USW Lauds Overtime Expansion Proposal

Contact: Holly Hart: (202) 778-4384,  hhart@usw.org

(Pittsburgh) -- United Steelworkers (USW) International President Leo W. Gerard issued the following statement today on the Department of Labor proposal to expand overtime protection.

“The Obama administration has proposed a win for workers and a win for the economy by raising the threshold under which overtime must be paid.

“The administration announced this morning that it intends to increase to $50,440 the salary under which employers must pay time and a half to workers laboring more than 40 hours a week. This overtime rule change is long overdue. The threshold has been raised only once since the 1970s.

“The administration also would link the threshold to inflation, ensuring workers don’t wait for a decade again before receiving fair pay for hard work.

“Under current rules, workers earning more than $24,000 are denied overtime pay when they work 45, 50, even 60 hours a week. They are cheated out of just reward for hard work. They lose time with their families. And their long hours of uncompensated labor deny the unemployed jobs.

“Putting more money in the pockets of hard-working employees has the added benefit of stimulating the economy because workers quickly spend that money.

“The Obama administration will take comments on this proposal for several weeks before implementing changes in 2016. The likes of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and fast food CEOs will whine that businesses can’t pay workers more, no matter how many hours a week they work. Workers should point out that every year, corporations find tens of millions to hand over to CEOs demanding excessive pay increases.”

The USW represents 850,000 workers in North America employed in many industries that include metals, rubber, chemicals, paper, oil refining and the service and public sectors.  For more information: http://www.usw.org/.

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