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4-day workweek proposal reveals job fears of many

China Daily | Updated: 2018-07-17 07:54
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Employees still work at midnight in Shanghai on April 24, 2018.[Photo/VCG]

4-day workweek proposal reveals job fears of many

IN A RECENTLY released green paper, the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences proposed revising the national work schedule in 2030 to nine hours a day and four days a week. Beijing News reports:

The green paper follows such logic: As China's production rate continues rising, it is possible to let people work 36 hours a week, instead of 40. In which case, it would be better if the 36 hours were distributed into four days so that people could rest three days a week.

If implemented, the new four-day working schedule would doubtlessly help to accumulate more social wealth and boost consumption. When people rest three days a week, they can travel for longer distances and spend more money on their trips.

A glance at the past will also show the trend of fewer working hours per week. The number of working days every week has been reduced from six to five and a half then to five.

However, on domestic social network micro blog, the most common response to the report is "No, please don't". Why is that? A four-day working schedule is good news, why do not people welcome that?

The answer lies in their anxieties about an uncertain future. As capital gets increasingly more accumulated, ordinary workers, blue-collar and white-collar alike, face the sad and cold fact that unemployment is likely to rise. Many people face the risk of losing their jobs to artificial intelligence and automation.

That's why many people are rather worried about their futures.

To solve this, the key lies in promoting the idea of "rest". The right to rest and the right to labor must be protected together so that people can be more certain about their future.

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