Thursday, September 23, 2004

35-Hour Workweek

From another interview with Pat Kane from Canadian intellectual zine New World Disorder:

NWD: You refer to the French 35 hour work policy. It's hardly mentioned at all in the U.S. and when it is covered in the business press it's basically dismissed as a "failure." Could you discuss what the French experiment might teach us?

PK: Well it's not a failure - it's still retained by the recent right-wing government in France, after its inception by the French Socialists several years ago. And it's still not vitiating French economic productivity, by all the known indicators (which of course infuriates media like Business Week and the Wall Street Journal). The French experience has been that workers completely treasure their extra day, however flexibly arranged and distributed - allowing more sports, pastimes and consumption, of course, but also more parental childcare, more opportunity to join clubs, associations and movements, more time for cultural and social innovation to happen.

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