UNION MEMBERS PROTEST BUSH'S PROPOSED OVERTIME RULES - Mitch Perry10/05/04
Between 35 to 40 union members and supporters marched in front of the Bush/Cheney Headquarters in Tampa this afternoon, protesting the implementation in August of new rules they say will cause millions of American workers to lose their overtime pay. (roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? protestors chantingÃ¢â‚¬?)
3 weeks ago , The Senate Appropriations Committee voted to block the controversial new overtime pay rulesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦that followed a vote in the House, which attached a similar provision to its version of the bill a week before that, defying a threat by the White House to veto the entire bill unless Congress gives way on the issue.
Last month, the House handed Democrats and other opponents of the new rules a major victory when it voted 223 to 193 to block the Labor Department from enforcing the regulations which took effect Aug. 23. Lobbying efforts now turn to the Senate, where the appropriations committee will consider a similar measure.
Rodney Ortiz was one such activist demonstrating on West Platt Avenue, a few blocks from Downtown Tampa (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?defend the affectedÃ¢â‚¬?)
Bill Glissen is from the Brotherhood of Mainsway Employees. He said the reason union workers were demonstrating was quite simple (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?the overtime paysÃ¢â‚¬?)
Monica Lee Silvas, is Airline worker for NorthWest AirlinesÃ¢â‚¬Â¦She works FOR a union, but she says what happens to her colleagues in the airline industry withOUT union Protection (roll tape#4 oq..Ã¢â‚¬?itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just not fairÃ¢â‚¬?)
The administration's proposal would increase the maximum salary below which employees are automatically eligible for overtime pay, but it would also impose potential restrictions on overtime eligibility for administrative and management-level workers making wages above that threshold.
Under the administration's three-week-old overtime regulations, individuals earning up to $23,600 a year would automatically be eligible for overtime pay, compared with the previous threshold of $8,060. But pro-labor lawmakers charge that the rules would allow employers to forgo overtime pay for thousands of higher-paid workers.
Paula Kendrick is a Nursing Home worker who believes she is at risk of losing her overtime pay under the new rules. She says she cannot afford to lose that extra pay (roll tape#5Ã¢â‚¬? support my familyÃ¢â‚¬?) About halfway thru the halfhour protest, Several Tampa Police officers were called in By volunteers working at Bush/Cheney headquartersÃ¢â‚¬Â¦. Floyd Suggs from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, local 108, huddled with the officers to make sure the protestors could maintain their demonstration (roll tapeO.Q.Ã¢â‚¬?itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not fairÃ¢â‚¬?) The Demonstration ended exactly a half hour after it began, peacefully