Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

US: Bernie Sanders defends four-day work week bill

By knl9j Mar16,2024
News

In light of the fact that Americans are more productive than they were in the 20th century, the senator that is a member of the Democratic Party is proposing a reduction in the usual work week from forty to thirty-two hours.

Work less yet make the same amount of money. Senator Bernie Sanders of the United States is currently serving as the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, and he is advocating for this particular bill.

Over the course of the first four years, the Democratic tenor proposes either a reduction in the number of hours worked per week from forty to thirty-two hours without a reduction in compensation, or the transition to a four-day workweek.

In a statement that was released this week, he stated that this would be “an important step in ensuring that workers benefit from the massive increase in productivity driven by artificial intelligence, automation, and new technologies.” It is Wednesday, March 13th.

Bernie Sanders is of the opinion that this policy does not constitute “radical” “Today, American workers are 400% more productive than they were in the 1940s (and the establishment of the 40-hour week in the United States, Editor’s note),” he emphasized. “This is a significant improvement from before.” However, millions of people in the United States are working longer hours for lesser wages than they did many decades ago. This has to be altered.”

He went on to say, “It is time that working families, not just wealthy CEOs and shareholders, can benefit from increased productivity so that they can enjoy more free time, family time, educational opportunities, and cultural opportunities, and less stress.”

According to NBC News, the law specifically stipulates that it will reduce the maximum number of hours that must be worked in order to qualify for overtime pay. Workdays that lasted longer than eight hours would also be eligible for overtime compensation, which would be paid at time and a half. continue but not least, the pay of workers whose shifts continue for more than twelve hours ought to be increased by a factor of two.

In light of the fact that artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and other emerging technologies have made the American worker significantly more productive than ever before, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) of the United States submitted a measure this week to reduce the length of the workweek in the United States to 32 hours without causing a corresponding reduction in worker compensation.

A comparable piece of legislation was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Mark Takano (D-CA), while Senator Sanders and Senator Laphonza Butler (D-CA) introduced the Thirty-Two Hour Workweek Act (PDF) in the Senate yesterday. Through a gradual reduction in working hours, the measure would gradually bring about a 32-hour work week over the course of three years.

“The financial gains from the major advancements in artificial intelligence, automation, and new technology must benefit the working class, not just corporate CEOs and wealthy stockholders on Wall Street,” Sanders stated while referring to the legislation.

In comparison to what they were in the 1940s, the productivity of workers in the United States is approximately 400 percent higher today. On the other hand, millions of people in the United States are working longer hours for lower wages than they did many decades ago.

Sanders made the introduction of the measure during a session of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which he chairman is responsible for overseeing. Sanders also mentioned at the hearing that the average American worker is working well beyond the 40-hour workweek that was established by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. This was in addition to mentioning the surge in productivity that the ordinary worker has experienced as a result of contemporary technologies.

“Twenty-eight-and-a-half million Americans, 18 percent of our workforce, now work over 60 hours a week, and 40 percent of employees in America now work at least 50 hours a week,” Sanders pointed out during the congressional hearing.

In order to put this into perspective, Sanders mentioned that in the year 2022, workers in the United States put in an average of 204 more hours of work than those in Japan, “and they’re hard-working people in Japan,” Sanders remarked. Sanders asserted that Americans worked approximately 279 more hours than inhabitants of the United Kingdom and clocked 470 more hours on the clock than Germans, all while earning approximately $50 less per week than citizens of Germany did fifty years earlier, when inflation was taken into account.

Sanders made the observation that “moving to a 32-hour workweek with no loss of pay is not a radical idea,” and it is not, at least according to the results of recent experiments carried out on the concept.

A large trial of a four-day work week for the same amount of pay that took place in the United Kingdom in 2022 has been hailed as a massive success. Ninety-one percent of the companies that participated in the pilot said that they intended to continue using the reduced week once the program came to an end.

Previous research conducted by 4 Day Week Global revealed that it was simpler to attract and retain personnel when offering a shorter week. Businesses that changed to the four-day, eight-hour shift week reported findings that were consistent with these findings. Similar findings were discovered in earlier experiments carried out in Japan by none other than Microsoft, which concluded that a four-day workweek led to improved results and higher productivity.

Bill Gates, the creator of Microsoft, has even claimed that technology could lead to a shorter work week. However, he believes that the future of work will be an even smaller part of daily life. In fact, he stated that artificial intelligence could lead to a simple three-day work week.

In a similar vein, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan, has stated that artificial intelligence has the ability to reduce the length of the workweek. He has proposed that the workweek may be reduced by three and a half days “because of technology” in the latter part of the previous year. In the press statement that Sanders issued regarding the measure, he noted the predictions made by both billionaires.

The question of whether or not it will be passed is entirely different. Republicans have presented a strong opposition, with some claiming that the law has the potential to “destroy some employers.”

With the Senate’s narrow Democratic majority, it would be necessary for all members of the liberal caucus to be on board with the idea in order for it to be approved, and it may be difficult to convince more conservative members of the liberal caucus to support the plan. In the House of Representatives, which is controlled by Republicans, it is possible that they will not even try to advance it out of committee, just as they did with a measure that was identical to the one that Takano submitted in 2021.

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By knl9j

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