“Overtime pay is a line in the sand for labor” – 5/5/2013 Mark E. Andersen diary.I couldn’t have said it any better. Attacks on overtime pay are attacks on the 40-hour workweek, on the weekend, on workers’ take home pay, and a key inventive to create new jobs.
We also know that some in the business community and their conservative friends haven’t been a fan of overtime pay. These interests have been trying to repeal or roll this right back for decades. But the requirement to pay overtime is a linchpin of decent working lives for millions of Americans. Overtime pay must be a line in the sand for all working families.
Today, the House is beginning the debate on a GOP bill that threatens the 40-hour work week and overtime pay, H.R. 1406. This video explains how it works:
But all you really need to know about this bill is who has lined up to support or oppose the Republican bill:
• On one side, you have the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Federation of Independent Businesses, and National Restaurant Association, among others. They may represent important interests, but they are not the voices of working people. Rather, they’ve been on a decades-long quest to deny overtime pay for overtime work.
• On the other side, you have more than 160 civil rights, worker advocates, and women’s organizations like the National Partnership for Women and Families, AFL-CIO, SEIU, Interfaith Worker Justice, and MomsRising, among others.
Despite its name, this bill is not about flexibility for workers. A decade ago, the great Molly Ivins put it best when this exact same bill came up:
“With such a smarm of butter over their visages do the Republicans go on about the joys of ‘flexibility’ and ‘freedom of choice’ that you would have to read the bills for maybe 30 seconds before figuring out they're about repealing the 40-hour workweek and ending overtime.”In other words, when Republicans start talking about flexibility, working people better hold onto their wallets. I hope you take a moment to watch and share this video with your friends. They need to know that H.R. 1406 is about more work and less pay.