Statement from UAW President Dennis Williams on new overtime rules


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“Today is a great day for millions of hardworking Americans and working families because they are finally going to be rightfully paid for working overtime. I commend President Obama and Labor Secretary Perez for their leadership in adopting this commonsense rule that will raise the incomes of more than 4 million working people. The previous outdated overtime rules contained loopholes that many employers used for decades to exploit workers and deny them their earned pay.

The new overtime threshold will help white collar workers all over the country, including thousands of UAW members who work as Postdocs at our nation’s colleges and universities. Postdocs conduct important lifesaving research and bring in billions of dollars in grants every year. They are underpaid and routinely work well over 40 hours per week with no extra compensation. The new thresholds will enable many to pay for basic necessities like child care and rent. In the future, we urge the Department of Labor to expand coverage for all academic employees and other workers who are unfairly denied the pay they have earned.

Sadly, some special interest groups have argued that universities and colleges cannot afford to pay their workers, yet at the same time, many of these same institutions pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to midlevel administrators and sign multimillion dollar contracts with athletic coaches. Surely, institutions of higher learning can also afford to fairly pay their highly skilled workers.

Policies that support a strong middle class and shared prosperity are good for our nation and will help sustain economic growth for the long term. The UAW applauds the Obama Administration for taking this important action.”

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