Monday, April 15, 2019

The 996 system

Chinese billionaire and co-founder of the online shopping giant Alibaba, Jack Ma,  has continued to argue for a 9am to 9pm working day, and a six-day week.

He is being  backed by fellow tech entrepreneur Richard Liu, the boss of e-commerce giant

Ma wrote that without the 996 system, China's economy was "very likely to lose vitality and impetus" and called the opportunity to work 996 hours a "blessing."

Liu said years of rapid economic growth in China had boosted the number of "slackers".

Ma's personal wealth is estimated at around $40bn.

Hopefully, rather than heed the advice of their exploiters, the Chines workers will continue to press for a reduction in working hours and an increase leisure time. Under capitalism workers are subject, as Marx put it, to the "never-ceasing encroachments of capital". 

The struggle for a shorter working week is a part of the trade union struggle to ensure that workers are paid the full value of their labour power (not the same thing, of course, as the full value of what they produce). 

Working 55 hours or more a week can also increase the chances of suffering a stroke by a third compared to those working 40 hours or less. Researchers also found a significant increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, which was 13 per cent more likely in people who worked long hours compared to the normal working week.

1 comment:

ajohnstone said...

"Economists would tend to agree that working from 9am to 9pm, six days a week is unwise. Longer working hours do not automatically mean higher company profits and economic growth, and could even pave the way for serious problems ahead...Overworking employees can have business costs. It is the main reason for sickness in the UK and responsible for a quarter of sick days... It doesn’t make business sense to work workers to the bone.”