May 7, 1943

WMC Considering New Mandate
WASHINGTON, D.C.—A nationwide mandatory forty-eight–hour workweek may be implemented by the War Manpower Commission (WMC), but official statements today indicated the decision to do so is not imminent. The extension of the longer workweek would be a way to address the growing shortage of manpower across the nation. WMC officials anticipate that extending the mandate nationwide will have the same effect as adding one million workers. There are currently thirty-nine areas in which labor is short that fall under a mandated forty-eight–hour workweek as well as the steel, lumber, and non-ferrous mining industries. In these areas, there are several exemptions, such as companies that employ fewer than eight workers. Anonymous WMC officials said of the extended mandate, “If too many exceptions would be necessary, we won’t do it.”

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