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This Crisis Makes Clear: We Need a Four-Day Work Week, Now

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/10/18/crisis-makes-clear-we-need-four-day-work-week-now


“Cook­ing at home is one exam­ple of what Auton­o­my, a U.K.-based think tank that stud­ies work, calls ​“low-car­bon soft” alter­na­tives to con­sumerist behav­ior”

Wouldn’t eating communally or at a restaurant be potentially more efficient than cooking at home, due to efficiencies of scale?

As long as you don’t drive to get there, of course.


It’s something to talk to neighbors about, no?

It might suit a shared garden as well.


Nowhere in this article did I see wages addressed in the shortened work week. If the author is talking about a 4/10 workweek ok I agree. I worked this schedule and it’s nice to have 3 days off with no loss of pay, and one less day to commute saves money as well. But if this is about reducing workers hours, it’s a non-starter, most workers can barely afford day-to-day expenses now at 40 hours. And lets be realistic, almost no corporation will agree to keeping workers pay at present rates, and lowering their hours with no loss of wages. We’re a long way from that happening in this country.


Great idea. People do well working about 25 hours per week, and self-directed.

But we will need to feed those unions again, and people will need to quit kidding themselves about corporate hacks having their backs.


I think it implicit in the article that wages will be addressed given the author referencing the idea of making the CERB a permanent form of UBI and the role the CERB played in allowing the person to work less hours yet earn a higher income.

Keep in mind as well that a lot of those expenses on a 40 hour work week are for work related items . When I am on “days off” even through weekends I tend to spend less money .

To what the Corporations will and will not do. While this article written about what happened in the pandemic in Canada, I do think a number of Corporations are coming around to the idea of more work based out of ones home and or less hours per week as there can be cost savings involved that would address how much they pay for “less hours” worked. The author refers to better health and less fatigued employees as example who are then more productive but there other things to consider.

As example less traffic on the roads can make many businesses more efficient. I work as a Field Technician in IT and need my vehicle for my work. Through the pandemic I am finding I can attend to more calls in a given day simply because drive times are lower. A trip that used to take 1 hour 20 can now be done in 40 minutes.


The Corporate Plantation Economy is one of the key structural problems that must be dealt with as is the “Two-Party” Authoritarian Government of the US.


I agree with most of what your saying, but the differences between Canada and the US are becoming astronomical in the work and wage arena. Without major changes here, this is dead in the water right now in the US.

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Snap to, Slothrop, Snap to… Eating communally would indeed be more efficient than cooking at home. However, I rather doubt that such a social endeavor would mesh with the social distancing currently being carried out within neurotic reach of the seeds of caution aloft on the sterile currents of pandemic fear being sown globally at microbial scale and volume. PTSD will be one more anxious and destabilizing by-product that will be harvested seasonally by our thinned out (culled would be the term we’d be crass enough to use when taking credit for such Eugenic ‘innovations’ had a human cabal rather than Darwinian planetary adaptation conceived and executed our current Age of Plague) successor generations.

By the bye, tommy_slothrop d’ya come by yer family name honestly or literarily? Been quite taken with the new CD release by Swiss musicologist\producer Christian Hanggi of Tyler Burba’s Georgia-NYC band VISIT titled Now everybody – VISIT Interprets the Songs of Thomas Pynchon

The opening track “Snap to, Slothrop” taken from the ditty verse\chorus\verse Pynchon seeded so many of his novels with, this one from GRAVITY’S RAINBOW as a narrative prod to the epic’s more slothful than heroic Tyrone Power-esque protagonist, might make a compelling backing track for your voicemail’s outgoing message. No?

Keep on doing
Health and balance to youse

Tio Mitchito Rittero\Paradigm Sifters, Code Shifters and Song Chasers
Lay-Low Studios, Ore-Wa
Media Discussion List and Looksee

Well. Is there a need for detailed arguments to know by common sense that it is way way passed time to have a shorter work week? But you can’t separate that from the rest of the public good improvements such as free universal health care and education by right, and vast public transportation that assures meaningful freedom of movement, again as a right.

This article seems to address the US more than the rest of the rich countries…as the likes of France and Germany already have a 35 work week combined with 1-2 months vacation in addition. The US doesn’t even meet basic vacation or parental leave standards, and a significant part of its population can’t make a living without working more than 40hrs/week. So, I don’t quite see the point of this article in the US context. Give people rights, increase wages, put a cap on profits, and the hours will fall. Germany a good example. 15 million work part time by choice, that’s a big chunk of their working force.


I was assuming that the current social distancing requirements are temporary.

I am fictional. Tyrone was my Dad.

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What if work weren’t a four letter word?