Thirty-Hour Week

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THIRTY-HOUR WEEK. In 1932, Senator Hugo Black (D-Alabama) introduced the Thirty-Hour Work Week Bill, 72nd Congress, to "prohibit, in interstate or foreign commerce, all goods produced by establishments where workers were employed more than five days a week or six hours a day." Black hoped that this bill, drafted by the American Federation of Labor, would create 6 million jobs. The Senate passed the bill on 6 April 1933, by a vote of 53–30.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt privately expressed doubts, and the bill remained in House of Representatives committees for five years. When the Fair Labor Standards Act became law in 1938, the thirty-hour work week provision was not included.


Hunnicutt, Benjamin Kline. Work Without End: Abandoning Shorter Hours for the Right to Work. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1988.

Kelly BoyerSagert

See alsoAmerican Federation of Labor–Congress of Industrial Organizations ; Great Depression .