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Accueil » Daniel Bernmar, Vänsterpartiet: Reducing work hours is a feminist reform

Daniel Bernmar, Vänsterpartiet: Reducing work hours is a feminist reform

    How many individuals and organisations are advocating the topic of working time reduction in your country and do you form partnerships?

    There are no other political organizations working for work time reduction apart from ours. At least not as progressive as us in the left party. Some of the unions are also working towards shortening the working hours. We have not formed any partnerships so far, even though it could be possible in the future.

    What is your group`s actual proposal for the reduction of working time?

    Work life for many groups is often stressful and the working conditions tough. Consequently, many get sick and go on sick leave. Women in the working class with low paid jobs are affected most of all. Our proposal is that six hours workday, while maintaining same wage, is a strategic reform to reduce unemployment and get a more equal distribution between work and capital. Further on it is a feminist reform; shorter working hours release time for all working people which creates conditions for a more equal distribution of paid and unpaid work. A shorter workday also means that part-time jobs will be translated into full-time jobs.

    What is the public opinion on the working time reduction in your country? Is it favourable?

    We know that many women in the working class support the six hour work day. The public opinion is often dominated by politicians and the debate is very fragmented. Our main opponents are both conservative and liberal parties, as well as several employers in the private sector/enterprise. Their main argument is that reduction of work time to six hours per day, or 30 hours per week, is not possible due to high costs.

    What is your next step in the campaign? And what are your short-term, medium-term and long-terms objectives?

    For six hours to become the working norm it requires a decision on a national level. We will continue to run more projects to show that it is possible to reduce the working hours with good results. To move the public opinion in the right direction we must get through more attempts in municipal work places. They can furthermore serve as positive examples, for other work places to follow. Right now we have three work places in Gothenburg that are trying six hours work day with full payment. Our hope is that the sick days will be reduced and that recruiting new staff will be easier.

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