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Norway May Introduce Six-hour Work Day

The biggest labor union of Norway, The Norwegian Confederation of Trade Unions (LO) demands to reduce daily working hours to six.
Norway May Introduce Six-hour Work Day
Photo : Harrison Farr

The length of the working day has not been changed in Norway since 1986, when the country shifted to 7,5 hour day.

The LO’s biggest organization Fagforbundet’s head, Mette Nord, says they are going to fight for six-hour work day in Norway.

“We’ve had this goal for many years, but it is only now that we seriously think it’s time to put the question on the agenda”, she says Nord to VG, - “There are so many good arguments for introducing six-hour day”, adds she.

However, The Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) opposes the idea with the claim that the industry can not afford this shift yet. This will make it so much harder for companies competing with foreign countries to sell their goods because the costs will grow by 20 percent, notes NHO.

Nord says that they aim to introduce the six-hour working system by 2020-2022. It is crucial to raise the question now because we need time to discuss how to balance employment, consumption and distribution policies”, says she to VG. 

Nord highlights six main arguments for the 6-hour working: 

1. Environmental - the consumption and income will triple towards 2060. It is not sustainable. Pressure on the welfare system can be slowed with reduced working hours;

2. Rising unemployment in oil industry – shorter working hours allow more people to get jobs;

3. More full-time jobs - shorter workday will make it easier to create more full-time working places;

4. Solution for pension reform - reduced working hours will make it easier for people in their 60s to stay longer in job, because of less daily stress;

5. Immigrant wave – reduced working hours will help the new citizens to integrate faster into society.

6. Family – shorter hours allow both partners to be employed.

Sweden has recently moved to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier. Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, reports Independent. 

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