Today President Obama announced plans to extend overtime protection to salaried workers earning up to about $50,000 per year. The current threshold for earning overtime pay as a salaried worker ($23,660) hasn’t been raised in ten years and leaves millions of workers cut out of overtime protection.
UFCW union contracts already protect most UFCW members and guarantee them their earned overtime pay. But economists like those at the Economic Policy Institute estimate more than 5 million workers will benefit from this new regulation – specifically white-collar workers in food service, retail sales supervisors and health care workers like pharmacists. The National Retail Federation (NRF) predicts that millions of hours will be shifted to part-time workers in these industries as employers try to cut overtime obligations to higher paid supervisors and managers.
Action to increase wages for middle income earners is a good thing for our nation’s economy and for our industries – including the possibility of more hours for part-time workers and our members.
The UFCW will launch a story collection tool next week for local unions to help identify workers in our membership or from organizing campaigns who would qualify for overtime under this new regulation. Stay tuned for more resources and actions to support the new regulation in next week’s OnPoint.