Unions Say We Could Manage on a Four-Day Week

By Gary Cutlack on at

It's a fairly well established fact of working life that a job expands to fit the time you have to do it in, so perhaps we, as a nation, ought to admit this and switch to a four-day working week, thanks to all the incoming help from robots and AIs. Imagine the UK appearing all forward-thinking for once and getting everything done by Thursday.

The massed trade union forces of the TUC is putting its weight behind a call to put in place a plan to switch the UK to a four-day working system, although the timeline for this is a rather disappointing "some time later this century" when the robots and algorithms can better do the boring things we're all stuck doing now.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady is concerned that it'll be bosses and shareholders that "hoover up all the gains from new tech" as it's introduced, though, and is pitching for some of the efficiencies of the near-future working world to be passed on to the people out there getting it done on the floor.

O'Grady said: "In the 19th century, unions campaigned for an eight-hour day. In the 20th century, we won the right to a two-day weekend and paid holidays. So, for the 21st century, let's lift our ambition again. I believe that in this century we can win a four-day working week, with decent pay for everyone."

And demand we have free sausage rolls for lunch every day, if you're taking requests. [BBC]