October 19, 2014

Pushback on seven day work week proposal

A bill from two Republican state legislators would allow employees to volunteer to work seven straight days without a break. Not surprisingly, it’s already being opposed by organized labor in Wisconsin. “Really, this is turning back the clock on workers rights,” said Wisconsin AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer Stepanie Bloomingdale. “Workers really have an American social contract which allows them to have time to work, but also time to rest and to be with their families and their communities.”

State Senator Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Representative Mark Born of Beacer Dam have said the bill brings Wisconsin in line with federal law, gives workers a way to make extra money and employers a way to boost production. Labor leaders contend it could allow employers to pressure their employees to work more.

“I think most people understand there can be a fine line between being forced, and volunteering to work extra hours,” said Mark Westphal, President of the Fox Valley Area Labor Council. “This allows employers to use tactics like pressure, coercion or intimidation,” said Bloomingdale.