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DOLE BACKS TOUGH CHILD LABOR FINES

The Bush administration's support for a tenfold increase in child labor law fines is a welcome change from the Reagan era's hands-off attitude, Democrats and union officials say.

"Any imposition on businesses -- that just wasn't done. This notion of increasing fines is a big improvement," AFL-CIO chief economist Rudy Oswald said Wednesday of the endorsement by Labor Secretary Elizabeth Dole.

Mrs. Dole, in testimony prepared for the House labor standards subcommittee today, backed legislation to increase from $1,000 to $10,000 the maximum penalty for businesses that employ youngsters in dangerous jobs or for too many hours.

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