Bush Strong Arms Congress To Take Away Overtime

A lot happened this weekend in the fight to stop President Bush’s overtime pay take-away. After weeks of strong-arming, President Bush succeeded in keeping the ban on his overtime pay cuts out of end-of-year legislation, even though bipartisan majorities in the U.S. Senate and House had voted with workers—and against President Bush. These are the same strong-arm tactics the Bush administration used on Medicare and other issues. Once Bush’s Department of Labor announces a start date (which could be in December) the new overtime rules will sadly go into effect and strip overtime pay from millions of ordinary working Americans.

URGENT ACTION is required, and in response the AFL-CIO is calling for an OVERTIME PAY NATIONAL WEEK OF ACTION starting Dec. 1 when we’ll ask you to help spread the word about Bush’s overtime pay take-away. Talking to your friends, family and co-workers about President Bush’s attack on overtime protections, the 40-hour workweek and the weekend is the most important thing you can do. Our best hope for beating Bush’s overtime pay take-away is to involve millions of Americans in this growing movement.

But right now you can send a fax to your senators and representative telling them to stop President Bush’s overtime pay take-away by clicking on the link below.

Unless Congress acts, the Bush administration is determined to enact what will be the biggest pay cut in history—cutting off overtime pay for up to 8 million workers.

After you send your fax please e-mail your friends, family and co-workers by clicking on the link below.

Look for an e-mail on Dec. 1 to announce the first part of the week of action. Before then, you can get ready by building and collecting an e-mail list you’ll forward notes to during the week of action. For the first time ever, we’ll also be asking you to print out some materials from a website and distribute them in your workplace or your community.

Here is some of what the Bush overtime pay take-away would do as part of the biggest rollback of overtime protections in U.S. history:

- Millions of salaried workers making between $22,100 and $65,000 could be reclassified as “executives” or “administrative” employees-and would no longer qualify for overtime pay.

- Relatively low-salary earners who have supervisory responsibilities could be penalized. Workers who make $23,000 a year could be classified as executives.

- Workers with training or education could be hurt. This includes medical training and IT training. Some of the jobs that might lose overtime pay could be nurses technicians and medical therapists but also hundreds of others.

- Many employers would assign overtime work to newly exempt employees and eliminate overtime work opportunities for other overtime-eligible workers. Everybody loses.

- Anyone making $65,000 or more a year doing office or non-manual work would lose the right to overtime pay.

Thanks for all you do.
In Solidarity,
Working Families e-Activist Network, AFL-CIO Nov. 24, 2003
MORE: News story on the AFL-CIO website
MORE: Flash Cartoon on Overtime Pay by Mark Fiore

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