Following a surge in interest among local branches, the Forsa public services union has launched a debate about working time reduction with an international conference in Dublin on 22 November. The union underlines the potential of digitalisation to increase productivity and create the potential for a shorter working week. The conference included contributions from the UK where the Trade Union Confederation has called for a four-day week and from Germany where the IG Metall engineering union has negotiated major new agreements providing the potential for employees to reduce their working time.
Union launches working time debate
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Representatives from 28 EPSU affiliates from 17 countries and the European Union along with colleagues from the European doctors’ organisations CPME and FEMS met in Brussels on 26 October to discuss the European Commission’s Interpretative Communication on the Working Time Directive. The meeting
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.