Friday, May 10, 2013

40 hours

H.R. 1406, The Working Families Flexibility Act, passed the House yesterday. In case you don't know, this is the bill designed to end the eight-hour workday and the forty-hour work week. From Truthout:
We have a jobs emergency and Republicans are trying to get rid of one of the laws that causes employers to hire more people. Go figure. When employers require workers to work more than eight hours in a day or 40 hours in a week, they have to pay more than the regular wage for that extra time. This is a strong incentive to hire more people instead.

And when they don't hire more people, they pay a premium, which means regular people have more money to spend. Either way, it helps the economy. And of course, it really, really helps those workers.

Last year, USA Today took a look at overtime pay and found that productivity was rising, but as a result of squeezing workers for more hours. But employers were calling these workers "managers" to get out of paying overtime - and to get out of hiring more people.
Fortunately, Obama has said that he will veto the bill.

Yes, I remain infuriated with Obama -- over other issues. Yes, I remain grateful that Mitt Romney did not win the presidency.
Being thankful we have Obama instead of Romney is like feeling lucky for having brain cancer instead of pancreatic cancer. I mean, at least there's a sliver of a chance the brain cancer won't kill you.

"..., Obama has said that he will veto the bill." He has also said he would shut down Guantanamo, end torture, and wind down the narcotics operations in Afghanistan that are euphemistically referred to as "the war on terror." He will do exactly what his corporate owners tell him to do; no more and no less.
House Congresscritters who voted for this should get put on motel-cleaning duty for as long as it take them to understand how the common people live.

And I too worry that Obama, who has said many good things, will continue to say one thing and do another.

--NW Luna
As a 33 year victim of "comp time" I can tell you I never got one hour of comp time actually off since we could only take it when the bosses said there was no work to do. In addition, we had only two times per year when we could take vacation time-- August and January. And you don't like unions?
This is so typical. The Repugs are pretending this is a sudden burst of concern for working people, particularly working Moms. But take a look at the history [hattip to The Gavel]:


Working Families Flexibility Act of 1996 [H.R. 2391] – Rejected by Congress

Working Families Flexibility Act of 1997 [H.R. 1] – Rejected by Congress

Family Time Flexibility Act of 2003 [H.R. 1113] – Rejected by Congress


Working Families Flexibility Act

The Republicans are transparent in their deviousness. This is all about rolling back labor rights, nothing to do with family flexibility.


PS: I share the concern about POTUS's 'promises.'
Back in 2008 Sen. Obama said he was going to filibuster the Telecom Immunity Bill.
He knew what was at stake there. When he voted for it, he lost my vote forever.
Perhaps we could go the UK route where 25% of all new employment contracts are 'zero hours' which means that you work only when your employer needs you, 2 hours here, 4 hours there. Great for the corporate bottom line but manifestly inadequate and nasty if you are trying to pay your rent. These contracts have been growing at 50% per year so they look to be the future.

So when you are employed on one of these contracts, do you report on safety issues at work? Discrimination against a colleague because she has to care for a sick family member? Of course not. Otherwise you find your roster cut down very quickly to zero hours. And since you have not technically been dismissed you have no unfair dismissal claim.

It's a thinly veiled method of turning all employees into independent contractors with the employer getting all the benefits and the employee all the liabilities. How do you obtain work elsewhere, even part-time, if you have to be on call for your 'zero hours' employer?

The other scams are 'unpaid internships' (where they sack you when your trial period is up) and 'crowdsourcing' (online working for peanuts).

So many ways to screw the workers. So little time.
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