The place of working time reduction in the socio-ecological transition
Online Conference via Zoom

The shorter working week has always been at the heart of the labour movement. The eight-hour movement extended beyond borders and ensured that today we enjoy things like the weekend and the eight-hour day. After decades in the political wilderness, the shorter working week is fast becoming one of the major political issues across Europe: now it is not only about workers’ wellbeing, equality and the reduction of unemployment – now it could be about saving the planet, too!

Research has demonstrated that shorter work hours are associated with reduced carbon emissions, however the relationship is complex. At our 2020 conference, we want to discuss the potential contribution of working time reduction to the socio-ecological transition, its role in initiatives addressing climate change and its place in approaches to the European Green New Deal. The public conference brings together key actors from campaigns on the reduction of working time, policy-makers, and climate initiatives from across Europe.

Replays of the conference (available by clicking on the title of each panel)

Introduction & Roundtable 1 Recent examples of initiatives and experimentations of the WTR in Europe

  • General introduction by Margareta Steinrücke, Attac AG Arbeitfairteilen (Germany)
  • Welcome address by Andreas Thomsen, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Germany)
  • Welcome address by Philippe Pochet, European Trade Union Institute
  • Germany: Results of the IG Metall campaign on working time reduction by Sophie Jänicke, IG Metall
  • Iceland: Presentation of the experimentations by Gudmundur Haraldsson ALDA
  • Belgium: 4 days week experimentation in the Saint Josse Ten Noode Townhall by Maxime Nys, CGSP ACOD

Roundtable 2 The place of the working time reduction in a post-growth society

  • Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College (United States)
  • Will Stronge, Think Tank Autonomy (United Kingdom)
  • Beate Zimpelmann, Professor in Politics and Sustainability, Hochschule of Bremen (Germany)

Roundtable 3 The place of the working time reduction in the Green New Deal propositions and initiatives for climate

  • Christoph Schneider, Diem 25 (Germany)
  • Will Stronge, Think Tank Autonomy (United Kingdom)

Roundtable 4 The French Example: Behind the myth: effects and consequences of the 35 hours 20 years after

  • Anne Eydoux, Senior lecturer in economics Cnam, Lise-CNRS & CEET (France)
  • Nelly Mbila, Public Relations Manager, YPREMA (France)

Roundtable 5 Coalition of Trade Unions and NGO to promote working time reduction in the fight against climate crisis

  • Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC
  • Sean Sweeney, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED)
  • Katharina Stierl, Students for Future (Germany)
  • Rachel White, 4 day week Campaign (United Kingdom)

Experimentations in Europe:

Experimentation 1 (Germany) Sophie Jänicke, IG Metall

Experimentation 2 (Belgium) Maxime Nys, CGSP ACOD

Experimentation 3 (Iceland) Gudmundur Haraldsson ALDA