3 day week

Striking miners in 1974 were blamed for the lack of electricity which resulted in the three day weekWhen people used to talk about a three day week, I used to think that was an excellent idea. Wow, imagine only three days at school and the rest of the week off! Three days at work for the grown ups.

I didn’t understand what everyone was complaining about. I still think that if it were managed correctly then a three day week would mean everyone could have a job and not be stressed by overwork. But it would take a giant shift in the capitalist consumerist understanding of our current economy. And it would mean fair wages for a day’s work instead of such a great divide that we now have.

The three day week back then was about not providing electricity for two of the days that would usually be working days, which meant that offices and businesses shut down on those days and the world effectively ground to a halt. Dorothy remembers having to rush to make cups of tea for her bosses before the electricity was cut off. I was too young and blissfully unaware of these shenanigans. For me, when there were candles at tea time it was magical.

Will New Labour get socialist and propose enforced holidays and equal pay or will they chicken out because they know that the British voters won’t stand for it? We have yet to see. Meanwhile, I’ll stick to my childhood fantasy of the four-day weekend.


Josie Henley-Einion, author, blogger, Legend in my own Living Room

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One Response

  1. The Case for a Shorter Working Week

    “In 1973, a nationwide coal miners’ strike in Great Britain forced the government to impose an emergency 3-day workweek upon the nation’s economy. The curtailed work schedule lasted for a period of three to four months. When the crisis had ended, economists were startled to learn that industrial production had dropped by only 6%. Improved productivity, combined with a drop in absenteeism, had made up the difference in lost production from the shorter hours.”

    Quote here: http://goo.gl/NBY0d

    … and here’s a video about the 21 hours Campaign: http://goo.gl/nLZWP

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