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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 November 2015

Long hours ruining health without lifting productivity

John Vasey, Communication Workers Union workplace rep (personal capacity)

Studies now show that working long hours doesn't just damage your health - it doesn't even get more done. Stanford University has found that productivity declines rapidly after 40 hours a week - collapsing almost entirely after 50 hours.

But longer hours are on the rise.

We are burning ourselves out with our long-hours culture. There's so much work to do, and it's inefficient to grind more out of the existing workforce. So how can industry justify keeping people who want proper jobs on the dole?

Speed-ups and longer hours persecute workers for doing the job properly. Say you refuse to stack boxes in front of the fire doors to get done faster. Or you 'waste' time using a trolley for heavy loads instead of carrying them. The manager can make your life a living hell.

Sick workers force themselves in instead of taking sensible time to recover. Then they collapse, and sick absence goes through the roof. The pressure can create mental health problems.

But don't expect extra staff. Big business currently sees 'investment' - jobs, to me and you - as too great a risk after the 2008 banking disaster.

Many people seeking full-time work have to settle for part-time. Even working overtime does not win them full-time contracts.

It's cheaper for most businesses not to guarantee your hours. And so there is the obscenity of plenty of work, but a shortage of jobs to match.

The Socialist Party fights for a maximum 35-hour week with no loss of income. For fighting trade unions to prevent persecution for doing the job properly - and campaign for government investment to create jobs. And for guaranteed hours for every worker who wants them.

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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 4 November 2015:


Socialist Party news and analysis

10 an hour now!

Unions must capitalise on mass anger at austerity and anti-union laws

The 'tampon tax' is a tax on being a woman

Long hours ruining health without lifting productivity

Transgender woman locked up in male prison

Tory bid to turn co-op tenants against one another

Them & Us

What we saw


International socialist news and analysis

US: #blacklivesmatter movement challenges racism

Turkey: Erdogan's victory based on fear and intimidation

International news in brief


Socialist Party features

The Socialist: A fighting antidote to the mainstream media's lies

The socialist case for nationalisation of the steel industry

Struggle for solidarity with refugees must be anti-austerity

Where did the unions' money go?


Workplace news and analysis

Strike together to Kill the Bill

Determined DLR strikers to "fight all the way"

Unison general secretary election - vote Roger Bannister

London Underground rep targeted for trade union activity

Fire service cuts put people at risk

Solidarity action for victimised Unison rep

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Wrong: Owen Jones tells Labour "abandon anti-austerity"

Cycle cheat Armstrong's hypocrisy and bullying


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

The Socialist campaign: buy it, sell it - read it, write it

Socialist Party joins campaign against NHS bullying

Super Southampton fighting fund campaign


 

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