Opinion Matters

With Gazette Opinion Editor Greg Peck

Does seven-day work proposal merit passage?

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Greg Peck
January 14, 2014

The state Legislature is going back to work this week—supposedly. Republicans control the Senate and Assembly and say they might hold fewer than 10 floor sessions before wrapping up “work” by the end of March and focusing their attention on the fall elections.

No surprise there, eh?

One bill sure to stir debate would let factory and retail workers “volunteer” to work seven straight days under a bill two Republicans are circulating on behalf of the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.

Sen. Glenn Grothman of West Bend and Mark Born of Beaver Dam say the bill would bring Wisconsin in line with federal law. It would give workers a way to make extra money and employers a way to boost production, these lawmakers claim.

Democrats and labor leaders, however, insist that bosses would use such a law to force employees to work longer and effectively erase the weekend.

Current state law requires employers who own or operate factories or retail stores to give their workers at least 24 consecutive hours off every seven days, as The Associated Press explained.

What do you think? Is this bill friendly to cash-strapped workers or just another way to squeeze more labor out of employees?

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook.

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