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Wis. GOP Lawmakers Propose Eliminating Weekends


January 17, 2014


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Wis. State Sen. Glenn Grotherman has proposed eliminating a long-standing law that requires employers in manufacturing and retail to give their workers at least 24 consecutive hours off every seven days.
Photo Credit: WisPolitics.com

Like your weekend? Well if you live in Wisconsin, a pair of Republican state legislators has an unpleasant surprise for you.


Sens. Glenn Grotherman and Mark Born introduced a bill earlier this month that eliminates a law requiring employers in manufacturing and retail to give their workers at least 24 consecutive hours off every seven days.

Grotherman and Born say it gives workers the chance to earn extra money, but opponents say it gives bosses an excuse to abolish weekends.

“Even God said rest on the seventh day,” local Teamsters leader David Reardon told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “I would hate to see that Republican bill pass. Some employers would really take advantage that.”

Business lobbyists – who helped write the bill – say workers can still take an extra day off if they choose, but workers’ rights advocates fear that employees who cherish their weekends will face employee pressure to give up their free time.

“Workers fought long and hard for a 40-hour work week and the weekend,” Democratic Rep. Cory Mason told the Senintel. “People deserve at least a day off a week. It’s a legal protection for a reason.”

Grotherman, a member of the anti-worker American Legislative Exchange Council, has taken the lead on targeting workers. 

In 2011, he told the Wisconsin Radio Network that supports eliminating Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a paid holiday for public employees.

He also introduced legislation that would block local municipalities from passing paid sick leave laws.

ALEC is a national network and think tank funded by some of the country’s largest corporations that churns out model bills for use by elected officials on everything from deregulation to weakening workplaces protections.

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