Germany’s largest trade union, IG Metall, is proposing its members call for a four-day week to offset economic pressures heightened by the pandemic.
Union head Jörg Hofmann told the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper he would push for firms to adopt a four-day working week, arguing it is possible to keep jobs in industry.
Hofmann says pay should not be reduced in line with hours though, or workers would not be able to afford the shift.
The influential union, which represents workers in metalworking and electrical sectors, has precedent for kickstarting debates on wages and working standards beyond its own membership. In 2018, it won workers the right to reduce their working week from 35 hours to 28 for two years to increase flexibility, particularly for workers with caring responsibilities.
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