Union Songs

Forced Overtime

A poem by David G. Hurlburt©David G. Hurlburt 1984

How much our children love us; how much they do care
They go to the window, but their parents aren't there.
They've been forced to work over; the due date is not met
They are waiting on hold, but their circuits aren't wired yet.

Our children are crying, their parents aren't there.
The bosses have gone home now so what do they care?
It's not their daughter's birthday, not their son's baseball game.
Pacific Bell is more important, so they force just the same.

We are paying the price for mismanagement and neglect.
Our free time is not ours and our lives are a wreck.
They force us to work overtime and then they just sit back and laugh.
They don't care what it costs, it is not just time and a half.

The cost is much too high when they force us to stay;
Oh, so much more than the money they pay
We stay to keep our jobs and to pay our own bills
But it reminds us of slavery and all of it's ills.

The chains of our slavery are the wages wee need,
Their reason for forcing is just plain damn greed!
It is cheaper to work overtime than to hire the unemployed.
Forced overtime is wage slavery and it must be destroyed!

What is the answer? What can be the cure?
To work only eight hours a day and be sure
That at the last moment, their plans have not changed,
And in only a few moments, our lives are rearranged.

Do not sit there and take this fight back all of you!
File grievances; write Congress and the State Legislature too.
Negotiate to change our contract, lobby to change the laws.
Get out there and push, don't just be flapping your jaws!


Many thanks to David G. Hurlburt for permission to add this poem to the Union Songs collection. David is CWA Steward Local 9410. He writes
"This poem is dedicated to forced overtime victims at 720 California and other locations in San Francisco. "

Read more about David at


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