Taking Time Seriously: Sharing Work for Health and Sustainability

Saturday, June 7th, 10:15 AM to 11:30 AM
Room 348

More than two million Americans will cut their working hours because they now have health care under the Affordable Care Act.  Workers in Amador County, California, chose a four-day workweek with less pay over a five-day week.  Washington State is considering a law guaranteeing paid vacation time.  Sweden’s EPA connects long working hours with higher greenhouse gas emissions and lower subjective well-being. Dutch, German and Belgian workers have the right to shorten working hours without losing their jobs. Germany actually reduced unemployment during the latest recession by a work-sharing policy called Kurzarbeit.  Doctors call workplace stress America’s “new tobacco.”  America’s poorest workers are least likely to get time off.

Americans work too much, yet progressives have not yet recognized shorter work-time as an important organizing issue for a new economy.  Ecological economists realize that continued economic growth is unsustainable.  New technologies are not enough to “decouple” growth from overuse of resources and over-production of waste.  This workshop will show how a campaign to shorten and share work can increase employment in the face of increased job loss through automation, while improving health and social connection and preventing irreparable environmental damage.  With examples from around the world, we’ll show why progressives must champion time, as well as income, as an economic value.  We’ll use group exercise to experientially engage attendees more fully in the discussion about time-use, leisure and quality of life on a personal and communal level.

Collaborative live notes: https://commonbound.hackpad.com/Taking-Time-Seriously-Sharing-Work-for-H...