Sunday, July 01, 2018

Work until you drop

 80,000 people took to the streets in Vienna to voice their opposition to loosening labour laws to allow for a 12-hour workday and subsequent 60-hour workweek. Currently, Austria has an eight-hour workday and a 40-hour workweek; however, there's a provision in place allowing companies to have their employees work up to 10 hours a day and up to 50 hours a week.  Despite calls for a referendum on the issue, the proposal is expected to pass parliament.

"We will resist with all means at our disposal," Wolfgang Katzian, president of the Austrian Trade Union Federation (ÖGB), told the crowd. Katzian called on the Austrian government to let voters decide on the 12-hour workday issue in a referendum.
The right-wing government, comprised of Kurz's conservative People's Party (ÖVP) and the far-right Freedom Party (FPÖ), argued that the changes to the labor laws are needed in order to give businesses more flexibility.
Kurz's government had to roll back certain provisions in their draft law after a heated debate broke out with the opposition over the permitted reasons employees could provide to refuse to work more than 10 hours per day.
The government eventually backed down and said employees will be allowed to refuse to work overtime without giving a reason.

No comments: