Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Democatic Party Champions White-Collar Issues

What's happening to the political party of the blue-collar worker? Traditionally the Democratic Party has championed blue-collar worker and union issues.

In an attempt however, to follow through on one of his many 'if elected president' campaign promises [would somebody please tell him he lost the election], Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) fronted a measure to add an amendment to the $388 billion spending bill in the final stages of consideration by Congress.

In an article today by Amy Joyce, a staff writer for the Washington Post titled: Attempt to Block Rule On Overtime Thwarted: Provision Deleted From Spending Bill: -- Tuesday, November 23, 2004; Page E03, she wrote:

An attempt to block the Bush administration's proposed changes in overtime rules was killed before the 2005 spending bill received final congressional approval over the weekend.

Democrats attached an amendment to the Senate's version of the bill that would have overturned the overtime regulations, which went into effect in August. The amendment, which would have prevented any worker previously covered by overtime from losing that protection, was deleted in a conference committee.

The White House had threatened to veto the entire $388 billion spending bill if the overtime amendment was included.
Democrats say they will continue to fight to overturn the regulations next year.

'This battle isn't over,' Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) said in a statement. Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Kennedy 'intend to push hard' to eliminate the overtime regulations. ... more
While it was Sen. Harkin (D-IA) who sponsored the amendment it had the backing of both Senators Kennedy and Kerry, and other Democrats. The contention surrounding the new overtime regulations had the Democrats fuming since its passage in August with claims the new law may short 6 million white-collar workers at some point in the future.

Congress apparently took up the overtime issue to stifle overtime class action lawsuits that nearly doubled in recent years. The Department of Labor claims more workers, not less, will gain overtime under the new regs.

I must be missing something. Please tell me. When did the Democratic Party become the champion of the white-collar worker? Reference Link