United States Senate
October 9, 2003
As you participate in the conference between the Senate and the House of Representatives over H.R. 2660, the 2004 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO, asks that you retain the Harkin amendment protecting overtime pay that the Senate passed on September 10, 2003.
For the working women and men whom the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE) represents, your support is crucial. Your advocacy in the conference will help to:
- preserve a norm of a 40-hour week, so American workers will have time for family, community, citizenship, and rest;
- guarantee that employers compensate millions of workers fairly rather than exploiting them; and
- encourage employers to create jobs and hire employees rather than forcing current employees to work longer hours for less pay.
DPE comprises 24 AFL-CIO unions representing four million people working in professional, technical and other highly skilled white-collar occupations. Some 30 national organizations – professional, advocacy, policy and religious groups representing millions of other concerned citizens and workers – joined DPE and its affiliated unions to support the Harkin amendment. Our joint letter of September 2, 2003 to each member of the Senate is enclosed.
On behalf of all these people and the organizations that represent them, permit me to urge your support in conference for the Harkin amendment. Thank you.
Paul E. Almeida,
President, Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO