Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Bringing Back The Six Day Work Week

Ultimately the goal of our corporate masters is to reinstitute feudalism.

They've got a pretty good start going in Greece:

Greece's eurozone creditors are demanding that the government in Athens introduce a six-day working week as part of the stiff terms for the country's second bailout.

The demand is contained in a leaked letter from the "troika" of the country's lenders, the European commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund. In the letter, the officials policing Greece's compliance with the austerity package imposed in return for the bailout insist on radical labour market reforms, from minimum wages to overtime limits to flexible working hours, that are likely to worsen the standoff between the government and organised labour in Greece.

After a long delay caused by months of political paralysis in Greece, the troika inspectors return to Athens this week to scrutinise Greek observance of its bailout terms. They are expected to deliver a verdict next month that will determine whether Greece is ultimately allowed to remain in the single currency.

The letter, sent last week to the Greek finance and labour ministries, orders the government to extend the working week into the weekend.

"Measure: increase flexibility of work schedules: increase the number of maximum workdays to six days per week for all sectors.

"Increase flexibility of work schedules; set the minimum daily rest to 11 hours; delink the working hours of employees from the opening hours of the establishment; eliminate restrictions on minimum/maximum time between morning and afternoon shifts; allow the consecutive two-week leave to be taken anytime during the year in seasonal sectors."

The instructions focus on labour market reforms, calling for the national labour inspectorate to be radically reformed and put under European supervision.

The letter reveals the detail of eurozone intrusion into a national system and culture of work widely seen outside Greece as dysfunctional.

There should be a permanent "single-rate statutory minimum wage", seen as an incentive for getting people back to work in a country where unemployment has soared to around 30%.

"Unemployment is too high, and policies are needed to prevent it from becoming structural," the letter says.

Unemployment is really high, but if we force the people currently employed to work, say, 10 hours a day instead of, say, seven, we'll put more people back to work.

Sure.

Greece's "creditors" don't care about putting people back to work.

They care about getting their dough.

Somebody in The Guardian comments wrote the following:

Neoliberalism: soft slavery in which the slave pays for their own food and shelter.

Somebody else wrote:

Actually, fuck them, just don't pay your debts off. Seems to work for the banks.

Indeed, that does seem to work for the banks.

Gets you a pat on the head from President Obama, in fact.

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