20 Mar 2015

These Republicans Want to Take Away Your Weekend: In Wisconsin, a new bill is threatening to kill workers’ one day of rest.

As Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed the so-called “right to work” bill on March 9, making Wisconsin the twenty-fifth right-to-work state in the country, labor advocates braced themselves for the stream of anti-worker bills that were almost certain to follow. Many assumed the first target would be Wisconsin’s 1930s prevailing wage laws, which require that workers on public works projects be paid the established going rate for their labor, rather than allowing contractors to try to outbid each other by lowering workers’ wages. Few, however, expected the legislative cluster bomb that is currently being referred to committee by a pair of Republicans: a bill to repeal the weekend.
Though labor often boasts that it helped codify the two-day work break—witness the popular pro-labor bumper sticker, “Unions: the folks that brought you the weekend”—a day of rest is protected by law in only a fraction of the states. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, thirteen states have laws mandating a day of rest for some or all workers. In states that mandate a day of rest only for certain categories of workers, those workers are often in jobs where fatigue could lead to increased accidents or deaths.
Now that might be about to come to an end in Wisconsin.
Currently, the law in Wisconsin requires that workers employed in a “factory or mercantile establishment” must receive “at least 24 consecutive hours of rest in every 7 consecutive days.” If an employer would like a worker to work seven days in a row for a limited period of time, then the two can jointly petition the Department of Workforce Development for a waiver. According to the office of Republican Representative Mark Born, who is introducing this bill in the State Assembly, there were 169 waivers requested in 2013 and 232 in 2014, and all of them were granted. Under the current system, the waiver requests must state the necessity for the waiver, and they are granted only for a limited period of time.
The new bill, which is being sponsored by Republican Van Wanggaard in the State Senate alongside Born in the Assembly, would add a provision to the “day of rest” law that could effectively nullify it. The bill would create an exemption that would allow employees to “voluntarily choose” to slave away for seven days in a row without at least twenty-four hours of rest.
Representative Born’s office played down the magnitude of the bill, arguing that it merely “codified into law the waiver system and made it easier for employers and employees to make work schedules.” But this new law cuts the regulatory body out of the equation, relying instead on the troubled notion that employers would allow employees to choose “voluntarily” to give up any day of rest. As Marquette University law professor Paul Secunda explained, the idea “completely ignores the power dynamic in the workplace, where workers often have a proverbial gun to the head.” Indeed, the reason Wisconsin had passed a “day of rest” law in the first place was because employers had been abusing employees by pressing them to work too many days without break. “Now this bill will force many workers to strike a bargain with the devil,” Secunda said.
I met with Democratic State Senator Chris Larson to discuss the bill. The bill does not yet have a title, so Larson jokingly refers to it as the “Abolishing the Sabbath Act.” But the bill is no joke, Larson said, and represents an alarming trend in Wisconsin politics. Senator Larson pointed to a large painting hanging on his wall of the famous progressive era politician Robert La Follette, whose legacy, he said, had long inspired him. “But right now, we’re in the regressive era of politics.” 
A similar version of this bill was introduced last year at the urging of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state’s largest business organization. But the legislature was not able to vote on it before the end of the session. However, Representative Born’s office was “optimistic” of the bill’s chances in this session. 


  1. DAVOS ............ the Billionaire's UNION MEETING ...................... while the "Freedom to Work" JUDAS ISCARIOTS have been undermining the Worker's organizations,the BILLIONAIRES have become ever MORE organized. From the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission, Bilderbergers,DAVOS ..............they have tightened the noose around the neck of the Working Man. They screen members in their FRATERNITIES and at Country Club socials .......
    1) Doctors have UNIONS, one is the American Medical Association.
    2) Lawyers have UNIONS, one is the American Bar Association.
    3) ALL Professions have UNIONS ...... they have Trade Associations, They have Trade Publications
    Fraternities, Country Club Memberships .............
    P.S. YOU pay for THEIR Union Dues &Meetings.
    Without Unions the WORKERS would not have living wages, vacations, sick days, pensions, 40 hour weeks, overtime, SAFE work conditions..... LOSING all that? Just as the Unions are undermined and destroyed? WHAT A COINCIDENCE !!!!
    Be sure to THANK a "right to SLAVE" propagandizer next time you see one.

    American Wages have stagnated since the 1980s and working conditions have worsened.
    Reagan waged war on the Working People of America (1)Launching the war with his attack on unionization, firing the air-traffic controllers and (2) Introducing the concepts of low paid part-time and contract workers.

  2. Isnt it wounderfull the brave new world, where the ritch and shameless, think they own us all, that WE are born to be numbers on the wall.
    Obey their wims, obey their insane neoDawinism, a dictatorial world where we are meer slaves.

    I think its time to hang some of them, hanging brings back morale and comon sense faster than anything else.

    Read their perseptions, and behold their insanity.
    You want to fight Evil, on this Earth, well, there you have them.
    I dont bother to go into Union history, exept to say that I was a meber of an old fasion militant mining union, thereatened by the gov. with the army.
    I gott out when the "leftwinged freaks" inbvaded the Unions and made it to party poltitcs and conensusses, witch undermined the Unions thrue the corruption of powers, even between the Unions them selfs and their counterparts, warped into their own spheres, and forgott the non party Unions intentionally was, for the rights of the workers, to have our share of the walue derived, and then to negotiate.
    And I know the history.
    And now, the crony "capitalists" aka robberbarons, takes full controll, and they will not be pleased before we have slave wages.
    And they can pick women for a piece of bread.
    Peopley dying in the gutters.

    This dont help anyone, not the nation, not the people, only the revenue to that corporation, and nothing else.
    Greed is its real name.

    Wake up americans, soon dreams is all that you will have, bolted to the ground.


  3. Daniel Holmstock20 March 2015 at 14:06


  4. Hey, can't have the dirty masses having time off to do things like, you know, sitting around and thinking about things like, well, whatever happened to Uncle Sam and where the Hell did this Uncle Tony S. come from..