Thirteen years after a Left government in France adopted a 35-hour work-week to tackle unemployment and allow more time for leisure,the CPMs trade union arm Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has decided to campaign for the same model in India.
Reducing the weekly working hours in India to 35 from 48 was one of the main proposals agreed by the CITUs all-India conference which concluded in Kannur Monday.
CITU national president A K Padmanabhan said working for 35 hours a week is the only way to increase job opportunities. While better technology has increased income and improved productivity,job opportunities have come down,he said.
We will first go for a campaign and then for an agitation to reduce weekly working hours, Padmanabhan said,adding that CITU would take the matter up with the government to amend laws in this connection.
The model of a 35-hour work-week should first be implemented in areas where large scale automation has taken place. The strategy for implementing this,including the number of shifts,could be worked out through discussions. The new working hours should cover small scale industrial units, he said.
A report presented by CITU general secretary Tapan Sen said neo-liberalism has given rise to a jobless,rather than a job-loss growth model,severely increasing unemployment and widespread under-employment.