“Jobs are my No. 1 priority, I want to do everything I can to make sure employers have the tools they need to hire North Carolinians and invest in the local economy.” ~ Senator Kay Hagan
(SOURCE: Charlotte Observer) High-tech workers could see smaller paychecks under an industry-led campaign to revise labor laws to limit overtime benefits.
Some of the multinationals behind the effort, such as IBM and Intel, say the changes are necessary to keep jobs from going overseas, where workers in technology are paid a fraction of U.S. wages.
Computer workers see it as an effort to squeeze more work out of employees for less pay in an industry notorious for killer hours and all-nighters.
U.S. Sen Kay Hagan, D-N.C., introduced the federal legislation last fall to expand the kind of technology workers who currently are not automatically entitled to overtime. The bill, S. 1747: Computer Professionals Update Act, would expand the pool to those whose job duties include securing, configuring, integrating and debugging computer systems, she said.
The answer to outsourcing isn’t allowing big campaign donors like IBM, Intel, and others to screw employees out of overtime. The correct answer is to enact legislation that forces these big corporations to suck it up, stay in the U.S., and share the wealth a little more evenly than what they get away with now.
The potential impact across North Carolina is significant. More than 90,000 people in the state work in computer-related occupations, including 40,000 in the Triangle and 24,000 in the Charlotte area, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. Employees and employers now disagree about how many of these workers are entitled to overtime.
It’s unclear how many people would be affected. But many are already not entitled to automatic overtime pay, which is defined as time and a half after 40 hours of work in a work week.
Senator Hagan has been an enormous disappointment to the working people of this state and this is jut one more slap in the face to the working men and women of our great state. I regret supporting Hagan’s campaign against Elizabeth Dole in 2008 and I will campaign actively against her in 2014.
IBM, which is one of the Triangle’s largest employers with about 10,000 people, agreed to pay $65 million in 2006 to settle claims that it denied overtime to 32,000 computer technicians.
It’s pretty obvious where Hagan’s loyalty lies, and it’s not with the working people of this state. Senator Hagan is just one more example of a politician of the wealthy privileged class who is completely out of touch with the reality working class north Carolinians live with every day. Senator Hagan, you have failed to live up to our expectations, 2014 will be the final year of your Senate career.