Do Wisconsin Republicans want to use state budget to take away weekends for workers?

Back when he was a candidate for governor in 2010, Scott Walker promised to “strip policy and pork projects from the state budget,” but not long after he was elected governor Walker broke that promise in a big way. In fact, every biennial state budget proposed by Gov. Walker and passed into law by his rubber-stamp Republicans in the Legislature have included a raft of policy and pork items, and the current proposed biennial budget is no different.

Among the myriad of policy items contained in Gov. Walker’s proposed state budget is a proposal that would do away with the weekend for some workers in Wisconsin, as Hamilton Nolan of Gawker reported.

Wisconsin state legislators are preparing to vote on a budget, and a controversial package of modifications has already passed the finance committee and will soon be up for a vote by the legislature. This new package of provisions has already drawn criticism for its inclusion of measures that would decimate the state’s open records laws, protect state politicians from media scrutiny, and gut the Wisconsin definition of “living wage.” But one additional measure is worth gaping at, perhaps above all others: section 56, which would take away workers’ right to a weekend—even a one day weekend.

56. One Day of Rest in Seven. Include the provisions of 2015 AB 118 to permit an employee to state in writing that he or she voluntarily chooses to work without one day of rest in seven. Specify the provision first apply to union contracts on the day the collective bargaining agreement expires, or is extended, modified, or renewed, whichever comes first. [Currently every factory or mercantile employer must allow each employee 24 hours of rest in every consecutive seven days, except for certain emergency circumstances. The requirement does not apply to janitors, security staff, bakeries, restaurants, hotels and certain dairy or agricultural plants]


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