
The occupations are usually not too laborious and are not harmful as is attested by the fact that many of the richest, brainiest and most able men of the coal region today are men who worked in the breakers and mines when they were boys under the age of that provided by the new child labor law.
You might say they had a passion for picking slate, and that it made men out of them, and slate picking doesn't stop at 5 on Fridays.
St. Kern, you don't have the balls to follow your vision where it is truly leading you. If we are going to exploit workers around the clock, let's do it right.
Let us return to the days before May of 1918. Young children can be trained to run gels and staff the centrifuges of our nation's cancer research centers. Piecework and child labor made this nation strong once before. Let them be wielded once more as mighty weapons in the War on Cancer. A beneficial side effect is that many children, like the slate pickers, will likely be exposed to carcinogenic and mutagenic substances, since the little dickens just aren't always so careful and clever as they think they are. So they can work for us while simultaneously serving as de facto research subjects, and think of the cost savings with that kind of vertical integration! The child-worker experiments can replace some of those costly animal research protocols, and we won't need to spend so much on feeding and housing critters that can't load and unload a centrifuge or wash up some glassware for us.
If we build little cancer company towns, employ grad students/postdocs and their children, and pay them all in cancer scrip that can only be spent at the St. Kern Cancer Company Trading Post, which is located right next to the Cancer Research Factory, they really never need leave the worksite nor want for anything that the Cancer Factory cannot provide.