Wisconsin Republicans seek to take away the weekend
The relentless abuse of workers in Wisconsin at the hands of Republicans continues, Moshe Z. Marvit at Mother Jones reports:
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.
Born is claiming this is just an attempt to streamline the process, but it’s clear as day that the actual intention here is to remove the main obstacle—filing paperwork—that prevents employers from telling you that you work 7 days a week or you lose your job. Since Wisconsin is, under Scott Walker, a “right to work” state, the “work yourself to death or starve” choice is now being treated like it’s a non-coercive choice and that people who choose working themselves to death are somehow doing so “voluntarily”.
Walker didn’t introduce this bill, but as he’s a radical right winger who is more like a feudalist than even a capitalist, he’ll almost surely sign it if it passes.
Not much else to say to this. I doubt any of the supporters of this bill intend to give up their own weekends. They just don’t want you to have any.