German workers win right to 28-hour working week - Politics Forum.org | PoFo

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#14888273
5 weeks paid holidays a year, 28-hours working week, full health insurance, maternity leave for both parents, generous pensions, low crime rates, worker's co-determination, powerful unions, free education ... How does that compare to the US? :p

German workers win right to 28-hour week following industrial action

Collective deal covers around 900,000 metal and engineering workers but is expected to prompt changes across Germany and in other industries

German workers have won the right to a 28-hour week in a victory towards their fight for a better work-life balance.

Industrial union IG Metall, Europe’s largest trade union, has won its workers the right to work the equivalent of under six hours each day in a deal that could eventually impact almost 4 million people in the country.

The collective deal covers around 900,000 metal and engineering workers in the south-western state of Baden-Württemberg, but it is expected to prompt changes across the country and in other industries.

It means from next year, workers at many of Germany’s most important engineering firms can opt to take on a 28-hour working week for up to two years. Employers will not be able to prevent individual workers from taking up the offer.

The agreement comes after IG Metall called three 24-hour strikes and workers downed tools at a number of engineering companies. In return for agreeing the shorter week, employers gained a right to offer more workers 40-hour contracts, meaning the deal will offer more flexibility.

The union’s demands reflect changing working preferences of employees who want more private time instead of more pay. Some want to care for their children or ailing parents while others want to engage in communal work.

Jorg Hoffman leader of IG Metall, said the agreement was a "milestone on the way to a modern, self-determined world of work".

Rainer Dugler, head of the employers' association for the industry, echoed his remarks, saying: “It was worth the effort. We have laid the foundation for a flexible working time system."

The deal represents a major breakthrough for flexible working in Europe, and comes partly in response to the rise of the so-called gig economy, where workers are able to control their own hours with much greater ease than those on full time contracts.
It also reflects growing self-confidence among trade unions in Germany, who say that as the country's economy is set to grow by roughly 2 per cent this year employees should get a fair share of the success.
#14888282
Atlantis wrote:5 weeks paid holidays a year, 28-hours working week, full health insurance, maternity leave for both parents, generous pensions, low crime rates, worker's co-determination, powerful unions, free education ... How does that compare to the US?


Yes because becoming a weak and decadent people is something to be so proud of. Indeed, when hardship will come to the west, which is inevitable, these fat sows will not be able to compete against peoples that had to immigrate day-and-night without food and shelter into their countries.

The raising of time-preference is making western peoples into a bunch of hedonist children where delayed gratification is a thing of the past. That people are proud of not working and getting stuff for free is baffling to me. There is no self-respect or sense of pride anymore.

My old man could have made more money by taking a layoff many of times (once you factored insurance etc)., but said "why would I not want to work?"

Not working and taking hand-outs used to be considered embarrassing, a shame. Now its a badge of honor? Peoples who once conquered the known world now extolling the virtues of "time-off."

Nothing is greater proof that we're all collectively fucked.
#14888309
Isn't France intending to, or already did, repeal their 35-hour working week because it wasn't making them competitive and now Germany is going to institute a 28-hour working week?
#14888359
layman wrote:Most analysts are suggesting we need either less jobs or less ours due to automation.

Less hours is probably the better solution?

This depends heavily on which industry we're talking about. In this case, they're talking about metal and engineering workers, jobs that I assume can't be automated. It's currently only low-end service sector jobs that can be automated.
#14888363
Victoribus Spolia wrote:Yes because becoming a weak and decadent people is something to be so proud of. Indeed, when hardship will come to the west, which is inevitable, these fat sows will not be able to compete against peoples that had to immigrate day-and-night without food and shelter into their countries.

The raising of time-preference is making western peoples into a bunch of hedonist children where delayed gratification is a thing of the past. That people are proud of not working and getting stuff for free is baffling to me. There is no self-respect or sense of pride anymore.

My old man could have made more money by taking a layoff many of times (once you factored insurance etc)., but said "why would I not want to work?"

Not working and taking hand-outs used to be considered embarrassing, a shame. Now its a badge of honor? Peoples who once conquered the known world now extolling the virtues of "time-off."

Nothing is greater proof that we're all collectively fucked.


Why would any normal person be opposed to time away from work? :eh:

Godamnit I'm ready to retire.
#14888376
Hong Wu wrote:This depends heavily on which industry we're talking about. In this case, they're talking about metal and engineering workers, jobs that I assume can't be automated. It's currently only low-end service sector jobs that can be automated.


People getting boners over automation and technocracy are very short-sighted in my opinion. A technological society is soooo tenuous and conditional that it seems incredibly foolish to elevate the downgrading of quality human beings to mere fat-ass button-mashing consumers in exchange for an economy and system that could collapse almost overnight; whether it be because of some disaster to the oil supply, an EMP blast, or just a major stock-market bubble-burst.

Thing is, automation and consumerism combined with a welfare-nanny state will create a weak population that once these systems fail, are wholly unable to survive.

skinster wrote:Why would any normal person be opposed to time away from work?


I don't know where you are from @skinster, but its almost a moral law where I come from that work-ethic is the measure of person's value. For better or worse, this is very common in the rust-belt and was very common nationally a long time ago. Philosophically, it probably originated in Calvinism, but it definitely has retained its own life. Many poor immigrant families, as my dad's grandparents were (who mostly raised him), had a chip on their shoulder to prove they would be "Great Americans," and sought to demonstrate this by having extremely high standards of work-ethic and respectability (learning American english and manners, dressing nice, keeping their home and yard nice, etc)

Like I have said elsewhere, where I live the average income is $20,000.00 and people here, in spite of this, view taking government assistance as a great shame, an insult to their virture. They also see it as rewarding the lazy and not really helping those who work but just need a little help (whether this bias is real or contrived is irrelevant).

If I told my dad that I was thinking about apply for heating-assistance or something, he would probably say: "Why don't you just get a flip-phone and stop drinking so much beer, why do you need to be a mooch?" [this never happened, but that is exactly how he would react]

For instance, if I took time off from work for vacation, and did not either travel with the family or work on a project at home, I would have a hard time looking my old man in the eye.

Dad: "Oh, so I see you took off work, what are your working on?"

Me: "nothing, I just wanted to watch some movies and chill for a few days."

Dad: "................" :eh:

Pants-of-dog wrote:@Victoribus Spolia seems to be a Calvinist.

I was going to make a reply, but I am too lazy right now.


I was a Calvinist, yes. However, this attitude it pretty well just indicative of the culture I was raised in. Work is the arguably one the highest values. If you call a man lazy here, its pretty well the worst insult you could possibly give.
Last edited by Victoribus Spolia on 12 Feb 2018 16:33, edited 2 times in total.
#14888377
Hong Wu wrote:Isn't France intending to, or already did, repeal their 35-hour working week because it wasn't making them competitive and now Germany is going to institute a 28-hour working week?

If the Germans wanted to be just as much competitive as the French, they could even introduce an 18-hour working week perhaps. :lol:
#14888386
Victoribus Spolia wrote:I don't know where you are from @skinster, but its almost a moral law where I come from that work-ethic is the measure of person's value.


Damn.

I'm from a part of the world where working pays for living and, that's it.

I'm sure when you're on your deathbed, you'll be thinking about important things, like how much you worked and how that all mattered. :lol:
#14888397
skinster wrote:I'm sure when you're on your deathbed, you'll be thinking about important things, like how much you worked and how that all mattered


Don't get me wrong, i'm not necessarily defending the extreme elements in this outlook, i'm just saying that delaying gratification in order to achieve higher goals and pleasures is indicative of cultural health and should be seen as praiseworthy, not denigrated with a race to the bottom.

Elevating how much time one has to sit around the beach and smoke pot and do nothing is not an achievement for human society. It may be a perfectly enjoyable leisure, but acquiring and multiplying leisure should not be seen as an accomplishment of civilization. It should be seen for what it is, a nice break from the work of making the world better, not an end in itself. To say the opposite is to elevate barbarity and hedonism at the expense of civilization and i'm afraid we have reached that point when a poster can brag about how much a country does not have to work as if working were an insult to Americans....that just seems dumb.

So I doubt that the men that spent their lives building the Notre Dame Cathedral died feeling they wasted their lives in comparison to the homeless vagabond who refused to work so he could "do as he wished" and left nothing for perpetuity.

Hedonism gave few men comfort on their death beds. Leaving a legacy on the other hand, gave many men great comfort in death and legacies, i'm sorry to say, take work.
#14888506
@Victoribus Spolia, there is nothing noble about being a wage slave.

I lived in the Far East when Germany introduced the 35-hours working week in the mid 1990s. At the time, my Asian business friends said "when Europeans work less, Asians will work more." Hasn't happened that way. German industry today is stronger today during the 1990s and there are more than a million vacancies for qualified jobs that can't be filled despite immigration.

Anyways, the current move isn't about reducing working hours. It's about introducing flexibility. Those who want to can reduce their working time and spend more time with the family, or follow their interests, while those who have professional ambitions can work 40 hours, or more if they want to.

This is a good alternative to precarious employment in the gig economy, because, unlike the gig economy, people can chose to work less but keep their employment security including health insurance and pension.

This is a move in the right direction since it allows people to be more creative instead of having to spend their life in a hamster wheel. With hundreds of millions of unemployed youth in the world, there is no future in simple manual work. A society that wants to maintain its prosperity needs to invest in human resources and education.
#14888612
VS didn't read the OP and thinks this is a handout rather than a hard won demand achieved through collective action. He also missed the bit where workers are looking for flexibility in order to care for children or parents and he missed the bit where they can work longer hours if they choose.

Perhaps he's too lazy to read.
#14888623
Victoribus Spolia wrote:Don't get me wrong, i'm not necessarily defending the extreme elements in this outlook, i'm just saying that delaying gratification in order to achieve higher goals and pleasures is indicative of cultural health and should be seen as praiseworthy, not denigrated with a race to the bottom.

Hedonism gave few men comfort on their death beds. Leaving a legacy on the other hand, gave many men great comfort in death and legacies, i'm sorry to say, take work.


- Work by itself hardly qualifies as delayed gratification. It just exchanges labor for income. It becomes delayed gratification when you save your income for later consumption, but last time I checked Americans are notoriously bad at that. As for work achieving "higher goals and pleasures", maybe that's true for some people, certainly not for everyone.

- Actually having worked too much seems to be one of the top regrets on the deathbed.
https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyl ... -the-dying
#14888628
Atlantis wrote:5 weeks paid holidays a year, 28-hours working week, full health insurance, maternity leave for both parents, generous pensions, low crime rates, worker's co-determination, powerful unions, free education ... How does that compare to the US? :p

German workers win right to 28-hour week following industrial action

That eliminates overtime pay. Perhaps the idea is to provide work for all those Muslim immigrants they are taking into the country.
They are likely to work for lower wages and less benefits.
#14888631
@Hindsite, @Heisenberg, I guess it's best to ignore silly comments; anyways, just for the record:

1. It doesn't eliminate overtime pay;

2. The 28-hour working week was demanded by the unions, not by the employers;

3. Refugees are granted asylum for humanitarian reasons not for economic reasons, in fact, in the foreseeable future they present a financial burden and in the long-term they are expected to return (more than 60% of the refugees from the Balkan wars already returned);

4. Refugees are not allowed to work below the minimum wage, but paying top wages for unqualified people who barely speak the language is hardly an option;

5. Poorer countries in the EU single market benefit from economic convergence which transfers prosperity from the rich countries (like Germany) to poorer countries. That's why we have a long list of poor countries wanting to join the EU, and that's why rich countries like the UK, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden have opted out of the EU or the Euro. Countries like the UK want to exploit Europe while making others pay the cost. @Heisenberg, closet imperialists like you ought to be thoroughly ashamed for trying to incite hatred between people for your presumed material gain. And if you think that it'll will work in Europe because you succeeded so well in Iraq, you are in for a nasty surprise. The world hates bloodsuckers like you.
#14888642
Heisenberg wrote:It's wonderful what perks you get from ruthlessly expropriating your imperial vassals in southern Europe :excited:

Indeed. It looks like what Lenin called 'the imperialist labour aristocracy' is alive and well. It's just that the imperialists now disguise themselves as anti-imperialists. Doubleplus good! :)

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