The Confederation of Shipbuilding & Engineering Unions

Shorter working time

Campaigning for shorter working time is part of the CSEU’s DNA. At the end of the 1980s we ran the ‘Drive for 35’ campaign to reduce working time down from 39 hours a week. Using tactics which had been developed by the German union IG Metall, we won a 37-hour week after adopting a strategy of mass campaigning, followed by selective, indefinite strike action.

The idea of shorter working time and the proven benefits it can bring to productivity, work life balance, diversity and equality is back in fashion. Public support for a shorter working week is on the increase as a result of automation and the changing way that work is being valued following on from the Coronovirus lockdown.

We wanted to frame the arguments in a modern setting and have worked closely with the New Economics Forum to look into the correlation between working time, productivity and the role of unions.

Read the report here.