THE 8 HOUR WORKDAY WHERE DID IT COME FROM ?
A SHORT HISTORY
It was ninety years ago, on June 19, that C on gressgranted federal employees the eight-hour day.Under the New Deal, in 1938, this right was
extended to all American workers, andthe normal w ork week became five eight-hour days,with extra pay-“time-and-a-half”–when the em ployer required more than 40 hours.
The Case of the union hitchhiker
Have you ever been driving down the road and encountered a hitchhiker? The thumb is giving a message loud and clear.
“If you furnish the car, the gas, the time, and do the driving, I’ll ride with you. But you’re nuts if you think I’m going to chip in on the gas money. And by the way, if you have a wreck and I’m hurt, I’ll sue you for all you’ve got.”
Yes, there are hitchhikers in the union also. In one way or another they’re saying:
“If you supply the protection of a contract, negotiate that contract, protect me at work, get me fair and decent wages, health benefits and hours of work, I’ll ride along with you. But you’re crazy if you think I’m going to get involved and help you make this a better place to work. And by the way, if anything happens that irritates me, you’ll hear from me.”
Think about it–are you just thumbing a free ride? Or can you do a little more to help out?
*Improve the standard of living for our current and future members;
*Organize new workers into the union to bring the benefits of collective bargaining to the unorganized;
*Reaffirm our commitment to universal service so that all Americans have equal access to the information highway;
*Educate our members to vote in their own best interests and to build community coalitions at the national and local levels to support worker’s rights.