The United Auto Staff (UAW) started a historic strike final week towards the “Massive Three” US carmakers—Ford Motor Co., Common Motors, and Stellantis—with an inventory of calls for that included a four-day work week. It marks a major push for the thought, which has develop into a actuality for some workplace employees however has but to make it to the meeting line.
Now auto employees need in. Almost 13,000 members of the UAW walked out at three vegetation throughout the three Detroit manufacturers on Sept. 15. Along with demanding will increase and higher advantages, auto employees need a 32-hour work week with the identical pay as a 40-hour week. The union’s management has mentioned the shift is critical to enhance employees’ high quality of life.
“Our members are working 60, 70, even 80 hours per week simply to make ends meet. That’s not residing. It’s barely surviving and it must cease,” mentioned UAW president Shawn Fain on a Fb livestream in August.
Different unions have additionally endorsed the thought. The AFL-CIO, the biggest commerce union federation within the US, beneficial bargaining for a four-day work week in 2019 as a way of “strengthening the labor motion.”
Some tech firms have already adopted the four-day work week
Dozens of firms within the US have adopted a four-day work week, in line with the job search website 4 Day Week. Kickstarter made the shift in 2022, inspired by proof that it will increase worker productiveness and improves retention—two outcomes that the crowdfunding platform has discovered to maintain true. Software program firm Basecamp has a 32-hour work week throughout the summer season, from Might to September. Even tech giants like Microsoft and Amazon have trialed a four-day schedule. Though tech firms have been making the shift, the four-day work week continues to be broadly thought-about to be a considerably radical change.
The push from manufacturing facility employees might be what it takes to make a four-day work week mainstream
The UAW strike might be a turning level within the adoption of the four-day work week. The union’s precedent-setting demand may have “large reverberations” whether or not or not it finds success, Cathy Creighton, director of Cornell College’s College of Industrial and Labor Relations Buffalo Co-Lab, instructed MarketWatch.
Auto employees, who within the US have a historical past of trailblazing new labor requirements, are placing whereas the iron is scorching. In a post-covid world, attitudes towards work-life stability have modified, the labor market is tight, and corporations are keen to hunt new methods to draw and retain employees. Much less time on the job may be the ticket—and in line with latest surveys, Individuals are in favor.
How US employees really feel a few four-day work week, by the digits
87%: Employed adults who mentioned they’d be “considerably or very ” in a four-day work week, in line with a 2023 survey from Morning Seek the advice of. (The survey outlined a four-day work week as “working 4 days per week for 10+ hours per day”)
93%: Millennials who had been keen on a shorter work week, representing the cohort most eager on the thought
71%: Child boomers who mentioned they had been , representing the cohort who had been least eager
75%: Individuals keen on a four-day work week, in line with a 2023 survey from Expertise.com
43%: Share who imagine it’s a logical development after the adoption of hybrid work, in line with the identical survey
Enjoyable truth: The five-day work week originated within the auto business
Ford Motor Co. founder Henry Ford was one of many earliest adopters of the five-day, 40-hour work week that has develop into a normal in workplaces across the globe. In September 1926, Ford instituted five-day work weeks at his automobile vegetation, successfully creating the trendy idea of “the weekend.” Earlier than then, working six days per week was the norm.
Ford himself wrote in an organization e-newsletter on the time: “Simply because the eight-hour day opened our technique to prosperity in America, so the five-day workweek will open our technique to nonetheless better prosperity… It’s excessive time to rid ourselves of the notion that leisure for workmen is both misplaced time or a category privilege.”
Now, almost 100 years later, it appears to be like like employees within the very business the place Ford imposed the 40-hour schedule may have the facility to take again extra of their time.
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