The New Plan Would Change The Work Hours Of Millions Of Americans

Senator Bernie Sanders has proposed a new bill that aims to alter the working hours of millions of Americans.

In a press release on Wednesday, Senator Sanders, an independent representative from Vermont, unveiled his intention to introduce a bill that would make the 32-hour workweek the norm nationwide. Sanders emphasized the need for workers to retain their current pay, even with reduced hours. According to him, this adjustment is crucial to ensure that technological advancements like automation and artificial intelligence primarily benefit the working class, rather than solely serving the interests of corporate CEOs and wealthy stockholders on Wall Street.

According to a press release, Bernie Sanders expressed the need for change, stating that although American workers have become over 400 percent more productive since the 1940s, many are working longer hours for lower wages than in previous decades.

According to the author, implementing a 32-hour workweek would be a significant move towards ensuring that workers can fully reap the rewards of the remarkable surge in productivity. This surge, driven by the advent of new technologies, reached an all-time high in 2023.

Senator Laphonza Butler, a Democrat from California, will be joining Sanders in introducing the bill in the Senate. In the House of Representatives, Representative Mark Takano, also a Democrat from California, will be the one introducing the bill.

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“It’s about time we prioritize reducing stress levels in our country and granting Americans the chance to savor a higher quality of life. We need to consider implementing a 32-hour workweek without any decrease in pay,” Sanders emphasized.

The level of support among Senate Democrats for Sanders’ bill is still uncertain, considering the challenging circumstances it would face in the Republican-controlled House.

The popularity of four-day workweeks has surged in the United States in recent years, with workers increasingly pushing for greater job flexibility.

A poll conducted by Redfield & Wilton Strategies on behalf of Newsweek in March 2023 revealed that an overwhelming 71 percent of Americans are in favor of implementing a four-day workweek. In contrast, only a mere 4 percent expressed opposition towards this idea. The survey collected responses from a sample of 1,500 adults over the course of two days, specifically on March 7 and March 8 of the previous year.

The UAW union advocated for a 32-hour workweek during negotiations, believing it would provide a more favorable work-life balance.

The proposal did not gain traction in the recent round of union negotiations. However, it sparked discussions about the possibility of reducing working hours.

In December, UAW President Shawn Fain expressed his belief to CNN that achieving a shorter workweek is a feasible objective.

A recent report by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans revealed that approximately 5 percent of employers in the United States currently provide their employees with a four-day workweek. Moreover, an additional 14 percent of employers are contemplating the adoption of this alternative work schedule.

According to the report, employers who chose not to offer a four-day workweek provided several reasons for their decision. They cited challenges in implementing this schedule for their entire workforce, concerns about potential disruptions to business operations, and doubts about their ability to meet customer demands with reduced working hours.

Lawmakers in Massachusetts have embarked on an initiative to investigate the feasibility of implementing a shorter workweek. A pilot program called Massachusetts Smart Week was proposed last year, aiming to provide tax incentives to businesses that transition to a four-day workweek. NBC Boston reported that these businesses would also be required to document their experiences and findings, which would then be examined by experts in the field.

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