Friday, 29 Sep 2023

US workers deserve a break. Its time for a 32-hour working week | Bernie Sanders

US workers deserve a break. Its time for a 32-hour working week | Bernie Sanders


US workers deserve a break. Its time for a 32-hour working week | Bernie Sanders

In 1938, as a result of a massive grassroots effort by the trade union movement, the Fair Labor Standards Act was enacted by Congress to reduce the work week to 40 hours. Back then, the American people were sick and tired of working 80, 90, 100 hours a week with very little time for rest, relaxation or quality time with their families. They demanded change and they won a huge victory. That's the good news.

The bad news is that despite an explosion in technology, major increases in worker productivity, and transformational changes in the workplace and American society, the Fair Labor Standards Act has not been reformed in 80 years. The result: millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages, with the average worker making nearly $50 a week less than he or she did 50 years ago, after adjusting for inflation. Further, family life is suffering, as parents don't have adequate time for their kids, life expectancy for working people is in decline, and increased stress is a major factor in the mental health crisis we are now experiencing.

Compared with other countries, our workplace record is not good. In 2021, American employees worked 184 more hours than Japanese workers, 294 more hours than British workers, and 442 more hours than German workers. Unbelievably, in 2023 there are millions of Americans who work at jobs with no vacation time.

It's time to reduce the work week to 32 hours with no loss in pay. It's time to reduce the stress level in our country and allow Americans to enjoy a better quality of life. It's time to make sure that working people benefit from rapidly increasing technology, not just large corporations that are already doing phenomenally well.

Think about all of the extraordinary changes that have taken place in the workplace over the past several decades. When I was elected mayor of Burlington, Vermont, in 1981, there were no computers in city hall. There were no chatboxes, no printers, no emails, no calculators, no cellphones, no conference calling or Zoom.

In factories and warehouses, robots and sophisticated machinery did not exist or were only used in primitive forms.

In grocery stores and shops of all kinds, there were no checkout counters that utilized bar codes.

you may also like

Does Wile E Coyote explain US voters
  • by theguardian
  • 21 Sep 2023
Does Wile E Coyote explain US voters
  • by theguardian
  • 21 Sep 2023
Chevy Chase Fast Facts
Resort Casinos Likely Scuttled Under Amended Bermuda Legislation
  • by travelpulse
  • descember 09, 2016
Resort Casinos Likely Scuttled Under Amended Bermuda Legislation

Premier announces changes to long-delayed project

read more