Workers getting relief from wage theft

… a mild reversal from a 45 year long trend

Of course, the “job creators” will fight this in court. Wage theft has long been regarded as a sacred prerogative of economic elites.

I always considered my morning and evening commute to be “uncompensated overtime” – even when it was a 10 minute drive along the coast highway between La Jolla and Del Mar, CA.



If the law required commuting time to be compensated, then companies would gain the right to add a “commute time/distance” requirement to all their jobs. For example, they could say that only people that live within a 20 minute commute will be considered for the job.


Compensated for commute seems way to far. I work in Singapore but taken the trip to La Jolla many times (sometimes fly to SD or sometimes to LAX and Uber). Or course that is not comped.

I’ll say one thing that can be frustrating working for a MNC in Asia is a resistance of counter parts in Europe or US to take meetings outside of their work hours. These are professional roles so hopefully people take them with an expectation that you work with people around the world and not everything gets to fit your own personal working hours in your location.

As far as a McD manager, my guess they are probably being a supervisor as well as doing a lot of the same work as the employees, they probably should get OT. How to determine when that should happen is probably hard to work out (pay amount, job scope, etc)

I’m OK with taking a nighttime Zoom meeting, as long as I get the next day off as comp time. You need to set boundaries.



A whole day off for doing a single night call?

1 Like

Radio Shack was repeatedly sued by store managers for unpaid overtime. Corporate said they were management, thus exempt. The store managers said, first, they weren’t management because they had no authority (true, managers can’t set prices, or hours, or hire, or fire) and they spend most of their time on the sales floor, or cleaning, or unloading trucks. (also true). RS paid millions, over and over, on those cases.


1 Like

The last hourly position I had paid regular hourly wage for OT hours.
To qualify for OT - one must work a total of 40-hours per week.
If you had a personal day within the 40-hour week, you would not receive OT hours.

1 Like

RS had a different scheme. They would average your hours over two weeks. If you worked say, 50 hours one week, you would only be scheduled for 30 the next week, so you did not get time and a half for the 10 hrs of OT the first week…and thus was born another wage and hour violation suit.

This article about the fluctuating work week scheme mentions another way employees were losing out. RS had changed their retirement plan to a 401k sometime after 89 or 90. When I was in the plan, in the 80s, all the fund money was put in Tandy stock. That was fine, as long as the stock kept going up. Apparently, in 2014, as the company sank toward bankruptcy, the 401k was still largely invested in RS stock, so people were seeing their 401k savings evaporate as the company was run into the ground.

Reminds me of how we used to get paid “Chinese overtime” as we called it.

Flat rate for up to 40 hours (say $200). For hours over 40, they divided the flat rate by the total number of hours worked. Say 50 hours. So your “hourly rate for the week” was $200 divided by 50 hours = $4/hr. Pay was calculated as: (40 hrs x $4/hr) + (10 hrs x ($4 x 1.5 =) $6/hr) = $160 + $60 = $220 total pay.

Did that job for four months and left.

1 Like

RattShack sounds a horrible place to work. Most of my hourly work was in fast food or Kinkos or working at a gas station in the late 80’s and early 90s. They were all quite conventional, paid proper 1.5 for hours over 40. During summer in High School, I’d work 6 or 7 days a week and do 70 hours if they let me at fast food. At the gas station, I would take Xmas shift fort he 1.5 (maybe it was 2x) pay, plus I was a kid and it allowed the full time workers to spend with their children.

I co-oped at IBM during Uni days which paid hourly and they were always asking ppl from different departments to come in on weekends to help clean up records so use to do 70+ hours a week (10 per hour, 15 per hour OT). One semester on Co-op time usually paid my following semester at Uni. When I graduated, it was a recession and had a hard time finding a good job but one of the managers at IBM brought me in but had to hire me as a manufacturing worker even though I would be sitting in an office doing a professional job. Due to the OT, I probably made more than some of the college grads that came in a year later in a salary job. After a couple years they put me on a project that would involve a lot of traveling to Singapore which would have been costly for an hourly worker so got promoted to a salary position.

My base wage went up about 10% and my yearly pay went down about 25%. But making the shift from hourly to salary worked out much better in the long run even though I continued to still work a lot of OT. 70 hours weeks are no longer but likely weeks under 50 are not the norm either.

They paid? Must have been a bunch of wokies :slight_smile:

A friend of mine flagged me on a pic of a restaurant on FB this morning. In the background of the pic was an RS, and. below the big RS sign, there was a small “Radio Shack Training Center” sign. He wondered what the “training center” was. I theorized that was where the district office moved when the RS computer center it had been in was closed.

I started looking for an article about RS closing it’s computer centers, and came across this. The author appears to have worked at the shack a good 10+ years after I moved on, but many of his stories sound familiar, including the observation the company was still using a 1975 business model in the 2000s.

1 Like

They paid? Must have been a bunch of wokies :slight_smile:

I am not exactly sure what you mean by that… but yes, the company paid. At least at the time, very standard to expectation which was 1.5x over 40 hours. At least on my fast food experience, they gave us a 20 min meal break and free food for anybody working over a 5 hour shift and the meal break was compensated. So you were paid for 5 hours and had a free meal. I basically ate fried chicken, fries and coke 4 to 6 days a week for two years. Surprisingly, I weighted only just over 120 pounds when I finished High school. Managers were also paid overtime but this was a small local outfit.

I don’t know if a Kinko’s store manager would be paid OT or not.

Not everybody is Radio Shack; they seem to be more in a world of their own which likely why that aren’t around now. I certainly remember them as I like electronics when young so use to go to their store near my home. But when it came to computers or audio, they seemed to by clueless other than having some success of the TRS 80 which they blew.

1 Like

The narrative in Shiny-land now is that anyone who advocates treating people with a bit of fairness and respect is guilty of the thought crime of being “woke”.

I don’t know if the media in your area is covering the auto industry contract negotiations closely. That is local news for me. The news interviewed one of the workers at the Ram truck plant on Mound Rd yesterday. He started with Chrysler over 20 years ago. Like all the other union people they talk to, the guy said they don’t want to strike. They don’t want to put the companies out of business. But, considering the record profits, and the amount of money the honchos are pocketing, they do want back what management took away a dozen years ago.

Stellantis’ first response was that, not only are they not giving the workers back anything, they want to take more away. The union President termed Ford’s response “an insult”. and filed complaints with the NLRB alleging Stellantis and GM are not bargaining in good faith.

There are a lot of angry people around, because the honchos are seen as keeping all the loot for themselves, rather than giving a bit to the people who do the actual work to keep the companies running. The union had a strike authorization vote. 97% of the membership approved a strike.



No, I can’t say I see any Detroit stories, seems the news really only wants to report on Tesla. I tried to Google what a union worker makes but got some wide ranges, what is normal salary?

Personally, I wish all public companies compensated all employees in part in RSUs or options not just those at senior levels. The amount of benefits can change at levels but if SBC is one of them then I prefer it goes to every employee. It does at my company (expect in countries where not allowed) but that has been an exception

1 Like

That wide range is one of the things the union is beefing about. One of the concessions made in 2009 was a tiered wage structure: new hires make dramatically less than people who have been with the company since before 2009. The President of the union, who, admittedly, has a vested interest, has said that a worker starting at the big three today, makes $10/hr less than the starting wage in 2007, and does not get a pension, like the older workers do. Note, a few months ago, Stellantis offered buyouts to some 31,000 hourly, and 2,000 salaried people, presumably those who have been there since before 2009, and thus earn the pre-bankruptcy wages and have a pension.

The second problem with trying to get a handle on what an autoworker earns is how many hours the company works them. By it’s nature, an assembly line requires someone at every workstation, so management can impose “mandatory overtime” to force people to work. The local news interviewed a woman working at Sterling Heights Assembly (Ram 1500). She said the only way to make the sort of money management complains autoworkers make is “to live in the plant, work seven days a week”. And yes, some people are working 7 day weeks, especially now, as the big three try to build inventory to ride out a strike.

The core UAW demands are:
-end the tiered wage structure, so everyone is on the same pay scale
-restore the pension to people who hired in after 2009
-restore retiree health insurance benefit.
-restore the cost of living adjustment
-pay increase of some 40%, in step with the pay raises the automaker CEOs have received in recent years.

The union is also asking for a 32 hour work week. Some in the media say they want 40hrs pay for that 32 hours of work. I don’t know who is telling the truth on that one.

The initial response from Stellantis is they aren’t going to restore anything they took away a dozen years ago. Instead they want to take away a chunk of the worker’s profit sharing, and they want to take away from the employee health insurance. That is the proposal that the union President publicly threw in the wastebasket. Ford’s response, reportedly included the company being allowed to bring in as many temps as they wish, up to 100% of the workforce, that would not be union members, not make union pay, and not have any union contract benefits.

GM management, at least, has launched a charm campaign to tell the public that their workers can earn enough money, and have enough spare time, to do something with their lives, other than live in the plant, and work like dogs. This is one of the several TV ads GM has been running, conveying that message.

1 Like

That’s not really true when it comes to the UAW, because the UAW isn’t anywhere near diverse enough, it is way too white and way too male!

Well, lets see now. How do you become a UAW member? First, get a job with the big three or a unionized vendor. Who decides who works at the big three or a vendor, the UAW, or the “JCs” that set personnel policy?



The main group that determines who gets the job are the applicants. If the applicants are 90+% male, then very likely the eventual hires will be 90+% male.

And, of course, in some places, even after being hired, you, the employee, have to choose to become a member of the union.

1 Like

I just want to make sure I understand your position:

-you complained the union is not diverse enough

-I pointed out that management made the hiring and firing decisions, not the union.

-you replied it’s the minority worker’s fault, for not applying for union jobs.

Do I understand correctly?



USCAMexico or whatever it is called the new NAFTA guaranteed Mexican autoworkers $16 to start. That though was for the US and CA as well.

It was bragged about at the time. I saw it as a pay cut in the US and CA. Same braggart is against min wage.