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A 7 Day Work Week? GOP Senator Seeks to Overturn Wisconsin’s Day of Rest Law

GOP State Senator Glenn Grothman is pushing for a change in a Wisconsin labor protection law that would allow a seven-day work week, without rest, for workers.  The plan, which his explained in an e-mail addressed to fellow lawmakers “would allow an employee to voluntarily choose to work without one day of rest in seven.”

Grothman explained the proposed legislation, which appears to undercut worker protections, is actually is aimed at giving Wisconsin workers more choice over how often they work.

“So a lot of times, you may have a factory that wants to run more shifts or want to work overtime and is short of people — and the employee wants to work, and the employer wants them to work, why shouldn’t they be able to work?” Grothman asked.

To emphasize the point, he stressed that when he was in college at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he wanted to work 7 days a week and would have benefited from the overtime he would have received.

Based on this, the plan is a win-win for workers and companies, according to Grothman, because workers would commit to the 7 day work week voluntarily and earn extra pay and employers would be able to get more hours out of their employees.

Yet according to David Reardon, secretary-treasurer for Teamsters Local 662, “Even God said rest on the seventh day.”

He added that the bill world likely hurt workers when employers coerced them to work longer hours.”I would hate to see that Republican bill pass. Some employers would really take advantage of that.”

Grothman downplayed the argument, stressing that the proposed law would be voluntary.

“Well, they’re not supposed to,” Grothman said about employers who may force employees to work on the seventh day but then acknowledged that employer coercion may happen.  “Maybe somebody will try to break the law.”

He then emphasized that many in Wisconsin are eager to work without a day off. “Right now in Wisconsin, you’re not supposed to work seven days in a row, which is a little ridiculous because all sorts of people want to work seven days a week,” he said, stressing the need for eliminate the long-standing labor law.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.