The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the widespread use of short-time working in response has rekindled the debate about permanent shifts to shorter working hours. Germany's biggest engineering union, IG Metall, has put forward ideas about a move to a 32-hour week and this had been taken up by the CGT trade union confederation in France which has had a 32-hour-week policy for some time. In the UK, the Autonomy research organisation has proposed and costed a plan for the public sector to take the lead and move to a 32-hour week without loss of pay.
Working Time, Information & consultation, France
Workers from three psychiatric hospitals in Paris took strike action and joined a demonstration on 6 September to show their anger over plans to introduce new working time arrangements. The joint action was called by the CGT, CFDT, FO, CFE-CGC and SUD trade unions who argue that the management plans for working time for the 5000 employees will mean that workers will lose between five and 10 rest days a year. The trade unions argue that this would be unacceptable in normal circumstances but is even worse in a situation where many workers are already exhausted as a result of excessive workloads.
Unions at the Veolia water company have announced strike action in protest at the company's latest plans for restructuring, the fourth in three years. The unions are angry that a further 572 jobs are due to go by 2019 after 2000 have already been cut since 2014. They are particularly concerned that this time the company has not ruled out compulsory redundancies which the unions say would be the first for the sector. The unions say the cuts aren't justified in terms of the company's economic performance and they want the company to withdraw the threat of compulsory redundancies and begin a
Proposals to reform the labour code were published owin 31 August with some initial negative reactions from the trade unions. A common response was that the raft of reforms was being put forward before there had been a proper evaluation of the changes that have been implemented in the last four years. Unions expressed concern about rebalancing of the relationship between sector and company-level bargaining and changes to compensation in cases of redundancy. In small companies (less than 50 employees) it will be possible for employers to negotiate with non-trade union representatives and in
(November 2016) Four of the trade union organisations in public services (CGT, FAFP, FSU and Solidaires) are mobilising for a day of action on 29 November. They are raising a number of long-standing demands including pay increases to compensate for loss of purchasing power since 2010, action to improve pay for jobs and sectors dominated by women to close the gender pay gap and measures to reduce precarious working conditions and defend working time arrangements.
(August 2016) A report by the IGAS social affairs inspectorate provides evidence that the reduction in working time implemented with the introduction of the 35-hour seek in 1998 lead to the creation of 350000 jobs over the next four years. The report has not been officially published but was leaked to the Mediapart organisation. The CGT trade union confederation has criticised the decision by the IGAS not to publish the report officially and argues that the analysis supports its call for a further reduction of weekly working time to 32 hours. The CFDT confederatoin has also called for a cut in