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10/13/2004

Congress Votes Sixth Time to Protect Overtime Pay

Oct. 13—A recent vote in the Senate marks the sixth time Congress has acted to protect overtime pay rights, but the Bush administration continues to threaten to veto any legislation that would change its rules that take overtime pay rights away from some 6 million workers.

On Oct. 11, the Senate by voice vote passed a bill by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) that would restore workers’ overtime pay rights, before adjourning and heading to their home states to campaign for the Nov. 2 election. Only a few days earlier, House and Senate members removed a similar amendment restoring workers’ overtime pay from an unrelated export tax bill.

Worker-Friendly Members Keep Up the Fight to Protect Overtime Pay
Democratic and Republican members of Congress who want to protect workers’ overtime pay rights are keeping up their fight to reverse the Bush administration’s take-away. Congress is set to reconvene for a lame-duck session Nov. 16, when it will take up the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill. In September, bipartisan majorities on the Senate Appropriations Committee and in the House passed amendments to the spending bill by Reps. David Obey (D-Wis.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) that would force the U.S. Department of Labor to rescind overtime pay eligibility changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act rules but let stand new inflation adjustment rules that will benefit some 384,000 low-income workers.

Bush has threatened to veto the appropriations bill, which includes funds for health care and education, if it contains the amendment. But workers are faxing the White House, asking Bush to take back his overtime pay cut. Since the Bush administration announced the overtime pay cuts in March 2003—the first major rollback of worker pay protections in the Fair Labor Standards Act since it was passed in 1938—workers have sent more than 1.6 million letters, e-mails and faxes in protest.

Earlier this month, thousands of workers in 17 cities across the country protested Bush’s overtime pay take-away. The workers delivered some 200,000 postcards to Bush–Cheney campaign headquarters, federal buildings and Labor Department offices in the various cities. The postcards called on Bush to withdraw his overtime pay take-away in the face of overwhelming public opposition and repeated votes in Congress to protect workers’ paychecks.

Take Action!
Tell President Bush to withdraw his overtime pay cut

For RSS NEWS FEED READERS Take Action By Going TO: http://www.unionvoice.org/campaign/bush_NO_VETO

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