Shorter Hours Means More Wealth

Winning the right to refuse overtime and the right to a 40-hourworkweek means that workersend up happier and healthier, but that’s not all. Worker income will be increased and the disparity of wealth between rich and poor will be decreased. Nowadays, many multi-national corporations adopt the strategy to extract more profit by increasing work-hours and by forcing workers into long hours even if they don’t want it. The Pac tiv factory is an example: When the workers got together to fight for better conditions and join the union, the company retaliated against them by laying off half of the staff. Meanwhile, the rest of the staff were forced to work long hours, with an increase in work load so the company could pro duce as much as before. Anyone who spoke up or refused to work overtime, was punished. Those who continued to work received 50% more income than before, but soon, many of those workers developed debilitating injuries as a result of the worsening working conditions and had no choice but to take sick leave or quit, unable to work at all. Overall, there was a cumulative negative impact on the community of workers. As a whole staff, the workers’ earnings sank and the company’s profit soared.

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