Wisconsin Eliminating Weekends Is Another Koch Idea For A Nation of Slave Labor

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Despite what Republicans tend to advertize ad nauseum, American workers are extremely productive, work longer hours for less wages, and are fortunate if they receive a week off work for a vacation. Workers do, however, have an advantage over indentured slaves and workers prior to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal that enacted most of what the Koch brothers, Chamber of  Commerce, and Republicans claim are unnecessary “perks” labor does not deserve; lunch breaks, worker safety laws, overtime pay, and one day off each week. Republicans have opposed all of the New Deal worker provisions since their inception and with funding from the Koch brothers are getting closer to fulfilling their 80-year goal of gutting workplace laws.

The Koch brothers were not satisfied with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker imposing Act 10, the law that abolished collective bargaining, fair compensation, retirement, health insurance, and sick leave of public sector employees, or the so-called ‘right to work’ law he recently signed. Many Democrats expected Walker to eliminate the state’s ‘prevailing wage’ law requiring workers on public projects to be paid the established going rate for their labor. Instead of eliminating prevailing wage laws, Koch-Republicans’ decided to eliminate weekends and impose a ‘voluntary’ 7-day work week.

Abolishing the day-off law is another Koch machination to further cut Wisconsin workers’ pay, kill jobs, and increase profits for business. Republicans re-introduced a Koch-manufacturing industry law to eliminate weekends  and impose 7-day work weeks as another step toward the Koch’s plan to eliminate all labor laws in the nation.  Eliminating New Deal workplace protections is an 80-year goal they now have an unlimited funding machine to finally see to completion.

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The latest Koch assault on workers’ rights is nearing fruition in Wisconsin with an anti-worker atrocity that eliminates weekends, or as the law’s sponsor likes to call it;  a ‘paperwork reduction’ act. The legislation is a repeat of an attempt last year to wipe out weekends after Wisconsin’s largest business organization, the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, introduced a version that the Republican legislature failed to pass because they ran out of time to enact it before the end of the session. The new law will give factory and retail employers the right to keep workers on the job for 7 straight days, and more, if the workers are “pressured” into “voluntarily agreeing” to give up their day(s) off.

As Wisconsin law stands now, an employer has to petition the Department of Workforce Development for a waiver to suspend the ‘weekend off’ law if workers “choose” to work without a day off; if that is what the employer “requests.” As a law professor at Marquette University, Paul Secunda, said, the new law and the term “voluntary completely ignores the power dynamic in the workplace, where workers have a proverbial gun to their head and understand that if the boss demands they work 7 or more days without rest, they’ll be volunteering or else.” Eliminating a guaranteed weekend is just another step in Walker’s anti-worker crusade that includes eliminating collective bargaining rights and enacting the Koch (ALEC) written “right to work” law guaranteeing Draconian workplace conditions and lower pay.

The Koch surrogates who introduced the ‘abolish weekend’ law said the idea was brought to them by the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce organization after they discovered that as long as minimum wage requirements were met, employers could ‘request’ that workers ‘volunteer’ to work without a day off. As an aside, Scott Walker hates the idea of a minimum wage he thinks serves no useful purpose because his funding machine the Koch brothers hate it. The two Republicans who introduced the weekend abolition bill said they asked several businesses with employees about the law and were told that the workers wanted to work without any days off. Likely they were the same businesses that supported, and won, elimination of child labor laws in Wisconsin the Koch brothers believe are an abomination and unfair to business.

All of the anti-worker laws being enacted in Wisconsin are part and parcel of the Koch-Republican crusade to repeal all state and federal labor laws including minimum wage, overtime pay, weekends off, abolition of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and Workers’ Compensation protection for workers injured on the job. In Oklahoma, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Koch brothers legislative arm ALEC, succeeded in fulfilling one of the Koch’s wishes and repealed workers’ compensation in the state because the Kochs and the Chamber of  Commerce claim that employers should not be penalized for imposing dangerous working conditions on their employees.

These attacks on labor are not reserved to Republican states, but that is where they originated thanks to the Koch-funded American Legislative Exchange Council. In many Republican-controlled states sick pay is under heavy assault with some even banning localities from passing a law requiring  it.  Last April in Oklahoma the governor, Mary Fallin, signed a law into effect banning cities from democratically voting to pass minimum wage increases, enact paid sick days and paid vacation requirements. Also last year at the national level, former House majority leader Eric Cantor pushed through federal legislation eliminating overtime pay that means tens-of-millions of hourly-wage workers would have had to work overtime during scheduled days off, during vacations, or after their regular shift ends without the benefit of extra pay. Republicans promoted the Draconian legislation as one of their storied “job creation bills.” Fortunately it was panned in the Democratically-controlled Senate; it will likely pass easily now that the Kochs bought control of the upper chamber for Republicans.

There is no end to the assault on American workers that goes far beyond just refusing to raise the minimum wage. The experiments being conducted in Wisconsin are gifts to the Koch brothers that Republicans in Congress will begin passing as part of their free market crusade to effectively wipe out the middle class. Since 2010, Republicans have ratcheted up their claim that eliminating the minimum wage will induce industry into a hiring frenzy, but with accompanying legislation eliminating overtime pay and weekends off, not only will job creation suffer drastically, the entire workforce will become little more than slave labor which is, after all, what the New Deal put an end to for 80 years. However, for 80 years Republicans longingly sought a means to eliminate New Deal workforce protections that Ronald Reagan claimed were Fascist. Now that the Koch brothers own Congress, the real fascists are a step closer to realizing their vision of an America with no workplace protections and an entire population of slave labor.

36 Replies to “Wisconsin Eliminating Weekends Is Another Koch Idea For A Nation of Slave Labor”

  1. Walker shouldnt be able to touch anything having to do with the labor force. This Koch-bough corrupt politician is nothing but a wimp pawn.

  2. He is one of the most vile of the GOP.

    He has absolutely nothing to offer America.

    I hope the investigation on him ends up with him in prison. That is where he and his cohorts belong.

  3. I keep saying: we haven’t seen the last of 1789 or 1917. And once the working class has had enough abuse, poverty, and hunger, and gets desperate enough, the gated communities of the super-rich won’t protect them the bullets, flames, and axes.

    And I won’t feel the least bit sorry for them.

  4. Working from “cradle to grave” for the gop’s (elite !%) “masters”!!! And “our” taxes are actually “paying” these gop fu#kers wages to do this to us? Let these evil gop “punk” a-holes know what we really think about them all!!!

  5. Let’s hear from some republicans on this. Please tell us that these proposals are GOOD things for America, which includes you and your families. You all spew about how bad the president is, so let’s hear how you feel about YOUR party’s ideas.

  6. I am left in constant awe concerning the notions of those who have never had to work an honest days work- who wish to impose Libertarian notions onto those who do.

  7. It’s hard to have much sympathy for a state who voted for walker 3 freakin’ times. Not that Michigan is that much better off.

  8. I think Walker’s elections were bought by Koch and voter suppression.

    Unless Wisconites are out of their minds. Walker is unfit to be a dog catcher.

  9. Walker is the puppet and the Koch brother’s are the puppet masters. No wonder he is being pushed to the forefront of the Republican candidates.

    If people get tired of seeing the Koch brothers castigated, all you need to do is look at the laws Walker has passed. Every single one of them is right out of the ALEC playbook and ALEC was created, and controlled, by the Kochs.

    And this is the playbook they have for America.

  10. Happy employees are productive employees. FACT!
    If the Koch policies are not reined in, America will continue to decline and spiral down out of control. GET KOCH OUT OF POLITICS.

  11. Sociopaths are incapable of doing that.

    They’ll be dead before that happens.

    And I personally think that a few strategically-placed guillotines on Wall Street and in front of the Capitol would be very festive.

    Oh – and tumbrels. Can’t forget tumbrels. they make the atmosphere so much more… piquant…

  12. My comment from above:

    I keep saying: we haven’t seen the last of 1789 or 1917. And once the working class has had enough abuse, poverty, and hunger, and gets desperate enough, the gated communities of the super-rich won’t protect them from the bullets, flames, and axes.

    And I won’t feel the least bit sorry for them.

  13. What a shame it is low information voters continue to destroy the country. Its more than Faux News, its even people talking on the street. I’ve heard comments as We have NO president. And He is a Communist, And He wants to give Israel to Iran. I think Ignorance is a more apt description of what is going on here. When a state like North Carolina, where I am votes idiots in that want to eliminate healhcare when 500,000 signed up for it under the ACA, That’s Bad.

  14. Republicans are actually way too busy working 24/7 both kissing and cleaning their “masters” assholes and toilets to read, respond to, or even comprehend what we are saying to them. That is how they were “trained” by their T(PR)EACHERS. “SLAVES WILL OBEY THEIR OWNERS AND GOD”!!! Or they wont eat. This is the simple accepted facts of the GOP life style!!! In my opinion. They are their masters “beasts of burden”. No more no less! What a life!!!

  15. Have you noticed how these states have such similarly written agendas? ALEC anyone? Remember their stated purpose? To reduce corporate regulation and taxation, to combat illegal immigration, to loosen environmental regulation, to tighten voter identification rules, to weaken labor unions, to promote gun rights. At least that is what I have found lately. I am sure they have written many more ‘suggestions’ such as the one about doing away with schools and let the churches do that. This all seems to be the new platform of the republican party. Let the other guy do the thinking, we will just follow ALEC and KOCH and enjoy the good life we get from being their water boy,(at least until there is no clean water and no clean air to breathe and no uncontaminated food to eat)

  16. Our Congressman in northern Michigan, Dan Benishek, like Scott Walker in Wisconsin, has been bought and paid for by the Koch brothers. His lie-filled ads were on television all the time during the summer and fall of 2014. Enough really dumb people bought into the “Dr. Dan” nonsense that he was re-elected. He was constantly portrayed as the kind physician with the stethoscope over his shoulder sympathizing with the unemployed veteran (whose benefits he has voted against), the impoverished older person (whose Social Security/Medicare coverage he would like to permanently disrupt), or the little children (whose education, housing healthcare he has constantly voted against). These Republicans simply do not care about their constituents; they bow only to their gods, the 1%, the Koch brothers and Grover Norquist.

  17. We are witnessing the repercussions of our SCOTUS’s
    citizens united decision. Chuckie & Davie Koch now
    are free to buy our govt. representatives and ram
    their agendas down America’s throat. The first thing
    the new GOP controlled congress served up was that
    wretched worthless keystone tube approval per their
    Koch masters. I rest my case.[WINK]

  18. I too would love to hear from some working class who vote for the thugs. Think the thugs are standing up for them, lets hear
    how these (Working) men and women feel about the rethgus now? No days off, no vacation ,no sick leave and of course less pay.

  19. Make sure you help get people out to vote in 2016, as well as get them to city hall to register to vote.

    That’s how we beat the gop on election day.

  20. Make sure you give others a ride to the polls on election, but also unregistered to city hall before. We need to get ALL Americans to vote or we’ll end up with people like walker in power.

    Please do your part.

  21. and I thought it was only about voter id with the conservatives??? gee, I guess they lied again. don’t let them get away with this America.

  22. Here’s my take, harry reid, barbara boxer and a few more high profile dems are RETIRING!! I truly think they’re tired of the KOCH BROTHERS dog and pony show! Let’s be HONEST!!! the GOP is a facist organization!! but theres the democrats on board with this too!! ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the USA of oligarchy!! it’s time for a JEFFERSON style of revolution!!! that tree needs watering!!

  23. Background of the Koch empirehttp://www.sodahead.com/united-states/does-it-surprise-you-to-discover-that-the-kochs-have-a-nazi-past/question-3348581/?link=ibaf&q=Koch+brothers+european+link+to+other+german+companies+circa+ww2

  24. I used to live and work in Wisconsin. The arguments in favor of the law are misleading. An employee can already volunteer to work on that 7th day. The employer can’t make it mandatory that you work unless they get a waiver from the Dept. of Labor. Also, the day of rest is the 7th consecutive day, not the entire weekend.

    It’s important to know this because the supporters are going to try use sympathy for the poor bootstrappy soul who wants the extra money so they can support their family. The poor soul can already volunteer to work on that 7th day.

  25. Unfortunately I feel it’s too late to vote out incumbents,vote out gop candidates,or any other tactical approach to the alledged only “voice” in politics people are supposed to have. I think it’s time to stop working,everyone in the entire USA. I mean c’mon now….whats the point of working just to be poor slaves? Whats the point of enlisting in armed services and risking your life for an imperialist government bent on starting WWIII? I think if people stopped working,stopped paying bills,saved up a few months of food,stopped shopping,stopped everything,maybe,just maybe,THEN people will realize their true power,and so will the 1% of the USA trying to run the show. Lets face it,as long as the wealthy,banks,corporations,AND todays government think they have you by the balls (figuratively speaking) they’re gonna squeeze them. I think its time THEY felt the squeeze!

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