...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Tuesday, May 06, 2003
      ( 11:44 AM )
Mother's Day Surprise Ambush
There is an article today on Alternet about the Administration's planned "Mother's Day Surprise." I blogged about this back on April 11 - the fact that the Bush Administration is hoping to change federal rules and take away the protection of pay for overtime work. Evidently, BushCo feels they can market this as GOOD FOR MOMS because by giving businesses a "flex" option, they can get comp time instead of actual pay for overtime work they do. This, the Republicans reason, will give moms more time with their families, thus fulfilling the conservative legacy of "Family Values!"

Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez, who voted
against the bill, says that "employees are in
effect being asked to give a no-interest loan to
their employer." If a company goes belly up –
which happened to more than 500,000 businesses
last year – you might have banked a month of
comp time, but you may never get it.

Arlie Hochschild, professor of sociology at UC
Berkeley, and author of "The Second Shift" and
"The Time Bind," views this legislation as "a fig
leaf covering corporate interests." The boss, she
says, "will have more incentive to increase overtime
and the worker will get an IOU."

This is more than hypocrisy. This makes me so mad, I can barely form thoughts to cogently express my opinion on it. This bill just reinforces William Greider's opinion (in his fantastic article in this week's Nation) that the whole neocon goal is to roll back ALL New Deal legislation... to get rid of social security, to get rid of workers' rights, everything. There doesn't seem to be an end to the blatant robbing of the average American's life that this Administration will go to. Why? What good does this do for America? To further take away a person's right to be paid for work they do above and beyond their normal work week, especially those low income workers who work overtime because they NEED the pay, not only takes away so much employee effectiveness and health, it also is bad for the economy. Yes, that's what I said.

BushCo seems to be either totally ignorant or they simply DO NOT CARE ABOUT WORKING PEOPLE. If you take away pay from working people, they will not have that pay to put back into the economy for the goods and services they need to purchase. Thus, the consumer-driven economy that conservatives are pushing for will further collapse. No tax cut to the rich or to corporations is going to bolster that economy when the people who support it aren't getting paid. Why can't anyone see the truth of this?

And let's just go back to this "trying to win the votes of working women" tactic of passing this legislation by Mother's Day. What working women are they talking about? And how crass is it to take away a basic working right under the guise of a "Mother's Day Gift?" Oh, I forgot, women don't belong in the workplace -- they belong at home. It's so hypocritical. They don't want to give poor women welfare unless they work, but the work they can get isn't enough to pay for childcare, so they work extra hours. They barely see their children if they are trying to live by these rules, but the extra money is necessary, so they work the extra hours. But if a woman stays home with her children, she is lazy and she is just trying to "live off the government." So surprise, Mamas! You get screwed six ways. So much for Family Values.

It's true that labor history isn't taught in schools. It's true that Labor has been demonized for years by the Republicans. It's true that the media doesn't cover labor issues. But people died to give us the 8 hour work day and the 5-day work week. Are we saying we can do without their sacrifice? That the backs on which this country is carried don't deserve those basic working rights anymore? Are we ready to face 1929 again? I don't think I'm being too alarmist here. In fact, I'm wondering why there aren't any alarms going off at all on this.

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