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Media Roundtable: Capital & Main investigates efforts by big business & elected officials to deny workers overtime pay

After then-Gov. Pete Wilson pushed to abolish overtime pay in 1997 for days of work longer than eight hours, people protested in front of the office of California’s Industrial Welfare Commission in San Francisco. The state body ultimately voted to go along with the governor.

On this edition of Your Call's Media Roundtable, we discuss a Capital and Main series examining efforts to deny workers extra pay for extra work. In 1975, more than 60 percent of salaried workers qualified for time and half pay. By 2016, that share was less than 7 percent, according to the Economic Analysis and Research Network.

The Economic Policy Institute cites weakened labor standards, including "eroded overtime protections," as a factor in worsening wage inequality over the last four decades. While worker productivity has sharply increased during that time, most of the rewards have gone to executives and corporate shareholders, even as median wages stagnated.


Marcus Baram, longtime reporter and editor, and author of Gil Scott-Heron: Pieces of a Man

Web Resources:

Capital & Main: Overworked and Underpaid

Malihe Razazan is the senior producer of KALW's daily call-in program, Your Call.
Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.