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If new legislation passes, working RVers may have more free time to camp

If you think your favorite campground is crowded now, imagine what it would look like if everyone had an extra day off from work every week.

Progressives in the U.S. Congress are proposing a bill that would mandate a 32-hour work week in America. The bill is called the “32-hour Workweek Act,” and it is being endorsed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a group of nearly 100 legislators.

The bill was introduced in July by Congressman Mark Takano (D-CA).

The intent of the bill may sound a bit far-fetched and difficult for American businesses to embrace, but it has been tried with some success in other countries that claim it has increased productivity and worker happiness.

“For far too long, workers across this country have been forced to put in longer hours as their wages barely budge,” Representative Pramila Jayapal, (D-WA,), the chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said in a recent statement. “It is past time that we put people and communities over corporations and their profits — finally prioritizing the health, wellbeing, and basic human dignity of the working class rather than their employers’ bottom line. The 32-hour work week would go a long way toward finally righting that balance.”

For the bill’s proponents, there may have never been a better time than now to reduce the work week. The U.S workforce has undergone abrupt changes in the past two years. In just the past few months many employers have shifted to work-from-anywhere models for their businesses, and millions of American workers have left their jobs entirely through the “Great Resignation” as they pursue either other careers or self-employment.

If you think a shortened work week could never happen here … it already has. In 1940, the Fair Labor Standards Act decreased the standard work week from 44 hours to the current 40-hour limit before employers are forced to pay overtime to most workers.

Bill author Takano said the legislation would force overtime pay to kick in after 32 hours of work per week. He also said the bill would allow more people to participate in the labor market at better wages. The bill wouldn’t apply to certain employees such as independent contractors or freelancers.

American workers now reportedly work more hours than any other country in the world, while also taking the fewest vacation days. The pandemic made things even worse, with U.S. workers reporting they were working an average of three extra hours each week.

There’s an organization called the 4 Day Week Campaign that has a global pilot program it’s rolling out in several countries. A pilot project is currently underway in Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Sweden, with more trials planned soon in the U.S. and Canada.

A previous pilot program in Iceland found workers reporting less stress and burnout, along with high levels of positivity and happiness with no drop in productivity.

Federal workers in the United Arab Emirates will be going to a four-and-a-half-day work week next month. UAE officials expect the move to improve both productivity and the work-life balance.

A four-day work week in the U.S. would mean massive changes in almost every avenue of American life. It would certainly change how employers managed their businesses, and it would forever change the relationship Americans have with their own free time.

Many workers will likely welcome a 32-hour work week that measures compensation more on their productivity than just the act of showing up at the office. Who wouldn’t like a better work/life balance and more time to enjoy their family and the great outdoors?

As demonstrated by the Great Resignation and the move to remote work, the change may already be under way as millions of American workers purchase recreational vehicles and choose to work from the road as they travel campground to campground.

If a 32-hour work week ever does become law, RVers would undoubtedly ramp up the use of their rigs and even more newbies will flock to dealer lots with open wallets. It would likely extend the current frenzy at RV manufacturing plants and put additional pressure on the campground industry.

The 32-hour Workweek Act is still before the House Committee on Education and Labor.

Related:

We can’t keep a good thing to ourselves. Expect many, many more new RVers in 2022

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Mike Schwab
1 year ago

5 days of 6 hour work days for the same pay have resulted in most of your 8 hours of work being performed in that time. You get 2 15 minute breaks but no lunch hour, so you eat a quick snack during breaks and full meals before and after work only. If your boss wants overtime you start with a 30 minute paid meal break before doing the overtime. You can then leave early or arrive late and do shopping when businesses are open or do a second job if needed. And this is in addition to raising the minimum wage that Republicans have blocked since 2008.

DENNIS J CHARPENTIER
1 year ago

I can see it now. Part A: 32-hours per week does not provide enough income so the federal government sends checks to provide a living wage; funded by the American taxpayer. Part B: Employers have to pay the same amount for a 32 hour work week that they previously paid for 40 hours; yeah like that’s going to happen.
I realize that employers would have to pay overtime in excess of 32 hours. I’m sure benefit plans would be affected. How about social security payments? Work less and maintain the same standard of living. It just seems like an unworkable plan to me.

Bob p
1 year ago

In the 50+ years I worked I was always in support of less hours and more pay. These progressives won’t be getting contributions to their campaigns with theses proposals.

JanneZack
1 year ago

But business owners, who put in far more than 40 hours a week who have struggled so hard to stay afloat during Covid and recessions will STILL be forced to work longer hours to remain in business while forced to either do less business or go under. Apparently our government doesn’t know how hard it is to keep a business going! Granted they are talking about Walmart or other retailers who routinely take advantage of their workers, but a mandate like this will also affect hospitals too. Hope nobody gets sick in this future!

Uncle Swags
1 year ago

Wouldn’t it be easier and make more sense to just deport the 100 or so progressives and their fan clubs to those other countries. Especially if it means more camping spots will be available.

John
1 year ago

Pontificating about the fact that this type of nonsense has worked in other countries is moot. Compare the work ethic of those countries with the general laziness of this one. Look at the millions of people who continue to sit at home receiving COVID cash rather than performing productive labor.

Jeb
1 year ago

4/5 the work 4/5 the pay. This will only work for the other people. Normal working people will still have to repair the plumbing and sell the groceries.

John Crawford
1 year ago

A 32 hour work week will require more workers to cover all the hours in the week. People don’t want to work now, every business is under staffed now. If I wanted to be like Ireland, Scotland, Japan and Sweden then I would move there.

Last edited 1 year ago by John Crawford
Tom
1 year ago

Employers can’t find workers for part time jobs now, paying $15/hr. I retired from the USPS three years ago, I was working 10-12 hours a day, usually six days a week. USPS couldn’t keep workers, new hires usually wouldn’t last more than a month. Too many people want a nice cushy job that pays them big bucks for sitting on their backsides.

Bob M
1 year ago

My employer before I retired 10 years ago offered employees a work week of 4 days 9 hour, 1 Friday 8 hours. The next week 4 days 9 hours with Friday off. equal to 80 hours every two weeks. Some people stayed on the 10 day, 8 hours per day shift. Which screwed getting some jobs done on the Friday the group was off.

Mike Schwab
1 year ago
Reply to  Bob M

They are suppose to do half the group on each Friday. But if some work can only be done with a full staff and not half staff, yeah, that would be a problem. My workplace had a very few people with a 4 day 10 hour workday, with which weekday scattered between people, with Fri / Mon discouraged..

The Lazy Q
1 year ago

Terrible terrible idea, this will lead to bad things.

Chris Haggerty
1 year ago

The agency I work for offers the opportunity to flex hours. So you have to work a little longer day for that day off. It may be important to note that we have a 35 hr work week so those other days don’t have to be that much longer. Nevertheless, I think more companies offering this type of model would be more attainable than changing the work week across the board. I also think pushing for more vacation time is better than a bunch of longer weekends.

Crowman
1 year ago

How will they afford to travel if there only going to be paid for 32 hours of work?

Tommy Molnar
1 year ago

These kinds of proposals come from politicians (and wacko groups) who don’t work anyway. Painful boils on the rear ends of working taxpayers. Remember, all this hard work is what built America into the richest, most powerful and envied country in the world. This is why folks from around the world wanted to emigrate here and make a new life. One more plan to turn our once great country into just another ho-hum place to live.

Dave
1 year ago

This is a bill from progressives that will have no mass support. Cool headline though. Left wing extremists and right wing extremists are getting too much press. The majority of America is in between these lines and has no party that supports them in this duopoly.

Rich K.
1 year ago

I’d rather see a law that limits the amount of mandatory overtime an employer can force on employees. I work for a company that has us working 10 hour days, which wouldn’t be so bad if we had a 3 day weekend…but Fridays are mandatory overtime, unless there is a holiday, or we take it as vacation time. And it’s a factory so we can’t work from home.

Last edited 1 year ago by Rich K.
Richard Hughes
1 year ago

The CEO who made the starting wage $70,000, for all employees and gave up his big salary, was told he would be broke. His company grew. Sadly, the mentality of many Americans is “the guy at the top gets the meal and we get the scraps.”

Bill T
1 year ago

Of all the stories I hear about the 32 hour or 4 day work week, one thing still hasn’t shown up yet is the thought of only 32 hours of pay. A days less wages per week can have a profound effect on the budget which is still a 30/31 day month. I don’t think companies are going to pay their employees 40 hour wages for 32 hours work.

Dan
1 year ago
Reply to  Bill T

Very good point. It’s right up there with fast food workers demanding $15 an hour. Everyone thinks the business owner has a bottomless wallet. Well, I’ve been there and I can honestly say that everyone on my payroll always got paid, even if I didn’t.

Don
1 year ago

In this work-crazy country? Never gonna happen. The only problem with the Progressives is that they don’t have a clue how far their visions of Nirvana deviate from the average American’s. Very sad…

Jeb
1 year ago
Reply to  Don

You hit the nail on the head.

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