By Don Fitz
30, 2009 --
With millions of jobs lost during the first part of 2009, who is calling for a
shorter work week to spread the work around? Not the Republicans. Not even the
Democrats. But why is there nary a peep from unions?
In the US, the vehicle industry sets the pace
for organised labour. The only discussion at the top levels of the United Auto
Workers Union (UAW) is how quickly the gains won during the last 50 years can be
given back. Does the UAW have no memory of the 1930s and 1940s when a shorter
work week was at centre of organising demands?
The gross domestic product is
plummeting at the same time that jobs are disappearing. Why should there be any
connection between the two? If society produces 10% less, why don’t we all just
work 10% less? Didn’t things work like that for hundreds of thousands of years
of human existence? When people figured out easier ways to get what they
needed, they spent less time doing it.