Information from our International
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Those of you who saw the AP article in the paper already are aware of DoL's attempt to forward this concept even though it has not yet been enacted. please pass this info along to interested parties for their enlightenment.

This is just another component of the administrations plan to destroy the working class.

Food for thought; quotes from bush administration

1. "we want to remove health insurance responsibility from the

2. "by giving the illegal immigrant workers this amnesty they will be
eligible for health insurance."

How many sides of his mouth can he talk out off????? (apologies to all
english majors for dangling my participle)



Subject: Bush works overtime to help employers cut pay


Bush administration works overtime to help employers cut pay

After announcing it will defy the will of both houses of Congress and implement new overtime pay rules by the end of March that will deny up to 8 million Americans the right to time-and-a-half pay, the Bush administration has taken its attack one step further by offering employers tips on how to avoid paying overtime to workers. An Associated Press report today reveals that, even as Bush's Department of Labor continues to market its OT plan as good for workers because it raises the threshold to qualify for OT pay to $22,100 a year, the DOL also is offering tips to employers on how to dodge this new obligation.

The DOL suggests that employers can convert salaried employees who make that much to hourly workers and then make a "payroll adjustment" by cutting their hourly pay rate so that any anticipated overtime pay would add up to the same total annual wages for the employee. That way, the Labor Department helpfully advises, the financial impact on the business would be "near

Obviously, the benefit to those workers would then be zero.

"It's hard to imagine that, even during an election year, the Bush administration is capable of such hubris and overt anti-worker policymaking," said Rick Bender, President of the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

"It has been demonstrated that these rule changes open the door for employers to deny 8 million Americans overtime pay. Until recently, the only carrot has been that it would help a small minority of low-income workers who technically don't qualify for OT pay. But now the Bush administration is trying to undermine any benefit even those workers might receive.

This is an absolute outrage," Bender said. And how does the Department of Labor defend its actions?

"We're not saying anybody should do any of this," one DOL spokesman weakly
offers, the agency is simply advising employers what would be legal under its overtime plan.

Cutting workers' pay to avoid overtime is illegal, according to a 1945 Supreme Court ruling and a 1986 DOL memo under the Reagan administration.

But Tammy McCutchen, administrator of the DOL's Wage and Hour Division and a principal architect of the Bush OT plan, says only changes made week-to-week to avoid overtime are illegal, but one-time changes are not.

"We had a lot of lawyers look at this rule. We would not have put that in there if we thought it was illegal," McCutchen said. "Unless you have a contract, there is no legal rule... prohibiting an employer from either raising your salary or cutting your salary." FYI: McCutchen is a former senior counsel for Hershey Foods Corporation, and before that, worked for a Chicago-based law firm that is part of the multi-billion dollar union-avoidance industry. The firm offers employers counseling not only on how to stop workers from exercising their right to organize a union, but also (surprise!) "unsurpassed service to
employers" on wage claim disputes with workers. Congressional critics of Bush's overtime pay plan have pointed out that the goal is, of course, not to help workers but to help employers that violate overtime pay laws stop losing so many
class-action suits that have "surpassed" the formidable skills of McCutchen & Co.

While the Washington State Labor Council appreciates McCutchen's advice that a union contract would stop employers from imposing the unilateral pay cuts she promotes (learn more), all Americans should be outraged that their tax money is being spent on "a lot of lawyers" whose mission is to identify and promote legal ways for employers to pay people less.

Even the true-blue conservatives among us who believe consumer spending will solve our country's economic problems should be alarmed. If cutting taxes (and running up the federal deficit) to put money in Americans' pockets is the magical elixir for this oxymoronic jobless economic recovery, doesn't that make this overtime plan and the promotion of ways to keep
money out of consumers' pockets... um... counterproductive.