Sunday, March 06, 2005

Santorum's Sweatshops

I wrote about the GOP doing its dead level best to wage class warfare this morning. But I've found out that Santorum's Trojan horse minimum wage bill is worse than I thought.

For example:
- It would raise minimum wage by $1.10/hour, helping 1.8 million workers. It would then turn around and raise the exemption rate for businesses from revenues of $500,000 to $1,000,000 - double the current rate, effectively hanging 6.8 million workers out to dry by making the businesses they work for exempt from minimum wage requirements.

- It would raise the exemption from safety, health, pension, and labor laws to revenues of $7 million, effectively eliminating any recourse for the employees of these businesses.

- It takes away the workers right to a 40-hour work week, giving the employer an 80 hour pay period in which to control when an employee works, eliminating overtime the businesses must pay.

- Even though the GOP is the party of small government and states rights, the bill would eliminate a state's right to pass and enforce state minimum wage laws that are in excess of the federal law. Many states, like Illinois, have a higher minimum wage than required by the federal government. Businesses in Illinois would no longer have to follow state law and could cut worker's pay.

- Santorum's bill removes any requirement from business from having to pay tipped workers a base pay. Small to medium sized restaurants would not be required to pay their wait staff anything, forcing them to live off their tips alone regardless of which shift they were forced to work. Right now federal law requires a minimum of $2.13/hour for tipped workers, and many state requirer higher amounts. With Santorum's help, that princely sum restaurants pay their wait staff earn hourly would no longer be required.

Time to wake up people. Read more about this bill here. The Republican Party is not interested in the good of the American people. They care about one thing: Big Business. It's Big Business that pays for them to go on nice trips to far away places. It's Big Business that employs their sons and daughters and gives them cushy consulting jobs when they leave congress. It's Big Business that fills their campaign coffers with money so that they keep their trusty lawmaker friends in power.

The Republican Party doesn't care about Joe American. He's just one vote. Diebolt and a GOP Secretary of State can take care of that.

Next thing you know, they'll try to eliminate the Internet political Blogosphere. Oh ya, they're alread working on that...