How many individuals and organisations are advocating the topic of working time reduction in your country and do you form partnerships?
CCOO (Comisiones Obreras/Worker’s Commissions) always had the 35-hour week for the goal. By 2012, the public sector had a 35-hour workweek. The government extended it to 37.5 hours during the crisis. The restoration of the 35-hour workweek for civil servants has been negotiated with some governments of the Autonomous Communities, but the state government has resorted to these agreements. The courts have annulled the agreements in Euskadi and Andalucía. In the private sector, reducing working hours during these crisis years was not a priority due to precarious working conditions and general wages reduction.
Our main objective is to increase salaries and the compliance of the working day, since there has been a significant increase in overtime that is not charged. This problem is greater with part-time work. However, it can be confirmed that the annual working day agreed in sectoral collective agreements has been progressively reduced in recent years. Between 2000 and 2016, the average annual working day has been reduced by 20 hours. There were virtually no changes in the company’s collective agreements. CCOO is working with UGT (Unión General de Trabajadores/General Union of Workers) on the same goals.
What is your group`s actual proposal for the reduction of working time?
CCOO wants to resume collective bargaining in the public sector on the 35-hour workweek. CCOO has also launched the campaign “Recuperar lo arrebatado” (Restoring what has been wrested) and want to fight the extension of working hours, especially those that are not registered or paid. CCOO continues to pursue a progressive reduction of annual days above the agreed average (1744.1 hours in 2016).
What is the public opinion on working time reduction in your country? Is it favourable?
Business organizations and governments, both federal and autonomous, are opposed. They argue that it would worsen the competitiveness of companies. Public opinion would support a reduction of working time, but we believe that its priority is now the increase in wages, the increase in fixed employment and the employment of millions of unemployed (3,766,700 unemployed and 1,210,500 households with all members unemployed).
What is your next step in the campaign? And what are your short-term, medium-term and long-terms objectives?
We intend to continue mobilizing the “Recuperar lo arrebatado” campaign in the public sector. In general and in the medium and long term, we also want to call for shorter working hours as a way of work sharing. This distribution is necessary due to high unemployment rates in Spain.