Legislature repeals mandatory overtime for bakers

By Oregon Small Business Association,

The Oregon Senate voted to ban last-minute mandatory overtime for bakery and tortilla plant workers in a 24-2 bipartisan vote anda 36 to 21 party-line vote in the House.

Senate Bill 1513 affects 294 employers in Oregon and their 5,629 workers, many of whom say they’ve been forced to work mandatory overtime on short notice. Under the new measure, employers must provide at least five days’ notice ahead of mandatory overtime, which will give workers time to juggle schedules and arrange for childcare. Union workers wanted two weeks’ notice, while a business lobby asked for only 48 hours. Five days is a compromise.

The vote comes after last summer’s strike at a Nabisco bakery in North Portland that spread nationwide. Mike Burlingame, who has worked 14 years at the plant and serves as a union leader, said bakeries have long required forced overtime. He told lawmakers he recently worked five weeks without a day off. If workers refuse mandatory overtime, he said, they’re marked absent, and after eight absences, they can lose their jobs.

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