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The Dellums-Conyers 35-hour workweek bill -
105th CONGRESS, 1st Session: H.R. 1050

March 12, 1997

Mr. Dellums (for himself, Mr. Brown of California, Mr. Conyers, Mr. Evans, Mr. Fattah, Mr. Filner, Mr. Gutierrez, Mr. Hastings of Florida, Mr. Hinchey, Ms. Kaptur, Mr. Lantos, Mr. Martinez, Mr. McDermott, Mrs. Mink of Hawaii, Ms. McKinney, Mr. Nadler, Ms. Norton, Mr. Olver, Mr. Owens, Mr. Payne, Ms. Pelosi, Mr. Sanders, Mr. Torres, Mr. Towns, Ms. Waters, Ms. Woolsey, and Mr. Yates) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce, and in addition to the Committees on the Budget, National Security, and Rules, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


To establish a living wage [market-distorting direct approach - ed.], jobs for all [good - raises wages by market forces - ed.] policy by instituting overall planning [good only in sense of minimal market-framing design - ed.] to develop those living wage job opportunities essential to fulfillment of basic rights and responsibilities in a healthy democratic society; by facilitating conversion from unneeded military programs to civilian activities that meet important human needs; by producing a Federal capital budget through appropriate outlays; and by reducing poverty, violence, and the undue concentration of income, wealth, and power, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
        (a) SHORT TITLE. - This Act may be cited as the "A Living Wage, Jobs For All Act".
        (b) TABLE OF CONTENTS. - The table of contents is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Findings and declaration of policy.
Sec. 3. Basic rights and responsibilities.
Sec. 4. Overall planning for full employment.
Sec. 5. Joint Economic Committee.
Sec. 6. Authorization of appropriations....


          (9) REDUCTIONS IN HOURS. - The establishment of policies and initiatives to provide for phased-in actions for reductions in the length of the work year through longer paid vacations, the elimination of compulsory overtime, curbing excessive overtime through an increase in the premium to triple time on all hours in excess of 40 in any week [this failed approach discourages employers a little while motivating employees a lot - ed.], exempting administrative, executive, and professional employees from the overtime premium only if their salary levels are three times the annual value of the minimum wage [tying anything important to an arbitrary variable is poor design - ed.], reducing the workweek in manufacturing and mining to no more than 35 hours without any corresponding loss in weekly wages [better to start more generally with simply all wage workers including consultants on "billable-time" - ed.], and voluntary work-sharing arrangements.
          (10) PART-TIME EMPLOYMENT WITH SOCIAL BENEFITS. - The establishment of policies and initiatives to increase the opportunities for freely-chosen part-time employment, with social security and health benefits, to meet the needs of older people, students, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with housekeeping and child care responsibilities....
[This is reminiscent of recent legislation in the Netherlands and in Italy to reduce the "part-time penalty" - ed.]

For further information on worktime economics, see our "social software" manual Timesizing, Not Downsizing, which is available online from *

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