Last Friday, we were informed that exempt employees at our site would begin a mandatory 72 hour work week “until further notice”. We have some budget shortfalls and delayed projects, and it’s claimed that we have to use extreme measures like this to close the budget gap for this quarter.
Today we are having a plant-wide meeting “to discuss the issues and requirements for drastic measures (EXTENDED WORK HOURS) to close the gap”.
This is May 1, known as “May Day” throughout much of the world – pretty much like Labor Day is in the US. Here’s some interesting information about how May Day got started.
The timing of this meeting is so ironic that I almost believe it’s intentional.
This is from http://ilalocal273.com/April_99.htm#origins
I have bolded some parts for emphasis.
The Origins of May Day – International Workers’ Day
In most countries around the world, May 1st or May Day is officially recognized as International Workers’ Day. Ironically, it is only in North America — where May Day got it’s start– that recognition has been given to another day (Labour Day).
May Day has it’s origins in the movement for an eight-hour day that swept the United States and Canada during the mid-1880’s. In 1886, and association of unions and other supporters of the eight-hour day began making preparations for mass demonstrations for May 1st in most major North American cities. At this time, most people worked between 10-12 hours a day, 6 days a week.
As the workers made their plans, the other side prepared as well. Everywhere, police and military were readied for emergency actions, and leading business men created anti-labour committees which began arming and training volunteers for the expected confrontation.
When May 1st came, impressive demonstrations occurred in dozens of cities across the United States and Canada, including Toronto and Montreal. At the same time, workers and many plants decided to strike in support of their demands – over 30,000 in Chicago alone walked off the job.