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Topic: Reducing the Workweek, 40 Hours Being Replaced With 30 Hours< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 7:51 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In an earlier thread, replacing the 40 hour workweek with a 30 hour workweek as a way to open up more jobs was discussed. It was pointed out that there are presently more workers than there are jobs. But making 30 hours the standard workweek, and mandating overtime after 30 hours, would require employers to employ more people - thus reducing unemployment.

It appears that employers are ahead of the "think tanks" and are, in increasing numbers, moving ahead with instituting shorter workweeks. The day when a 30 hour work week is legislated - and 30 hours, not 40 hours becomes "full-time" is no longer a strange concept.

From Growth of Part-time Work:
Nationwide, the number of involuntary part-time workers in professional and business services, which includes white-collar occupations such as accountants and lawyers, nearly doubled to 711,000 last year from 367,000 in 2007.

Once the economy improves, and wage rates increase, the institution of the 30 hour workweek is likely to continue to grow. The only objection that workers have is the reduced take home pay. But once it becomes possible to live well on the shortened workweek, employees are likely to balk at the 40 hour workweek. Legislation requiring overtime after 30 hours is likely once it becomes apparent that employers prefer the 30 hour workweek too.

So everybody wins. Employees have more time to enjoy their kids and to develop hobbies like hiking. Unemployment rates are greatly reduced. And more employed people paying taxes, and not getting welfare, means more government revenue.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 9:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This is another step in the reduction of the middle class, lower middle class for sure. 30 odd years of Reaganomics!

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 11:27 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I wish. I work 12 hour shifts. Usually 4 on, 4 off, 3 on, 3 off for 84 hours in a 2 week pay period. Sometimes I work 5 12s/week.

Since I doubt OT will come into play after 30 hours, the company could really make out. No more overtime and benefits could be dumped for all employees since less than 32 hours is considered part-time and benefits are not required for PT employees.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 07 2013, 11:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Bass @ Feb. 07 2013, 4:51 pm)
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and mandating overtime after 30 hours, would require employers to employ more people - thus reducing unemployment.

Sounds way too expensive. They will have to pay more people medical benefits and such too, besides a lot of OT if they really need 40 hours worth of work.

If nobody worked 40 hour weeks and we all got paid less from working only 30, that will work out fine if prices would drop along with the majority pay. But since more people will have incomes, that will bring prices back up.

It's more complicated than it sounds, IMO.

It just ain't going to happen.

-Don-


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 7:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Id rather work 9/80s.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 7:43 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

DonTom
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If nobody worked 40 hour weeks and we all got paid less from working only 30, that will work out fine if prices would drop along with the majority pay.


True. The existing 40 hour workweek was instituted as part of the New Deal in 1937 - and prices HAD dropped in the 1930's depression. Before then, American workers commonly worked 10- to 14-hour work days, six days per week. So the 40 hour workweek resulted in a drop in unemployment AND and higher standard of living.

Prices have not dropped in this depression - yet. So as you pointed out, if prices didn't drop along with pay, the standard of living would have to go down.

But employers are already rushing to institute the 30 hour workweek as the OP article points out. So formalizing this growing trend by defining a 30 hour workweek as full-time and mandating overtime for hours over 30 isn't necessarily disruptive to the already decreasing standard of living.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 8:39 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Standard of living and the middle class was booming until Reaganomics and deregulation of business.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Raznation @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:02 am)
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Id rather work 9/80s.

Actually, the best schedule I ever had was two 16's and one 8. I had more days off than I worked.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:04 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Retired beats that! But three on four off is pretty cool. Two 16's  e-yah!

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montecresto @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:04 am)
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Retired beats that! But three on four off is pretty cool. Two 16's  e-yah!

The schedule we have enables the company to run only 4 different shifts to cover a week and with a lot of temp employees*, company benefit costs go way down.

*We hire through a temp agency. They have to work 500 hours that way before being offered a position. 2 advantages: one is no company benefits during that period (TA covers them), 2 it's much easier to drop someone if they don't fit in.

My schedule sounds good with 3 & 4 days off but I get really beat by the 4th 12 and it takes ˝ day to recover. 5 12s takes a whole day. Part of it is adding a RT of another 1˝ hour drive so total for a workday is around 14 hours (add in ˝ hour lunch). 10 hours to eat, sleep, clean-up and feed and walk the dog means sleep usually gets shorted.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ Feb. 08 2013, 9:24 am)
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(Montecresto @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:04 am)
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Retired beats that! But three on four off is pretty cool. Two 16's  e-yah!

The schedule we have enables the company to run only 4 different shifts to cover a week and with a lot of temp employees*, company benefit costs go way down.

*We hire through a temp agency. They have to work 500 hours that way before being offered a position. 2 advantages: one is no company benefits during that period (TA covers them), 2 it's much easier to drop someone if they don't fit in.

My schedule sounds good with 3 & 4 days off but I get really beat by the 4th 12 and it takes ˝ day to recover. 5 12s takes a whole day. Part of it is adding a RT of another 1˝ hour drive so total for a workday is around 14 hours (add in ˝ hour lunch). 10 hours to eat, sleep, clean-up and feed and walk the dog means sleep usually gets shorted.

Not to mention productivity starts dropping after 8 hours. I'm getting ready to go the same shift.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:37 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, I did forget that part.

I made a minor mistake once (nothing serious, 2 minute fix) at about 11˝ hours in on day 4. When I said I was really exhausted, my boss went off on me saying I had to get more rest. Right. As if he could order me to sleep more and better.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:48 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't think it's going to happen.  The central basis of your claim is that a lot of people are unemployed, and a lot less would be with 30 hour weeks.  However, this ignores the fact that unemployment is cyclical in nature, and that we are currently (and simply) on the bottom end of an upward swing from the most recent downturn in the cycle (and a severe downturn at that).  We're not simply in a permanent 7.9% unemployment rut.

No need to sound the alarm yet, on how to get all these unemployed back to work.  We may not be recovering fast enough for some, but the economy is on the right trajectory.  We will return to full employment.  A fundamental change, like the one being proposed, would only add costs and complications, confounding our already immobile politicians.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(cgaphiker @ Feb. 08 2013, 9:30 am)
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(Montanalonewolf @ Feb. 08 2013, 9:24 am)
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(Montecresto @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:04 am)
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Retired beats that! But three on four off is pretty cool. Two 16's  e-yah!

The schedule we have enables the company to run only 4 different shifts to cover a week and with a lot of temp employees*, company benefit costs go way down.

*We hire through a temp agency. They have to work 500 hours that way before being offered a position. 2 advantages: one is no company benefits during that period (TA covers them), 2 it's much easier to drop someone if they don't fit in.

My schedule sounds good with 3 & 4 days off but I get really beat by the 4th 12 and it takes ˝ day to recover. 5 12s takes a whole day. Part of it is adding a RT of another 1˝ hour drive so total for a workday is around 14 hours (add in ˝ hour lunch). 10 hours to eat, sleep, clean-up and feed and walk the dog means sleep usually gets shorted.

Not to mention productivity starts dropping after 8 hours. I'm getting ready to go the same shift.

Obviously, it depends on the job. The work schedule I stated was for a gym. I'd work from open to close 2 days. I'd be doing memberships, marketing, sales, personal training, inventory, accounting, scheduling... several different tasks that made the day fly by. I can't imagine doing one task for 16 hours.

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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 10:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(WalksWithBlackflies @ Feb. 08 2013, 6:00 am)
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Actually, the best schedule I ever had was two 16's and one 8. I had more days off than I worked.

I do three 13 hour shifts in a row these days. My weekend is longer than my work week.

-Don-


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 10:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Bass @ Feb. 08 2013, 4:43 am)
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But employers are already rushing to institute the 30 hour workweek as the OP article points out.

These days, what you will find is many people doing 60 hour work weeks. IOW, if we went to 30 hours, many will get two jobs. It just won't work as well as some might expect.

-Don-


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(DonTom @ Feb. 08 2013, 10:27 am)
QUOTE

(Bass @ Feb. 08 2013, 4:43 am)
QUOTE
But employers are already rushing to institute the 30 hour workweek as the OP article points out.

These days, what you will find is many people doing 60 hour work weeks. IOW, if we went to 30 hours, many will get two jobs. It just won't work as well as some might expect.

-Don-

+1

and it's been explained before in his other posts on the same topic, that this happens almost every economic downturn.

One only needs a cursory review of this country's economic history to see that almost every single economic downturn that temporary and part-time employment rise when exiting a downturn because it's the most cost effective way to ramp up production.  As the economy improves over time, so too will the opportunities for more full-time positions.

Any economist worth his salt will tell you an increase in temp employment is a leading indicator of an economy on its way to recovery.

This is nothing more than alarmist conjecture.

*And FWIW - I haven't had less than a 50/hr work week for most of my career, including my current job.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 11:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

You do realize that many of these 28 to 30 hour workweeks are as a result of companies not wanting to offer health insurance, which is shortly to become mandatory for all full time employees?
And my personal, anecdotal observation is that hourly paid workweeks are shrinking, while salaried workweeks are getting longer.
When I started in Retail Management back in the 80's, you worked long hours at Back-to-School and Christmas. I am out of that industry, but my friends who are still in it usually work 60-75 hour weeks all year long, while only hiring part time sales clerks. I see the same for management in other industries.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 2:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Growing up in the 1960's the view was that technological advances would significantly raise productivity and provide average Americans with more time to do things other than a 40 hour grind 50 weeks a year.

There have been significant technological advances and productivity gains, but this has not translated into an equivalent standard of living with fewer hours worked.

I've been in warehouse distribution for 20 years, the last 9 as a salaried manager. The bottom line for business decisions is to line the pockets of the major shareholders with quarterly profits. This means squeezing labor & management at every level, both in expected output and compensation. 2012 sales were less than expected. This was made up by eliminating bonuses and several positions that were to be filled. Our management staff is stretched thin; if one of us gets hit by the proverbial bus it will put operations at risk. We're in the process of moving one of our DC's and I've been averaging 60+ hours since November, working every Saturday and occasionally on Sunday.

The private equity firm that bought us a few years ago is doing more than just fine. The CEO is a billionaire with a palace in The Hamptons and 4 more around the country.

Of course, the solution to government budget deficits is, among other things, to raise the retirement age and curtail medicare benefits for after I retire (when I'll be too old to take advatage of my all my "free" time to go backpacking).

Now tell me who is the maker and who is the taker.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 3:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Drift Woody, to a certain extent, you and I are in agreement-at least on the problem. We probably disagree on the solution. I would submit that the solution is societal, and will only happen if each and every person will look in the mirror and change their own ways.
Your CEO needs to realize that he actually needs customers with disposable incomes, and that a high-morale workforce provides a competitive advantage over one stretched to the breaking point.
Meanwhile, those at the lower end somehow need to rediscover the dignity of work-even low paying, dirty, work. And maybe that means that eligibility for government assistance needs to the tightened considerably. It is a national shame that we have added more to the disability rolls than to the employment rolls the last few years.
And at the risk of getting preachy, a lot of people need to learn to keep their zippers zipped until they can provide a home for their children. See my post on the other thread for the societal implications of boinking anyone at anytime with no expectation of consequences.
Will it happen. Maybe/probably not. But it can happen, I just don't see how government makes it happen. People can only make it happen, if they will.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 5:29 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'm working 45 to 60. A change would be nice but I do like the overtime.
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(WalksWithBlackflies @ Feb. 08 2013, 8:00 am)
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(Raznation @ Feb. 08 2013, 7:02 am)
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Id rather work 9/80s.

Actually, the best schedule I ever had was two 16's and one 8. I had more days off than I worked.

F dat!

I dont work or look well with only eight hours of me me time per day.

:;):


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(buzzards @ Feb. 08 2013, 2:11 pm)
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Drift Woody, to a certain extent, you and I are in agreement-at least on the problem. We probably disagree on the solution. I would submit that the solution is societal, and will only happen if each and every person will look in the mirror and change their own ways.
Your CEO needs to realize that he actually needs customers with disposable incomes, and that a high-morale workforce provides a competitive advantage over one stretched to the breaking point.
Meanwhile, those at the lower end somehow need to rediscover the dignity of work-even low paying, dirty, work. And maybe that means that eligibility for government assistance needs to the tightened considerably. It is a national shame that we have added more to the disability rolls than to the employment rolls the last few years.
And at the risk of getting preachy, a lot of people need to learn to keep their zippers zipped until they can provide a home for their children. See my post on the other thread for the societal implications of boinking anyone at anytime with no expectation of consequences.
Will it happen. Maybe/probably not. But it can happen, I just don't see how government makes it happen. People can only make it happen, if they will.

If people between the ages of education and retirement are capable of working (not disabled) they should  work before receiving government assistance. Of course, you know that food stamps are issued to millions who work yet are compensated below the poverty line.

I also agree that pants should be zipped when parenting skills and financial responsibility are absent.

You and I likey differ in relying on a solution consisting of each and every person -- including the multibillionaire -- looking at themselves squarely in the mirror and doing the right thing. That won't happen until each and every child has an education commensurate with our erstwhile perception that America is the greatest nation on earth.

Human nature is what it is. Wealth seeks greater wealth, and hires razor sharp subordinates to squeeze every penny towards the bottom line. Sloth and ignorance do not become a silk purse more readily than a sow's ear.

Though human nature cannot be changed except perhaps through evolutionary progress, merely trying to cope as individuals within a flawed political/economic system will change nothing on the macro level. Ours is not the only free market democracy on the planet. All have their problems, but ours is not necessarily the best. Western Europeans and even the Japanese work fewer hours than full time US employees, and I daresay their standard of living is not inferior.

A broader context is at "work" here. Standard of living and quality of life are related, but not the same thing. What are our core values -- both as individuals and as a society -- and how does that relate to the great experiment in self gonvernment begun at our nation's founding?

Human nature won't change, at least in the short term. Any viable economic system, at the foundational level, must be driven by the prospect of personal gain and rewards for hard work and success. Marx was wrong, but so was Rand. Collectively we are stronger, but we need to be a lot smarter. How to get there is the question.


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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 08 2013, 9:32 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

buzzards
QUOTE
You do realize that many of these 28 to 30 hour workweeks are as a result of companies not wanting to offer health insurance, which is shortly to become mandatory for all full time employees?
And my personal, anecdotal observation is that hourly paid workweeks are shrinking, while salaried workweeks are getting longer.


Good point. Once 30 hours was defined as a "full-time workweek", then health insurance would have to be mandated for something like 18 hours a week.

I think that you are right. Salaried workweeks are getting to be much longer and hourly paid workweeks are shorter. More and more employers are moving to institute the 30 hour workweek - for hourly workers. For hourly workers, it is already happening. Changing the labor laws would only validate a workplace trend - for hourly workers - that is happening anyway.

So I do not feel that it would be any more disruptive than going to the 40 hour workweek was in 1937. I assume that salaried workers would not be affected, and would see their workweeks continue to be 80 hours or so - that's why they get paid so much more.
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PostIcon Posted on: Feb. 09 2013, 12:17 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know where you get this crap Bass. Higher productivity doesn't come from hiring more employees. And saleried employees don't work more hours than hourly employees. At least where I work. They might occassionally when there is some kind of emergency, work as many, but not more. I've had 3 days off this year and one of them was New Years Day. The other two were unexpected. I worked 64.5  last week. I'll work at least 56 this week. That's 7 8 hour shifts. Monday thru Sunday.
I really wish you would quit posting tripe such as this thread. 30 hour work weeks my ***.
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cgaphiker
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Higher productivity doesn't come from hiring more employees.


That's an interesting thought. It seems reasonable that employees that only work 30 hours per week would be "more rested" than employees who work 40 hours per week when they show up for the job. So they MIGHT be more productive.

It also seems reasonable that employees who only work 30 hours per week would have more time to exercise, cook healthy meals, become involved in their community and church, do volunteer work, etc. So, it is reasonable to expect that healthier, more balanced employees and an improved community would result from the shorter workweek. Healthier, less stressed, employees MIGHT be more productive too.

But I am sure that some of the 30 hour workweek workers would get another job, just as some of the current 40 hour workweek workers do. That would mean a 60 hour workweek - still less than the 80 hour workweek of a current two job holder.
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