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Timesizing News, March/2013 +Apr.1
[Commentary] ©2013 Phil Hyde, Timesizing.com, Harvard Sq PO Box 117, Cambridge MA 02238 USA 617-623-8080


3/31-4/01/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Furloughs vs. buyouts, by Reg Jones, 4/01 (3/31 late pickup) Federal Times (blog) via blogs.federaltimes.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - Q. Can someone explain why furloughing workers would be the first step to save money? I would think buyouts would be first. There are thousands of CSRS employees (Civil Service Retirement System) just waiting for a buyout; why aren’t they being offered?
    A. You’re wrong. It’s far less expensive to the government to furlough employees than to pay them to leave. First, you don’t have to shell out any money. Second, you can furlough far more employees than you can get to take a buyout. Third, some of those who are furloughed will decide to retire at little additional expense to the government. Finally, needed employees will go back to work when the furlough is over.

  2. Standard work hours 'won't cost more' in the long run - Employees will be motivated to complete their work quickly if the city sets law to limit working hours, UN labour agency representative says, by Phila Siu phila.siu@scmp.com, 3/31 (4/01 over dateline) South China Morning Post via scmp.com
    HONG KONG, China - Legislating standard working hours will not result in a rise in business costs in the long run as companies will look for ways to rearrange work flow in a more efficient manner, an expert with a United Nations labour agency has said.
    The remarks by the International Labour Organisation's senior research officer Jon Messenger came as the Hong Kong government planned to set up a task force to look into the issue this month following a pledge Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying made in his policy address in January.
    But the government has so far made no commitment to whether such a labour law would actually be introduced.
    "In general, companies will respond by reducing the working hours. And when working hours are reduced, there will be an impact on productivity," Messenger said, speaking from the organisation's Geneva headquarters.
    "Normally, labour costs will be higher. But in the long run, workers will have stronger motivation to finish their work within the limited time."
    The organisation is the only UN agency with government, employer and worker representatives, and has 185 member states including China and the United States. It is responsible for drawing up and overseeing international labour standards.
    Messenger said if standard working hours were introduced in Hong Kong, there will inevitably be an increase in costs in the short run.
    "But the question is how much? And companies will respond by restructuring work flow. In the long run, it will be fine," he said.
    The ILO promotes a standard work week of 40 hours, and bosses have to pay at least 25 per cent more for each extra hour an employee works.
    Messenger said people in most countries work between 40 and 48 hours in a standard work week. "The overtime pay is usually 50 per cent more [in addition to the usual rate], like in the US. The US sets the standard at 40 hours a week," he said.
    According to the "Working Conditions Laws Report" that the ILO released in 2010, 80 per cent of the 106 countries that the organisation studied had standardised working hours.
    The report said 41 per cent of countries, including South Korea and Japan, had a 40-hour week, while 22 per cent of countries, such as Malaysia and Argentina, limited it to 48 hours.
    As for overtime pay, 71 per cent of the countries offered at least 25 per cent on top of the standard pay; 44 per cent of countries put it at 50 per cent more; and 10 per cent of countries mandated 75 to 100 per cent more.
    Asked whether the Hong Kong government should legislate standard working hours soon, Messenger said: "I will not tell the Hong Kong government what it should or should not do. But normal working hours with the provision of responsible overtime pay is in line with the ILO standard."


3/30/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Clarke school board to consider furloughs, by Lee Shearer, (3/29 late pickup) Athens Banner-Herald via OnlineAthens.com
    ATHENS, Ga., USA - Clarke County School District workers might take five unpaid furlough days next school year under a proposed school district budget.
    Top administrators who make more than $80,000 would take an extra two days of unpaid time off, Clarke County School Superintendent Philip Lanoue told Clarke County School Board members Thursday.
    [A bit of balancing in play here.]
    The furlough days would shave nearly $3 million from the spending plan.
    [Better than layoffs = timesizing not downsizing. Not as good as just restoring World War II graduated taxes on the *rich (remember "wartime prosperity"?) but timesize enough and you spin that mega money clump back into circulation with full enough employment to create a wage-raising labor shortage (as perceived by employers anyway). And Timesizing Program's money-balancing upgrades, in turn, are better than, and will eventually replace, taxes, which will evolve into fees for service as more and more people can afford that approach (by being brought within a sensible range of income, wealth and credit).]
    The school district would also eliminate more teaching, administration and other worker slots in the roughly $119.5 million proposed budget for the next fiscal year.
    Lanoue said he couldn’t yet say how many slots would be eliminated, but the number is small enough so that layoffs won’t be needed, Instead, the positions of retiring or resigning workers won’t be filled, he said.
    Even with those and other cost-cutting measures, the district may have to spend $4.1 million held in reserves next year to cover rising costs, Lanoue said.
    So-called state austerity cuts will continue next year, costing the school district millions of dollars. In addition, state government is passing more of the costs of employee health insurance on to local boards of education.
    Mandated step raises for teachers will add about $875,000 to costs, and increases in what the system contributes to the teacher retirement will add another $500,000 to the budget, said Larry Hammel, the school district’s chief financial officer.
    And pay raises for the school district’s lowest-paid workers will add about $331,000 to school district spending.
    Those raises would be offset by the furlough days. However, lower-paid Clarke school workers are exempt from furlough days this year.
    Under next year’s budget proposal, all workers would take unpaid days off.
    But the school district’s financial outlook is improving, according to Lanoue and Hammel.
    If current spending and revenue trends continue, the district will get about $2 million more in revenue this year than budgeted, and spend about $2 million less.
    And for the first time in years, the county tax digest may not decrease next year, Lanoue said. The digest, a compilation of the county’s taxable property, has declined steadily since an economic downturn began in 2008. As the digest declines, tax revenues for schools have declined. For years, the school board has set property taxes at 20 mills, the maximum allowable without voter approval to go higher.
    Local property tax money accounts for most of the school district’s income.
    The budget is only a plan on paper for now. The school board will get a formal budget proposal April 11, and is scheduled to tentatively adopt a budget at an April 18 meeting.
    After three public hearings in May, not yet scheduled, the board could approve a final budget and property tax rate June 6.

  2. Postal workers rally to keep 6 day work week, by Johnny Archer, (3/24 very late pickup) WHAS11 via whas11.com Louisville
    LOUISVILLE, Ky., USA – Hundreds of U.S. Postal workers rallied in front of the federal building in Louisville Sunday.
    They are fighting for their jobs now that mail service is expected to be reduced from six days a week to five
    .
    [No they're not. The hourscuts are instead of jobcuts. Yet they're still too dumb to be relieved. This has been a problem with the labor movement ever since the 1930s. They believed the Gospel of Consumption campaign of short-sighted plutocrats, economists and business schools in the 1920s which spun leisure as unemployment and worktime reduction as failure compared to growgrowgrow, which was to be supported by evermore advertising. Only half the labor movement managed to keep their heads and see through this campaign, but it was not enough to prevent the workweek from freezing at the 40-hour level to this day. Only half the labor movement ever realized the vital necessity of keeping hours coming lower as levels of technology went higher, and if they all did it together in a given company or industry, or a given city or state, wages would stay the same for shorter hours because of technological productivity leaps. Want higher wages? Cut hours deeper and sharpen the labor "shortage" for employers, a labor-employment balance for everyone else.]
    “If the sixth day is eliminated, it is just the beginning of the end for the Post Office,” Ron Osborne, a mail carrier out of Lebanon, KY said.
    [No it isn't. The Canadian Post Office has been going for years with no Saturday delivery.]
    Their jobs are in jeopardy since the announcement was made that mail service will be discontinued on Saturday’s.
    “It is going to affect the postal service,” Louisville mail carrier Ron Gast said. “It is going to take away the needs the public has on a daily basis.”
    The Postmaster General points his finger at online usage and a steady decline in first class mail since 2008.
    “It has been tremendous financial pressure on the postal service,” Patrick R. Donahoe, the Postmaster General and CEO of the U.S. Postal Service said. “The biggest issues we face are we cannot adapt to these changes in the market place. Unfortunately, our business model and the laws that govern us do not provide us a lot of flexibility to adapt.”
    In just the last year the postal service saw a $15.9 billion loss. Now, many postal workers fear their jobs will be lost next.
    “If this is going on the way that the Postmaster General is planning, I will not reach retirement,” Osborne said. “So I will be 55 or 60 years old trying to find a new job trying to start over and I really do not want to do that.
    The new schedule is expected to start during the week of August 5, 2013. The Postmaster General says it will save the agency about $2 billion each year.


3/29/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Presentation - The Crises in Employment, Consumption, Economic Growth and the Environment: Could a Shorter Workweek and a Greener Economy Provide Relief? by Nicholas Ashford, MIT ESD/Engineering via *video.mit.edu
    CAMBRIDGE, Mass., USA - The crises we encounter today could be described as a 'perfect storm.'
    The global financial crisis that began in 2008 has left many people with too little money and/or willingness to spend. This results in too few goods and services being produced and too little being purchased. This in turn exacerbates unemployment and underemployment.
    As a result, a vicious circle is created in which less money is spent in consumption and in investment in subsequent and repeated cycles, further worsening the crisis in consumption.
    On the other hand, some people and economic actors consume too much from an energy and resource perspective, exacerbating environmental problems.
    Two solutions are frequently[?] suggested to the present crises: spread work out through a shorter workweek and green the economy.
    An analysis of the likelihood of success of each is the focus of this presentation.
    Insights from a recent book: Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State (2011, Yale University Press) will inform the presentation.
    The crises we encounter today could be described as a 'perfect storm.' The global financial crisis that began in 2008 has left many people with too little money and/or willingness to spend. This results in too few goods and services being produced and too little being purchased. This in turn exacerbates unemployment and underemployment. As a result, a vicious circle is created in which less money is spent in consumption and in investment in subsequent and repeated cycles, further worsening the crisis in consumption. On the other hand, some people and economic actors consume too much from an energy and resource perspective, exacerbating environmental problems. Two solutions are frequently suggested to the present crises: spread work out through a shorter workweek and green the economy. An analysis of the likelihood of success of each is the focus of this presentation. Insights from a recent book: Technology, Globalization, and Sustainable Development: Transforming the Industrial State (2011, Yale University Press) will inform the presentation.
    About the Speaker - Nicholas Ashford holds both a Ph.D. in Chemistry and a law degree from the University of Chicago, where he also received graduate education in economics. His courses, jointly listed with ESD/Engineering, the Sloan School, and Urban Studies, draw students from across the Institute and he has supervised graduate theses in the TPP, SDM, and ESD programs. In addition to his recent book, he has co-authored Environmental Law, Policy and Economics: Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda and has published six additional books and several hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals and law reviews.

  2. Companies cut hours of full-time employees to avoid providing health care under new rules, by Spencer Woodman, Manchester Guardian via RawStory.com
    Labour groups warn some big firms are cutting workers’ full-time hours to avoid paying health costs for those who need it most (photo caption)
    [The right deed in the wrong way (not defining full time downward) and for the wrong reason (to maintain the coagulation of the money supply at the expense of the consumer base).]
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - In January, a janitor in Cincinnati received a piece of chilling news from one of her superiors, who had just met with upper management. The company, the supervisor said, was considering cutting some full-time employee hours down below 30 per week in order to avoid paying for new healthcare costs associated with Obamacare.
    The janitor, who asked to be called Jennifer for fear of retaliation from management, is well into her 40s and now worries for her livelihood.
    After over six years of working for ABM Industries, a company worth $4bn, she works full-time for $9.80 an hour. She says that with so many bills, including several monthly prescriptions, she often finds herself so short on money that she cannot eat satisfactorily. “I want to – I need to – work full-time” Jennifer said. She is a member of the local Service Employees International Union, which has struggled to bargain with ABM for better wages and steady hours.
    “Every penny counts for me,” Jennifer said. “I’m working full-time and I’m still struggling to make ends meet. If I got cut down to 20 or 25 hours … oh my God, I would have no money to live on. I wouldn’t be able to pay my bills; I’d hardly afford to eat or pay for my medication. I’d be forced to look for another job.”
    “It’s not like mom’s still here – I can’t go stay with mom any more,” Jennifer added.
    Her story is not unusual. Three years after the passage of Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law, labor advocates are warning that it could have the unforeseen consequence of harming some of the very low-wage employees it seeks to aid. The legislation’s incentive scheme, they say, could cause a shift toward part-time work that extends beyond companies like Papa John’s and Darden Restaurants, which last year publicized their plans to cut employee hours to avoid costs under the new law.
    Such worries are reflected in California, where the state union federation is exploring legislation to lay over the Affordable Care Act to fix the potential problem. “We’re extremely concerned about the structure of employer responsibility penalties under this law” says Sara Flocks, Public Policy Coordinator for the California Labor Federation, which represents over 1,200 trade unions with 2.1 million members. “It encourages a shift toward a part time workforce in industries where that’s possible. In retail, entertainment, restaurants, and hotels, we’ll see a move toward cutting workers below the 30-hour mark.”
    Most at risk of this, according to Flocks, is the so-called contingent workforce: those employees with already fluctuating hours, no job security, and little power to bargain with management. These are the workers whose hours can most easily be slashed by employers seeking to avoid paying health insurance.
    Under the law that takes effect next year, large employers are exempted from contributing anything towards healthcare costs of employees who work under 30 hours a week. For full-time workers, companies must offer affordable insurance or face steep fines. Employers seeking to dodge this responsibility could impose 29-hour ceiling on workers, Flocks says, and push many onto public insurance subsidies, straining state and federal budgets.
    The California Labor Federation has been quietly exploring strategies to stop this potential unintended consequence by reinforcing the ACA with state legislation to discourage large employers from cutting hours. The details of this proposal are undecided, but, at least in theory, a state law acting alongside the ACA could ensure that an employer’s part-time workers are counted toward determining how much a company must contribute to overall healthcare costs. This could eliminate the incentive to skirt the law by cutting hours.
    “We want to be very clear that, overall, this law is a very good thing for working people, but we clearly need a fix on the 30-hour-a-week issue,” says Saru Jayaraman of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a non-union labor group that represents 10,000 restaurant workers nationwide. The restaurant industry has one of the highest concentrations of workers most likely to have hours cut under the ACA’s 30-hour provision, according to a recent study UC Berkeley.
    “We are very supportive of the effort in California. Once we see it in action, we can begin replicating it other states around the country,” said Jayaraman. “We need to make sure that all employers are taking responsibility.”
    Republican opposition in Congress makes the path of state rather than federal legislation more appealing. Because many of Obama’s opponents would like to see the healthcare law falter, even practical fixes on the national level would likely fail in the House of Representatives. Apart from legislation, the California Labor Federation hopes to create a database of hour-cutting employers to inform policy makers on whatever trend emerges and who is responsible. Jayaraman says that finding and shaming employer who cut hours will be key in addressing the problem.
    “The provision was not thought out all too well,” says Elise Gould, the director of health policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal thinktank. “It creates a cliff, and we never like to see cliffs in policy.”
    Yet Gould does not expect the law to cause a wholesale shift toward part-time. She points to the fact that, because most large employers already offer health coverage to full-time employees, the incentive to cut hours already widely exists. Also, Massachusetts’ own state employer-based healthcare reform enacted in 2006 did not prompt any massive shift to part-time work.
    There are some key differences, though, between Massachusetts law and the ACA, says Ed Lenz, senior counsel at the American Staffing Association, a business association of staffing firms. Unlike the ACA, the Massachusetts law enacted by former Governor Romney counts part-time workers toward the size of penalty non-compliant employers must pay, thereby giving more weight to the number of part-timers at large companies under the state law.
    Massachusetts also has the second highest per-capita income of any state in America, indicating a workforce with unusually strong job security.
    Lenz doesn’t expect a huge shift among temporary staffing firms toward part time work under the ACA, as many staffing agencies’ clients prefer full-time workers.
    In Cincinnati, however, the union that represents Jennifer and about 1,000 other janitors is fighting for its members’ hours. ABM has said it may need to cut hours in preparation for the ACA, according to the local SEIU. At the bargaining table in Cincinnati, an association of cleaning companies – including Jancoa Janitorial Services and Scioto Services – represents ABM.
    “These contractors have told us repeatedly that they need the flexibility to avoid the guarantees of full-time work that their employees have fought hard to achieve when the ACA goes into effect,” said Laurie Couch, a spokesperson for the union.
    In July, the CEO of Jancoa, Mary Miller, said that the ACA would “almost force us to go to part-time employees to reduce the cost that our customers and us cannot afford.” This statement was part of a video released on YouTube by the US Chamber of Commerce.
    Jancoa and ABM declined to comment for this article.
    “We see the ACA as a three-legged stool made of the individual mandate, employer responsibility, and government subsidies,” said Flocks.
    “And all of us are in, except these employers which are skirting their responsibilities. If you cut one leg of the stool it’s going to crash. This is about fair share, but it’s also about the sustainability of the ACA.”


3/28/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Federal Funds For Shared Work Program Could Save Ohio Jobs, by Jo Ingles, Ohio Public Radio via wcbe.org
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA - Two Republican State Senators [Peterson and ??] want the state to take advantage of a federal program that they say would help employ more Ohioans.
    Senator Bob Peterson says there’s a truck company in his district that finds its business ebbs and flows in this economy. And in an interview with Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles, Peterson explains how using this federal shared-work program could help that company and others create jobs.
    Peterson – So rather than lay people off, what this program allows is the company with its employees would agree to a shared work program. In which case, they would agree to reduce the hours, say they'd go from a 40 hour week to a 30 hour week. The company would pay the employee for the hours that they worked, then the difference would be made up by the Department of Job and Family Services through a federal program that funds it.
    Ingles – So this is being done in other places successfully?
    Peterson – Twenty-five other states have this program in place. The federal legislation was passed last summer [actually last Feb.], allowing this program to go forward.
    Ingles – Now, if people though are not getting jobs that are long-term sustainable, this sounds like a bandaid fix. Is it?
    Peterson – The company’s viewpoint is this helps retain workers, especially in this down economy. This helps retain workers who have skills. You know when you are talking about putting together a couple-of-hundred-thousand-dollar truck, you know you want somebody skilled to put that together. It helps retain those skilled workers through this down period. Hopefully the economy is in a down period that we can turn around, go full bore. The thing I like the best is its for everybody. It allows flexibility. The employer has to choose to do it, the employee has to agree to do it and the Department of Jobs and Family Services has to approve the plan. Everybody has to agree to move this forward.
    Ingles – So why hasn’t Ohio been doing this before then, if this is something that could help?
    Peterson – What is unique is the federal legislation that funds the program right now. And we could have a great debate on whether the federal government should be doing this or not, and we should at some point. I view this three-years window as an opportunity for Ohio to get a good pilot project, get some good data, get some good background on whether the program works, how effective it is, you know whether it helps retain good workers in Ohio. Then we can use that for information to go forward to see whether we want to do this on a longer term basis.
    Ingles – Now the real solution, though, would be to get long term jobs for these people that they can stay in for a long time, correct?
    Peterson – Oh, absolutely. I mean this is a temporary program, a program that should help through the down time. What we need to do is continue to grow the Ohio economy, bring more jobs here, bring better paying jobs, and create the competition in the job market that we had ten years ago.
    Peterson hopes his bill will be passed in the Ohio Senate in the next few months.

  2. Fisker furloughs workers for one week, says it's 'common practice' in industry, by Sebastian Blanco, AutoBlogGreen via green.autoblog.com
    ANAHEIM, Calif., USA - The tea leaves are getting somewhat clearer over at Fisker Automotive with a new report saying the struggling automaker is furloughing its US workers this week, a month before a payment on the company's $529-million Department of Energy loan is due.
    [= accordioning worktime instead of workforce. Fisker makes $100k luxury electric sportcars.]
    Fisker never got the full amount, taking only about $193 million before the funds were frozen.
    In a statement to Reuters, Fisker says not to worry: "This [furlough] is a common practice, particularly in the automotive industry, to manage costs and operations based on current activity levels and commercial requirements." Fisker has 200 workers in the US.
    Fisker has not made any of its Karma plug-in hybrids since July and, two weeks ago, namesake Henrik Fisker left the company he co-founded. The chance that a Chinese company will come in and rescue the California-based automaker also appears to be dimming. Early last year, Fisker laid off a small number of workers because of difficulty in getting production of the Atlantic model going.


3/27/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Work Sharing Program Called SharedWork Ohio Advances, HuffingtonPost.com
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA - Ohio lawmakers are poised to make it easier for struggling state businesses to reduce workers' hours instead of firing them.
    New legislation will allow the state's unemployment insurance system to compensate some workers for reduced hours under a layoff prevention program called SharedWork Ohio. Wisconsin and New Mexico are also considering "work sharing" bills, and similar legislation is on the books in 25 other states; Michigan and Pennsylvania created programs last year.
    Ohio State Sen. Bob Peterson (R-Fayette County) said Ohio wants to jump on the bandwagon in part because Congress recently passed a law providing three years of federal funding for state short-time compensation benefits. Ten other states have signed up for the federal funding, according to the U.S. Labor Department.
    But the policy isn't just inexpensive, it's also humane.
    "The appeal is that employees don't have to have the conversation with their families that [they are] laid off," Peterson said.
    And as a bonus for Ohio businesses, Peterson said, work-sharing would keep more skilled workers in Ohio. Kenworth Truck Company, a major employer in the state, supports the policy, and has suggested it may consider shifting some operations to states that use shared work to help avoid layoffs. "The nature of their business is that it ebbs and flows," Peterson said.
    Work-sharing generally garners bipartisan support. In Ohio, the most recent bill's primary sponsors are Republicans, but the idea originated with Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal think tank based there.
    "Under a shared work plan, employees can retain their health insurance and keep accruing retirement benefits while avoiding the emotional and financial hardships associated with layoffs," the policy group's Hannah Halbert testified earlier this month. "Employers can retain skilled employees, avoid expensive retraining and rehiring, boost employee morale and be more easily able to gear up when demand recovers."
    Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a left-leaning D.C. think tank, has long advocated for work sharing as a means of reducing unemployment. Baker suggested there's no good reason the policy hasn't been more widely adopted.
    "Inertia is an incredibly powerful force, but people are beginning to see the benefits of work sharing as an alternative to layoffs," he said in an email. "We have to hope the momentum will keep building."
    The U.S. Labor Department estimates that states spent $125 million on work-sharing programs last year, saving 61,299 jobs. That means instead of 61,299 initial unemployment claims, the equivalent of five times as many workers kept their jobs and filed short-time compensation claims, and those claims paid 20 percent of what the workers would have received in normal unemployment compensation had they been laid off.
    Peterson said he doesn't necessarily consider work sharing the way of the future, but rather a pilot program lawmakers might expand after they see some initial results. He said the Ohio General Assembly will give work sharing final approval when it returns from its Easter break next month.
    "The great thing about us doing this program is that it allows us to get some numbers, get some data," Peterson said.
    HuffPost readers: Are you participating in a work-sharing program? Tell us about it -- email arthur@huffingtonpost.com. Please include your phone number if you're willing to be interviewed.

  2. Hour cuts pose issue for adjuncts, by Alison Thoet, The Bullet via UMWbullet.com
    FREDERICKSBURG, Va., USA - Twenty-eight University of Mary Washington employees’ hours will be reduced by 550 per year as a result of the University’s decision to limit wage workers to 29 hours per week.
    This reduction is a response to the Affordable Care Act
    (ACA) [again the right deed for the wrong reason], and the plan for cuts in Virginia is supposed to be signed by Governor Bob McDonnell in early April, according to Sabrina Johnson, associate vice president of human resources.
    Beginning Feb. 11, 2013, UMW enacted the wage cut plan, although the ACA becomes effective in April 2014, according to Johnson. Through a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA), the Bullet found that the annual wage cuts for the 28 affected employees amounts to an average of $743.80 per employee.
    “We have to be in a period where we are eligible,” said Johnson, concerning the early change for the hour cuts.
    Adjunct professors are affected by the change in hours different from other employees. Two of the 28 employees affected are adjunct professors, as well as hourly wage employees. According to Johnson, the University is still working out a plan for adjunct professors.
    “Adjuncts will be included within the scope of county hours and healthcare, but we don’t have a final answer on that,” said Johnson. “In our discussions with the State, we are looking for any option to best suit employees and that will best serve [UMW’s] students.”
    Amanda Rutstein is both coordinator of the Fredericksburg Writing Center and an adjunct English instructor. Before the hour cuts, Rutstein was paid on a separate account for each position, but her hours and pay are now grouped together.
    “What surprised me was the addition of my adjunct hours into my wage hours,” said Rutstein.
    Rutstein works about 27 hours at the Writing Center and teaches two English creative writing classes. The classes amount to a lump sum of $3,000 per class, but are now counted as nine hours in order for the University to quantify the hours, according to Rutstein.
    If Rutstein gave up hours teaching to work at the Writing Center, she would have to take less hours, and if she took on more classes instead, she would not make enough money to sustain herself.
    “Overall, it’s a decision I would not want to have to make,” said Rutstein. “In both instances I will struggle.”
    As decisions regarding adjunct instructors have not been determined at UMW, according to Johnson, Rutstein may continue working in both positions. However, the wage cuts remain an issue for Rutstein.
    “When the state mandates the hour cuts, then not only can the school not offer us health insurance, but it makes it more difficult to purchase our own,” said Rutstein.

  3. 2 Ways Working Over 8 Hours DOESN’T Mean California Overtime Pay, by AbiK, LawyersAndSettlements.com
    SACRAMENTO, Calif., USA - Ever wonder what non-exempt work situations do NOT qualify for overtime pay? While there are fairly stringent laws and guidelines in place for what requires California employers to pay overtime wages, there are a couple of situations where, as a worker who puts in over eight hours on a given workday, you are actually not eligible for California overtime pay.
    [And these would also be excluded from the Timesizing Program's standard automatic chronic-overtime conversion into training and hiring.]
    Let’s take a look at both examples, which are explained in more detail (and a bit more jargon) at the California Department of Industrial Relations DLSE section on their website.
    1. Make-up Time.
    If a non-exempt employee requests time off that will be unpaid, he/she can “make up” that time and it will not be considered eligible time for California overtime pay so long as these requirements are met:
    The employee may not work more than 11 hours on another work day, and he/she may not work more than 40 hours in the workweek to make up for the time off. The make up time, in effect, is an equal “swap” for the time the employee would’ve normally worked within the same workweek.
    The time the employee missed must be made up within the same workweek.
    The employee needs to provide a signed written request to the employer for each occasion that they want to makeup time.
    Employers cannot encourage or otherwise solicit an employee to request makeup time.
    2. Alternate Work Week Arrangements.
    It’s common practice in some industries for a non-exempt California employee to work an alternate workweek schedule. One of the most common arrangements involves working a 4-day-a-week, 10-hours-per-day schedule (typically called a "4/10" schedule). Alternate work week arrangements require a formal agreement and adherence to certain California Labor regulations (see DLSE overtime exceptions).
    As long as the employer has complied with all regulatory matters, an alternate work week employee is not owed California overtime pay for working more than 8 hours in a workday (due to the alternate work schedule), so long as he/she does not work more than 40 hours during the workweek.


3/26/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Isle of Wight school employees facing job cuts, furloughs, DailyPress.com
    ISLE OF WIGHT, Va., USA – Isle of Wight Public Schools may cut 55 to 65 jobs and employees may be furloughed for up to seven days if the county doesn't increase local funding for schools next year, according to Superintendent Katrise Perera.
    The school division is facing at $5.2 million shortfall if the Isle of Wight Board of Supervisors keeps local funding flat at $27.6 million, according to Perera. The division's current operating budget is $63.7 million.
    The Board of Supervisors had asked the School Board — as well as other county departments — to reduce spending by 5 percent. The School Board is also being hit with state and federal revenue losses next year, although a final figure is not yet available, said board member Kent Hildebrand.
    Perera's first round of recommended cuts totaled approximately $3.5 million. Major components of the cuts include eliminating 12 teachers, a savings of $590,000; eliminating 17 kindergarten assistants, $240,000; eliminating three administrative positions, $175,000; eliminating four library assistants, $73,400; implementing two days of furloughs, $250,000; reducing advanced degree supplements by 50 percent, $331,034; reducing middle school iPad purchases, $330,000; eliminating junior varsity sports, $53,000; and reducing the substitute teacher budget by 25 percent, $75,000.
    At the same time, Perera called for the division to implement user fees to help generate revenue and pay for programs. She recommended user fees for costly high school electives, which would bring in $68,000; athletic user fees, $40,000; and increasing student parking fees at the high schools, $17,000.
    The division would have to tap into personnel to cover the remainder of the $5.2 million shortfall, Perera said. She offered the board two options: cut another 28 teaching positions, for an estimated savings of $1.6 million; or to cut another 18 positions to save $1 million and increase employee furloughs to seven days to save $625,000.
    [So here, furloughs could save 10 jobs - better timecuts than jobcuts!]
    An additional 15-20 instructional jobs will be in jeopardy if the county requires the School Board to reduce spending by 5 percent, Hildebrand said.
    "There's really nothing else to cut," Hildebrand said. "We're cutting everything we can and implementing user fees where we can."
    People will have a chance to weigh in on the proposed cuts during a community forum from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. March 28 at the Isle of Wight Courthouse. At 6:30 p.m., the board will hold a special meeting to adopt the budget. The School Board must forward its budget to the county by April 1.
    Newport News, Va., Daily Press

  2. ICE Futures Canada cuts hours, Reuters via Western Producer (subscription) via producer.com
    WINNIPEG, Man., Canada — ICE Futures Canada says it will close earlier starting April 8 for all grain and oilseed futures and options products, reversing an extension made to the closing time in June.
    ICE Canada, an electronic exchange based in Winnipeg, will move up the closing time to 1:15 p.m. Central time from the current 2 p.m. close for canola, milling wheat, durum and barley trading.
    “A lot of these extended hours have just proven to be nothing, just stretching the trade out but not accomplishing anything,” said PI Financial futures and options broker Ken Ball. “It’s good to see that they (changed back).”
    The move will match a change in closing time at CME Group Inc. Many ICE Futures Canada traders also trade on CME’s Chicago Board of Trade.
    ICE said there was no change to trading hours for its U.S. contracts.
    The ICE Canada exchange offers the world’s most actively traded canola futures and options, while its wheat, durum and barley contracts are seldom traded.
    ICE Futures Canada is not changing the opening time for trading, which remains 7 p.m. CDT.

  3. Caution needed in adopting standard working hours, by Eddy Li, China Daily via chinadaily.com.cn
    HONG KONG, China - On the subject of labor issues, the Legislative Council has approved secondary legislation relating to the statutory minimum wage. "With effect from 1 May 2013, the statutory minimum wage rate will be revised to HK$30 per hour." Whether the standard working hours should be enforced or not will be the next tricky problem for the Hong Kong SAR government to deal with.
    In recent years, the business environment became less and less satisfying for companies in all industries. Take the food business, for example. Drastically increasing rental and material costs have burdened the business greatly; what's more, after the imposition of the statutory minimum wage, many of their employees choose to work as watchmen in commercial or residential buildings, making recruitment difficult for the restaurants
    .
    [This presents another reason for relying on maximum-workweek decreases rather than minimum-wage increases; namely, the workweek approach also creates a recruiting challenge but it is a challenge that employers can do something about at their option by diversely targeted and sized wage-raises. Meanwhile, workweek reduction creates a buzz at the top of the workweek as chronic overtime, evermore tightly defined, is converted into more employee-consumers and their consumer-dependents, and workweek reduction opens no gap at the bottom of the wage ladder against new job-market entrants. THIS IS THE BEST-YET EXPLANATION OF THE SUPERIORITY OF THE WORKWEEK REDUCTION APPROACH OVER THE MINIMUM-WAGE APPROACH. Note that it relies critically on overtime conversion and consumer-base expansion for its positive feel.]
    Services for the elderly are also influenced by the minimum wage, too. Severe labor turnover has resulted in about one thousand job vacancies in the industry, a result of which is that service quality is becoming worse and worse.
    The statutory minimum wage has already caused enormous turbulence in assorted industries. It is beyond the realm of the imagination whether society will maintain its stability if the standard working hours are officially enforced and made compulsory.
    Actually, in most companies and organizations in Hong Kong, the system of an eight-hour working day, and five-day or five-and-a-half-day working week is universally adopted. Those that cannot adopt this system are industries with special characteristics, such as journalism, food, medicine, law enforcement, fire protection, air services, logistics, transport, shipping, the film and television industry, and so on. It is unfeasible to implement standard working hours in these industries.
    Caution needed in adopting standard working hours
    Basically, every industry has its own standard of working hours. And when an employment contract is signed mutually between labor and management, it states that both parties have agreed to approve and accept the associated regulations.
    Hong Kong is a free market, where the core value is to respect the spirit of a contract and obey it. If the government insists in realizing the legislation of standard working hours and enforcing its mandatory implementation, it is tantamount to breaking effective regulations in different industries. The consequence of this act will never be positively estimated.
    We can learn by studying the case of Japan. As early as 1988, the Japanese government began making legislative amendments to decrease standard working hours from 48 hours a week to 40 hours over several years, but the consequence was painful - national economic recession. Edward Prescott, an American economist who received the Nobel Prize in Economics, and Fumio Hayashi, a Japanese economist, both pointed out that the main reason for serious economic decline in Japan in the 1990s lay in the substantial reduction of labor input. If it were not for the issue of standard working hours, Japan's economy would not have paid the steep price of long-time recession.
    Labor and management - the two are closely related and mutually dependent. When we attach greater importance to one side, the interest of the other party will be harmed. So when some politicians advocate implementing standard working hours, the government should also take into consideration the interest and rights of the companies and industries.
    There is an old saying in ancient China that teeth are exposed to the cold when lips are lost - meaning that one of the mutually dependent two parties will be unable to survive when the other does not exist. Therefore, when companies or industries are struggling with their business, the only result for workers is to lose their jobs.
    The author [Eddy Li] is the vice-president of the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong.

  4. World's top 20 startup ecosystems: Bangalore ranks 19th, (3/25 late inclusion) ibnLive.in.com
    BANGALORE, India - Startups are the power behind the ongoing tech revolution. Startup Genome had in November 2012 released a report on the world's top startup ecosystems and also ranks the top 20.
    [Ecosystems? Hey, at least they've replaced the pervasive sports metaphor with an ecological metaphor here. Maybe there's hope. On the other hand, Juliet Schor is right - hours have gotten longer since 1970. So what real use is technology if it doesn't free humanity with more financially secure free time, preferably to stabilize the world enough to safely extend individual human lives indefinitely - not at all safe today in case the Idi Amin's and Hitler's extend theirs. (And the M1-hyperconcentrators like Bill Gates et al. - see next comment.)]
    ]
    Expectedly Silicon Valley is on the top and India's Bangalore also makes it.
    1. Silicon Valley (Population: 7,150,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 34.12; gender division (F/M): 10% | 90%;
    working hours per day: 9.95; local startup examples: Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, AirBnb)
    2. Tel Aviv (Population: 2,375,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 36.16; gender division (F/M): 9% | 91%;
    working hours per day: 9.42; local startup examples: Mirabilies, Babylon, SunDisk, Jajah, Fring, Waze)
    3. Los Angeles (Population: 17,000,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 32.55; gender division (F/M): 12% | 88%;
    working hours per day: 9.64; local startup examples: ShoeDazzle, Factual, Omaze, Beachmint, CapLinked)
    4. Seattle
    5. New York City (Population: 8,175,133; average age of entrepreneurs: 32.55; gender division (F/M): 18% | 82%;
    working hours per day: 9.69; local startup examples: Foursquare, Tumblr, Etsy, Meetup, Bit.ly, Fab, Kayak)
    6. Boston [USA] (Population: 7,200,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 36.8; gender division (F/M): 9% | 91%;
    working hours per day: 10.41; local startup examples: Formlabs, Runkeeper, EchoNest, Vertica)
    7. London [England] (Population: 12,700,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 35.98; gender division (F/M): 9% | 91%;
    working hours per day: 9.78; local startup examples: Tweetdeck, Moshi Monsters, Wonga, Autonomy, Moo.com)
    8. Toronto [Canada] (Population: 5,850,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 35.63; gender division (F/M): 18% | 82%;
    working hours per day: 8.69; local startup examples: Wave Accounting, FreshBooks, Achievers, Polar Mobile, Idee)
    9. Vancouver [Canada] (Population: 2,425,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 36.7; gender division (F/M): 8% | 92%;
    working hours per day: 9.50; local startup examples: Flickr, Summify, Unbounce, PayrollHero, MediaCore)
    10. Chicago
    11. Paris (Population: 10,600,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 33.21; gender division (F/M): 7% | 93%;
    working hours per day: 9.88; local startup examples: Stupeflix, Kwaga, Appsfire, Hypios)
    12. Sydney [Australia] (Population: 4,725,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 33.43; gender division (F/M): 3% | 97%;
    working hours per day: 9.17; local startup examples: Atlassian, Spreets, Freelancer.com, Wooboard, Pygg,BigCommerce)
    13. Sao Paulo (Population: 21,300,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 30.80; gender division (F/M): 4% | 96%;
    working hours per day: 8.86; local startup examples: Peixe Urbano, Dafiti, Kekanto, NetShoes, Descomplica)
    14. Moscow (Population: 16,200,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 27.90; gender division (F/M): 7% | 93%;
    working hours per day: 9.38; local startup examples: Yandex, Ozon, Mail.ru, Abbyy and Kaspersky, Hipway, Zingaya)
    15. Berlin (Population: 4,375,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 31.86; gender division (F/M): 3% | 97%;
    working hours per day: 9.18; local startup examples: Soundcloud, Gidsy, EyeEm, Amen, Readmill)
    16. Waterloo [Canada?] (Population: 124,600; average age of entrepreneurs: 33.43; gender division (F/M): 9% | 91%;
    working hours per day: 9.80; local startup examples: TribeHR, Top Hat Monocle)
    17. Singapore (Population: 6,600,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 33.35; gender division (F/M): 5% | 95%;
    working hours per day: 11.00; local startup examples: Mig33, Viki, Zopim, Bubble Motion, Buzz City, Tencube)
    18. Melbourne (Population: 4,250,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 33.06; gender division (F/M): 6% | 94%;
    working hours per day: 9.80; local startup examples: Sitepoint, 99designs, Redbubble, Retailmenot, Scoopon)
    19. Bangalore (Population: 9,350,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 37.00; gender division (F/M): 6% | 94%;
    working hours per day: 10.86; local startup examples: Flipkart, Tally, Zoho , Make my Trip, hungama)
    20. Santiago (Population: 6,250,000; average age of entrepreneurs: 28.42; gender division (F/M): 20% | 80%;
    working hours per day: 8.76; local startup examples: AgentPiggy, QuantConnect, Glazeon, Kuotos)
    [So basically, our masochistic and luddite high-tech sector is overall admitting to nearly 10 workhours a day, the same level the USA had generally achieved by the Civil War (150 years ago). So much for CEOs' conflicting contentions that technology automatically makes life easier for everyone (so we CEOs don't have to actually take any action on trimming everyone's hours in response), AND technology automatically creates more jobs than it destroys (so we can take action to get "more efficient" by trimming jobs in response). See where we're going with this? Or rather, where they're dragging us? Efficiency is completely impossible in a frozen or rising workweek economy because unlimited percentages of M1, the money supply, are funneling to, and coagulating in, the richest sliver of the population. Efficient was George Stevenson, who developed the steam engine into a practical means of mass transport and disdained getting rich from it. Efficient were the Wright brothers and their sister, who made what, $500k max? out of developing the flying machine into a practical means of mass transport. "Oh but I don't begrudge Bill Gates one penny of his $50-60 billion - he earned it." No he didn't: he stole DOS from CP/M, Windows from Xerox and Explorer from Netscape. The word "earn" is totally inapplicable at those levels and we need to find or design a way to tell at what levels it loses meaning and ditto "efficiency," because above a certain range the concentration of M1 becomes system-corrosive = the extreme opposite of efficient.]


3/24-25/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Does Short-Time Work Save Jobs? A Business Cycle Analysis, by Almut Balleer & Britta Gehrke & Wolfgang Lechthaler & Christian Merkl, 3/25 Kiel Institute for the World Economy Working Papers via ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de
    KIEL, Germany - Abstract
    This paper analyzes the effects of short-time work (i.e., government-subsidized working time reductions) on unemployment and output fluctuations.
    The central question is whether the rule-based component (i.e., the existence of the institution short-time work) and the discretionary component (i.e., rule changes) stabilize employment over the business cycle.
    [No, the central question for non-shortsighted research is, how can we improve worksharing/short-time work programs as a halfway step to full-fledged timesizing, to restore and maintain wartime levels of full employment and prosperity...without the war.]
    In our baseline scenario, the rule-based component stabilizes unemployment fluctuations by 15% and output fluctuations by 7%.
    Given the small share of short-time work expenses in terms of GDP, the stabilization effects are large compared to other instruments such as the income tax system.
    By contrast, discretionary short-time work interventions do not have any statistically significant effect on unemployment. These effects are based on a structural VAR estimation which is identified using the output elasticity of short-time work estimated from German establishment panel data.
    The model shows that non-effects of discretionary interventions may be due to their low persistence.
    [In other words, 'no op' due to their hit-and-run temporary nature - AND there's the fact that they're designed just to maintain employment, not spread and create it, as timesizing is designed to do by getting overtime-to-training&hiring conversion going first. Full article on *Kiel Institute website.]

  2. Linden budget woes point to layoffs, furloughs, by Richard Khavkine, 3/25 The Star-Ledger via NJ.com
    [Modest little Linden NJ has some of the greatest names around! - Gerbounka, Lukenda and Zack? You couldn't make these up! Rivals the best of Malaysia...Hasudungan Sri Tampubolon, Budiono Handoko Tchokronegoro ("Budi" for short)...]
    LINDEN, N.J., USA — The rainy-day fund has gone dry.
    For nearly 10 years, Linden officials have dipped into the city’s surplus budget to lessen residents’ tax burden and to keep its complement of services for 40,000 people.
    That reserve — $40 million as recently as 2005 — is now tapped out.
    And despite a relatively flat $99 million working budget, the state-imposed 2 percent tax cap demands that the spending plan be cut by $5.2 million.
    Layoffs of 21 police officers and 32 firefighters — accounting for 19 percent and 29 percent of the respective departments, as well as $2.9 million in salaries and benefits — are a distinct possibility, city officials say.
    Concessions, notably of the nearly 4 percent raises police and fire personnel received this year, could avert most of those pink slips. But those givebacks would save only about $1 million this year, and an undetermined number of layoffs of police and fire personnel would still be likely, the officials say.
    "We need the unions to work with us," Mayor Richard Gerbounka said. "We’re asking them to sit down and negotiate for the benefit of the entire city. Hopefully they will see our dilemma."
    Christopher Lukenda, head of the firefighters union, blamed city officials’ poor money management and Gov. Chris Christie, whose tax cap legislation Lukenda said unnecessarily handicapped towns’ ability to pay for public safety.
    "They’ve cut us to the bone. They’re going for the marrow," Lukenda, a 20-year firefighter and a Linden resident, said of city officials.
    Since surrounding towns have also trimmed fire personnel, he said he feared for residents’ safety. Confronting a serious incident at the Bayway refinery, for example, could prove an insurmountable challenge, he said.
    Nevertheless, he sensed his colleagues would likely vote down any givebacks.
    "I don’t even see a flicker at the end of the tunnel," Lukenda said. "The morale is crap."
    The city will file a layoff and demotion plan with the state next week, officials said. The plan will also include a not-yet-determined number of furlough days for non-police and non-fire personnel, they said. Gerbounka, though, said city departments and facilities could be shut as much as once a week from June through the end of the year.
    [Better time cuts than job cuts!]
    Linden’s chief financial officer and treasurer, Alexis Zack, who has been with the city 25 years, called this year’s budget the most difficult of her city tenure.
    "This is definitely the harshest numbers we’ve had to deal with," she said.
    But Councilman Peter Brown said the council failed constituents by negotiating generous contracts when the city was already dipping into its reserves.
    "In my opinion this could have been averted," he said. "It’s not that we got here overnight."
    The city’s disinclination in years past to take a hard look at how staffing and salaries at the fire and police departments might be reduced amounted to poor planning, he said.
    "You have to make hard choices, and they weren’t done," said Brown, who chairs the council’s budget committee.
    The city’s last two budgets have been flat, each coming in at about $96 million. Except for police and fire, the city has not hired in years. At the same time, Linden has lost about 100 full- and part-timers through attrition, Zack and Gerbounka said.
    Still, expenses, particularly salaries and benefits, have continued to climb, often at a much steeper rate than inflation. But it’s the decline in revenue, officials say, that has handcuffed the city. Like elsewhere, the recession has significantly reduced the city’s ratables base.
    The 2 percent tax cap, then, can make it exceedingly difficult to balance budgets, said Michael Darcy, the assistant executive director at the New Jersey League of Municipalities.
    "Budgets are difficult to balance in any event when you have costs going up over 2 percent," he said. "The efficiency argument only goes so far. We’re now at the point it’s cuts, it’s reductions, it’s curtailments."
    Although town taxes would rise $140 for homeowners living in a home assessed at the city average of $138,000, services will decline.
    But Gerbounka and Zack [what a team!] said they expect the city and its budgets to be back on surer financial footing next year, when at least three notable sources of reoccurring revenue will be online, including, Gerbounka said, 174 residential units near the train station, a redeveloped former GM plant off Routes 1&9, and a natural gas pipeline extending to New York City through the city, for which Linden will get $2.5 million a year.
    And with union contracts expiring at the end of the year, city employees, rather than the city, will be making a collective $1 million contribution to their benefit and pension plans.

  3. BLM Wild Horse & Burro Adoption Center Cutting Hours, AP via KTVN.com
    RENO, Nev., USA -- The federal Bureau of Land Management's largest wild-horse adoption facility in the country is getting nicked by the budget axe.
    The Palomino Valley National Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Center, 20 miles north of Reno, is scaling back its weekend operations in a move criticized by horse advocates.

    Beginning April 6, the facility will be open to the public just the first Saturday each month -- from 8: 30 a.m. to noon. It currently is open every Saturday.
    Anne Novak of California-based Protect Mustangs says most people work during the week so the move shows the BLM doesn't really care about having a successful horse adoption program.
    But BLM spokeswoman Heather Emmons Jasinski says Saturdays have seen few adoptions and visitors.
    [Ah, I wanna cute liddle burro! We can keep him/er in the backyard! Or we could get a bunch of 'em and turn the Porter Sq. area of Somerville-Cambridge, Mass. into a wild burro zone like Oatman, Arizona! Think of the tourist dollars! Think of the JOBS!]
    The center will remain open weekdays and closed Sundays.


3/23/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Chamber backs new “tool” for employers – shared work, (3/11 late posting) Ohio Chamber of Commerce via ohiochamber.com
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA - The Ohio Chamber [of Commerce] testified this week in support of legislation that will help companies during difficult economic times while also helping employees to remain on the job. House Bill 37, and its companion bill, Senate Bill 25, will create a “shared work” program that will allow employers to reduce the hours of some employees on a temporary basis but avoid layoffs . These employees in turn will receive a proportionate amount of unemployment compensation for their reduced hours.
    Tony Seegers, director of labor and human resources policy, expressed the Chamber’s belief that shared work will be a useful tool for businesses facing an economic downturn. Employers will benefit from shared work because they will be able to keep their skilled workers and not have to rehire and retrain new workers when economic conditions improve. Employees benefit, as well. Instead of being laid off, they will remain employed yet still be able to receive some unemployment compensation.
    Under HB 37 and SB 25, employers wishing to utilize shared work can submit a plan to the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) for approval. The plan would be effective for one year after it’s approved. The federal government will provide the money required to fully fund the implementation and operation of shared work in Ohio until 2015. While the federal funds are available, participating employers will not incur an experience charge that would otherwise increase their unemployment compensation rates. After 2015, only those employers that have chosen to participate in shared work will be charged.
    SB 25 is scheduled for a possible vote this week in Senate Commerce & Labor Committee. The House Commerce, Labor & Technology Committee will likely vote on HB 37 this week, as well.
    Ohio Chamber Staff Contact: Tony Seegers, aseegers@ohiochamber.com

  2. Commissaries change furlough days to Mondays, by Karen Jowers, Military Times via MarineCorpsTimes.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - Commissaries [cf. "quartermaster stores"] will close on Mondays if furloughs are required for DoD [Dept. of Defense] civilian employees because of sequestration, according to an agreement negotiated between commissary officials and an employees’ union, the American Federation of Government Employees Council 172, obtained by Military Times. 
    That’s a change from the previous plan to close the stores on Wednesdays during the furlough period,
    as stated in a Feb. 21 email to all commissary employees from Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) director Joseph Jeu. DeCA headquarters will also be closed on Mondays.
    [Better to lose Mondays than jobs, to timesize than downsize.]
    Commissary officials will now have to notify other unions that represent employees about the change from Wednesday to Monday, according to one source.
    DeCA officials declined to confirm the planned closure days.
    The extra closures due to furloughs would not likely start until at least the first full week in May. Furloughs have been delayed for all DoD employees as DoD officials review the funding ramifications of legislation passed this week. DoD officials don’t expect to release furlough notices until around April 5, and furloughs wouldn’t start until 30 days after the notices.
    DoD had planned to furlough civilian employees for 22 days in the period ending Sept. 30. There has been no decision about whether the number of furlough days will change. If the furlough starts the week of May 6, there will be 21 weeks before the end of September.
    Some commissaries are already closed on Mondays. When that’s the case, the store will be closed on the next business day that it was scheduled to be open, according to the agreement.
    Jeu said previously that there may be some limited exceptions at overseas locations where there are enough local national employees to keep a store open. Local national employees overseas are exempted from the furlough.
    DeCA officials have taken other cost-cutting measures, such as cancelling all the May case lot sales at both overseas and stateside commissaries, and curtailing official travel that is not considered critical to the agency’s mission.


3/22/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Worksharing at Jade-Weser-Port, by Dennis Leiffel, (3/20 late pickup) Radio Bremen Online via youtube.com
    BREMEN, Germany - Worksharing will be in effect at Jade-Weser-Port for a year.
    The works council and the port operator Eurogate agreed on that at a meeting in Wilhelmshaven.

    With that the necessary request for the nearly 400 harborworkers can now be placed at the employment agency.

  2. Congress Passes Bill to Avert Meat Inspector Furloughs, by Gretchen Goetz, FoodSafetyNews.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The House on Thursday passed a continuing resolution that will head off furloughs for U.S. meat inspectors that would have taken place this summer as a result of the sequester.
    The measure, introduced by Sens. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), passed the House by a vote of 318 to 109 today after breezing through the Senate Wednesday by a vote of 73 to 26, and will now go to President Obama’s desk for signature.
    The legislation will allow for the reallocation of $55 million in funds from other parts of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the agency’s Food Safety and Inspection Service. This means that federal meat and poultry inspectors will not face furloughs and, consequently, meat plants will keep running without pause through the summer (meat and poultry plants can only operate when a federal inspector is present).
    Meat industry representatives praised Congress for approving the funding, which was included in a larger $984 billion spending bill.
    “This is very good news for pork producers and other livestock and poultry producers,” said National Pork Producers Council President Randy Spronk in a statement Thursday. “Federal meat inspection is a function that should be maintained to protect the public health by ensuring the safety of the U.S. meat supply. We’re pleased meat inspections will continue, and we are very grateful to Sens. Blunt and Pryor for their efforts to protect food-animal producers and meat packers from costly losses and consumers from higher prices.”
    The furloughs would have affected an estimated 500,000 workers at 60,000 plants, costing them nearly $400 million in wages.
    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, who has voiced his support for the amendment, called its passing “an acknowledgment that sequestration left USDA with no other option but to furlough meat inspectors,” a statement that addressed skepticism over whether the meat inspector furloughs were really necessary under the sequester.


3/21/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. NPS: Liberty Bell, Independence Hall to cut hours after sequestration, by Kevin Robillard, Politico.com
    PHILADELPHIA, Pa., USA - Automatic, across-the-board cuts to federal spending mean 43,000 fewer people will get to see where the framers debated the Constitution this summer, according to the National Park Service.
    The Park Service announced Wednesday that evening hours this summer would be cut at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall and at the Liberty Bell because of sequestration. Independence National Historic Park, which includes both sites, is losing $1.2 million of its $24 million budget.
    Independence Hall was the site of both the Second Continental Congress, which adopted the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitutional Convention, which wrote the nation’s founding document in 1787.
    The service is also closing five other historic buildings at the park, and opening the Edgar Allan Poe House only three days a week out of five. It is also delaying maintenance and upkeep, and is leaving 19 positions unfilled.
    The 43,000-person estimate is based on attendance numbers from last year.
    Since sequestration struck March 1, Republicans have portrayed the $85 billion in cuts this year as having had little effect on the economy and accused President Barack Obama of overhyping its impact. But closures in Philadelphia and at other national parks could upset tourists, much as canceled tours at the White House already have.

  2. Army Corps of Engineers may have to dole out overtime to cover for furloughed power plant operators, by Perry Chiaramonte, FoxNews.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is blaming sequestration for its plan to furlough hundreds of workers at power plants across the country, but could end up canceling out any savings by paying out costly overtime to keep the electricity flowing.
    [Hey, full employment requires cutting the workweek to get more overtime to convert into training&hiring, not cutting the workweek just to get more overtime! This is like all the companies that cut too many jobs and then have to hire expensive consultants.]
    In a series of emails obtained by FoxNews.com, the commanding officer for the Corps' Omaha District, which oversees a total of six power plants along the Missouri River, including the Fort Peck Dam in Montana and the Big Bend Dam in Ft. Thompson, S.D., warned civilian workers at the plants to brace for unpaid leave. The emails went out last month, as it became apparent that lawmakers were not likely to reach a deal to head off mandatory cuts in the federal government's discretionary spending.
    “I want to bring you up to date on where we are with planning for possible automatic, across-the-board spending cuts in the face of sequestration and fiscal uncertainty,” Col. Joel Cross said in a message dated Feb. 4. “While Congress and the administration continue to work on a plan, we continue to prepare to adapt to future changes by building flexibility to protect current employees.
    “We are making every effort to avoid or minimize impacts to our current workforce. Many employees may be concerned about a possible furlough,” Cross' letter continued. “I want you to know that furloughs are a tool of last resort.”
    The Army Corps runs the dams, using civilian workers who are on the Pentagon payroll.
    In another email message dated four days later, the commanding officer tried to ease workers' minds.
    “Despite all of the uncertainty in the workplace, key leaders…continue to assure us that furloughs will be the last resort,” he says. “We understand there is a quite a bit of frustration and confusion on the subject of furlough and the opportunity for employees to take leave in-lieu of furlough.”
    “I wish we had a crystal ball to tell you what will happen, but we don’t. What we can tell you is ‘maybe.’” [- from an email to USACE power plant workers along the Missouri River]
    The sequester took effect the beginning of March, prompting the Department of Defense to begin planning furloughs for 800,000 employees.
    The Army Corps of Engineers is currently drafting a plan to implement a furlough plan to begin on April 23. The plan calls for each worker to be furloughed for 22 days - 176 hours - and suggested that the amount should be spread out to “16 hours per pay period” which equals to one day per work week.
    The formal process requires the Corps and the plants to enter bargaining with local unions and provide a minimum 30-day notice to all employees.
    Requiring every employee at the six plants along the Missouri River could prove daunting when it comes to day-to-day operations, say workers.
    “The Corps of Engineers is considering unmanning some hydroelectric plants during certain shifts and, if necessary, shutting them down,” said one plant worker, who provided internal e-mails to FoxNews.com and asked that their name be withheld. “If this happens, not only will the electrical grid be affected but the flow on the Missouri River will cease.”
    In addition to providing the energy needed to create power at the six plants, the Missouri River is a source of drinking water for several towns from Montana to St. Louis and provides cooling water to several coal power plants and two nuclear power plants located in Nebraska. 
    “In my 30-plus years as federal civil servant I have never seen nor would have ever believed that our government could come to conceive such an abortion as the sequester,” the power plant worker told FoxNews.com. “The pending decision to furlough critical power plant personnel for the sake of the sequester is totally asinine.”
    The local chapter of IBEW Local 1688, which represents workers at the dams, met with the Corps officials in Omaha on Monday and reached an agreement on splitting workers shifts to ensure that there is continuous coverage.
    “Our biggest deal was to have the least amount of financial loss for the workers and keep productivity up,” Jeremy Irving, business manager for Local 1688, told FoxNews.com. “Crews will be split.”
    Union officials believe it may be necessary for the Corps to pay overtime to cover the shifts of furloughed workers, but said they are willing to work with the Corps to find a better solution.
    “From the union's standpoint it would be foolish to have to pay out overtime when there are workers on furlough. But the Omaha district has been working with us as much as possible,” Irving said. “Once this takes effect, we will have to negotiate for the operations crew.”
    The effects of the sequestration cuts could reach wider than the banks of the Missouri River, as all power plants operated by the Corps will have to furlough workers.
    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the largest owner-operator of hydroelectric power plants in the country with a total of 75 plants that make up for 24 percent of U.S. hydro power capacity and 3 percent of the total U.S. electric capacity.
    Sources close to the recent furlough debate say that other power plants across the country have already done everything from paying overtime to placing unqualified personnel, such as plant mechanics and electricians, in night-time operating positions just so they can keep the operator on furlough.
    “The unmanning of certain plants at night, placing unqualified personal in place of furlough operators not only risks the stability of the national electrical grid but also public safety,” a splant worker told FoxNews.com. “Then to pay overtime to cover shifts for some employees that are being furlough is incomprehensible!”


3/20/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Thumbs up to HAMTC for job-saving proposal, (3/18 late pickup) Mid Columbia Tri City Herald via tri-cityherald.com
    HANFORD, Wash., USA - The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council [HAMTC] is proposing a way to save some jobs by asking members of its 15 unions to volunteer for paid and unpaid leave.
    Federal budget cuts brought on by sequestration left the big three Department of Energy contractors at Hanford planning to combine time off for nonunion workers and layoffs for union workers to cut spending.
    Contracts between the unions and Hanford employers prevent contractors from furloughing HAMTC workers, leaving layoffs as the only option for reducing labor costs.
    However, HAMTC's proposal would allow union workers to instead volunteer for time off, with the savings used to retain union jobs at Hanford.
    A similar agreement more than eight years ago saved HAMTC jobs, HAMTC President Dave Molnaa told the Herald.
    It's a great idea that not only would help keep more Tri-City families solvent but also help keep skilled workers needed for Hanford's environmental mission from moving elsewhere. ...

  2. Two day work week? Yes please! by Caledric, ACfriends discussion via International Guys' Network (?) via ign.com
    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., USA - I am now working just 2 days a week. Sundays and Mondays :D [= really happy face]
    Working two 16 hour shifts, and I use a vacation day to take my third day of the week off.
    I'm pulling it off by switching shifts with someone who works a different shift than me.
    I work his shift on Sunday and Monday mornings for him (then my shift the same days) He works my Shift on Fridays and Saturdays for me.
    Of course its not really a 2 day work week since I sign up for overtime and earn Double time on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
    Best part is... I'm still going to make 80,000 this year.
    [This guy represents the best and the worst of current practice. The bad news is, he's working chronic overtime while millions of others can't even find part time. The good news is, he boasts about how little he works rather than how much he works, so he's kinda more in the age of robotics than all the nitwits who are still focused on "working hard to get ahead," our little holdover from the Protestant/Puritan work ethic. Since "hard" usually gets translated into "long" hours, the ability of our democracy-disguised plutocracies to keep selling us on this "noble sentiment" is responsible for more and more concentration alias nonsharing and nonspreading of our most precious natural resource in the Robotics Age = natural, market-demanded human employment - which gradually, imperceptibly turns more and more people into dependents, and then when the wealthy decide to "starve the beast" and quit paying taxes, we find ourselves deep in the third world, still shouting "America is best!" - just what we used to pity Soviet citizens for. As the Russian woman at the Boston's Harvard Club said, "Your news controllers make ours look like amateurs."]
    Stormyblade.., Member Since: Apr 30, 2005,...Location: Somewhere around Hillsboro, OR, Date Posted: Yesterday at 12:18 PM #3
    We do the 12-hour shifts, 3 days one week and 4 the next, so I understand the desire to try and work less. However, sooner or later I would run out of vacation days, and after being used to working just 2 days a week it would suck to go back to the 3- or 4- day schedule. Hope you can pull it off.
    Winga.., Member Since: Nov 22, 2004,...Date Posted: Yesterday at 12:24 PM #4
    Friend of mine is an operator and works 3 weeks and is off for 2. The second week is called hell week for good cause. Mon-wed 6am-6pm, thursday off, fri-sun 6pm-6am. Do not want. (Note this isn't using any vacation when he gets the 2 weeks off.) ...
    -Abysmal-.., Member Since: Oct 1, 2005,...Date Posted: Yesterday at 2:14 PM #6
    ya, we have a lot of comp swaps going on at my work too...STILL have no guidance on if those will still be allowed once the furloughs begin next month.
    Dark_EternalFF.., Member Since: Feb 18, 2003,...Location: UR MOMZ HOUSE LOL, Date Posted: Yesterday at 2:34 PM #7
    Ugh, 16 hour days. ...


3/19/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Short-time work, IZA Newsroom via http://newsroom.iza.org
    BONN, Germany - A decade ago the German labor market was regarded as a sick patient. Today it is performing exceptionally well and has been remarkably resilient to the financial and euro crisis. This must be attributed at least in part to the courageous “Agenda 2010” labor market reforms, which were introduced – against massive resistance – in March 2003. From the very beginning, IZA has constructively supported and scientifically evaluated this reform process. Today, ten years later, it has become obvious that the “Agenda 2010” project has left a lasting positive mark on the German labor market.
    Let’s go back in time: On March 14, 2003, then German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of the Social Democrats announced a series of concrete measures to reform the labor market, the social security system and public finances. A committee led by Peter Hartz (then board member for human resources at Volkswagen) worked out proposals to improve the public employment services and to design more efficient labor market policies. These were enacted in what came to be known as the “Hartz Laws I-IV”.
    Key elements of the reform package were: (1) reform of active labor market policy instruments, (2) restrictions on welfare benefits for the unemployed, (3) modernization of the employment agencies, (4) stronger activation of the unemployed through the principle of “supporting and demanding” (Fördern und Fordern), (5) merging of unemployment aid and welfare benefits into basic income support for job seekers, (6) liberalization and expansion of flexible forms of employment such as temporary work, fixed-term contracts and small-scale employment (“mini jobs”).
    A number of studies by IZA experts show that these measures have in many areas improved the functioning of the German employment system and the effectiveness of policy programs (IZA DP 2055, IZA DP 2605). As a result, the employment rate has risen substantially since the mid-2000s, particularly with many new jobs created in the service sector. This would not have been possible without a more flexible labor market and a consistent activation of the unemployed.
    IZA has contributed its expertise in various ways: Beyond publicly supporting the reform process (e.g. by initiating calls of economists) and providing policy advice, IZA researchers have extensively studied the effectiveness of several reform components. In light of the predominantly positive results, IZA experts are highly critical of recent plans by policymakers to roll back some of the reforms.
    Among the active labor market policy instruments analyzed by IZA were various measures to promote self-employment. In addition to the bridging allowance (Überbrückungsgeld) established in the mid-1980s, the Hartz reforms introduced a start-up allowance (Existenzgründungszuschuss, “Ich-AG”) in order to help a larger group of people find their way into self-employment. Long-term analyses conducted by IZA find that both programs are effective at integrating participants in the labor market and improving their incomes. The subsidized start-ups also create additional jobs for other (previously unemployed) individuals (IZA DP 3880). Given these positive findings, it is difficult to understand why the successful start-up programs were recently cut again.
    Another subject of investigation by IZA was the new strategy initiated by the Hartz reforms in the area of subsidized further training. The certification of service providers, the increase in competition caused by the introduction of a voucher system, and the improved selection of program participants made the programs significantly more effective and efficient (IZA DP 2069, IZA DP 3910, IZA Research Report 10).
    In addition, IZA analyzed the so-called transfer programs, include a short-time work allowance (Transfer-Kurzarbeitergeld), which aim at supporting and facilitating the job transition for employees facing layoff due to corporate restructuring. While the evidence found no evidence of positive effects, the reforms at least mitigated the negative effects that were previously found (IZA Research Report 10). However, considering the limited effectiveness and the high costs of these programs, they should be critically reviewed.
    A widely debated element of the Hartz reforms was the expansion of small-scale employment (mini/midi jobs). An IZA study found that these jobs had negative fiscal effects and tended to displace regular employment (IZA Research Report 47). On the other hand, they had a positive impact on the search behavior of unemployed individuals, who are able to complement their income during unemployment spells by working up to 15 hours per week. Lower social security contributions provide an incentive to take up this form of employment, which is particularly attractive for the long-term unemployed (IZA DP 6499). Thus, small-scale employment contributes at least indirectly to improving reintegration prospects.
    Beyond the overall positive findings with regard to active labor market policies, another IZA study showed that unemployed individuals with a perceived high probability of joining a program lowered their reservation wages and increased their search efforts (IZA DP 3825). In other words, the existence of a program alone has a “deterrent” effect in a positive sense. Further research will need to examine whether this affects the quality of subsequent employment.
    Other IZA studies on German labor market trends since the mid-2000s concentrated on the role of “standard employment contracts” and “atypical employment” (IZA Research Report 22, IZA Research Report 23, IZA Research Report 25). Flexible forms of employment account for a large share of the newly created jobs. This was particularly beneficial for the previously underdeveloped German service sector. There are now more jobs, but also more types of jobs.
    In analyzing these issues, IZA was able to draw on the expertise of its strong research network, the largest network of labor economists worldwide. IZA research fellows and affiliates contributed a number of studies on German labor market policies and, in particular, activation programs. For example, macroeconomic studies empirically confirm that the reforms have reached their main goal to shorten individual unemployment spells (IZA DP 2470). Job placement became much faster and more efficient. The “Agenda 2010” also increased the overall effectiveness of active labor market policy in Germany (IZA DP 2100).
    In sum, the Hartz reforms and the “Agenda 2010” mark the beginning of a new area in German labor market policy with a long overdue redesign of the German employment model. The outstanding performance of the German labor market during the current crisis is owed, at least in part, to the “Agenda 2010” (IZA DP 6250, IZA DP 6625).
    Now that the important parameters of active labor market policy have been adjusted, policymakers and scientific advisors must focus on how to prepare the German labor market for the dramatic consequences of demographic change. Improving education and “life-long learning” are just as essential as establishing family-friendly workplace practices and additional measures to promote female employment. Other aspects include more individual scope in shaping one’s working life and retirement, as well as enhancing Germany’s attractiveness for high-skilled immigrants. IZA will continue to accompany these necessary reforms in a critical and constructive manner.

  2. 30 Hour Work Week, www2.alternative-wirtschaftspolitik.de via Bay Area Indymedia via indybay.org
    BERLIN, Germany - Open letter to unions, parties, social- and environmental organizations and church administrators in Germany; from an Alternative Economic Policy study group
    We, the undersigned of this open letter, turn to the representatives of unions, all democratic parties, exponents of social- and environmental organizations and church administrators in Germany with the urgent appeal to give the highest economic, political, social and humanitarian priority to the fight against unemployment. Germany and the whole European Union find themselves in a grave economic and social crisis. Unemployment has reached unbearable levels in Europe. Youth unemployment exceeds 50 percent in some countries, the number of jobs has risen in the last years but they are mainly short-term jobs inadequate as a foundation of life (so-called precarious jobs). Mastering the labor market crisis requires the active participation of all democratic forces in the country. Economic power and neoliberal policy must not burden the wage-earning majority of the population, the unemployed and the socially weak with the strains of the crisis. A fair distribution of work through a collective reduction of working hours is necessary. Let us fight for this together!
    For years a socially and economically counter-productive redistribution from labor- to assets-income has occurred. Domestic demand was restricted and surplus capital was rerouted – away from the productive real economy into the financial sector. Enormous financial speculation and financial crises were the results. Crisis management may not be left to those who gained massive profits from the crises and attempt to secure the assets of the well-to-do at the expense of the large majority of the population with pseudo-alternatives and a therapy of symptoms. Nearly forty years of neoliberal capitalism, are enough.
    This wrong political-economic track has led to immeasurable social misery all over the world, not only in Germany and Europe. An economic policy that blindly promotes more growth intensifies the dangers of climate change and destruction of nature. Such a policy deepens the tension within and between societies that makes the rich richer and the poor poorer.
    Neoliberal redistribution would not have been possible without the long-lasting unemployment – neither in Germany nor in any other country. An oversupply on the labor markets leads to falling wages. Therefore the profiteers and their political supporters try to divert from the fact of existing mass unemployment with all their strength. Neoliberals in Germany act especially vehemently. Their propaganda that there is nearly full employment in Germany borders on cynicism given the reality of mass unemployment. Shortage in skilled workers that is artificially exaggerated could be quickly removed through better compensation and in the longer-term through better retraining. The claim of neoliberals that we must work longer on account of demographic change and securing pensions lacks any verifiable basis.
    On the other hand, around 6 million people in Germany are unemployed or under-employed if we include involuntarily part-time employees and the marginally employed. While many persons suffer under psychological consequences of unemploym,ent in the form of depressions, inferiority feelings etc, workers in the factories bear the consequences of overtime. Stress, burnout, psychosomatic and chronic sicknesses dramatically increase as several academic studies verify. This condition is unworthy of a modern society in the 21st century. The dominant neoliberal model under conditions of mass unemployment has robbed unions of much of their creative power and driven them to the defensive. Employees worry about losing their jobs. A conduct of employees and the unemployed bordering on subservience is invoked. Readiness for considerable concessions (lower wages, longer working ho9urs, greater work concentration, more flexibility etc) and further weakening of unions – not only in wage negotiations – rest on that. Nearly a million low-earners slave away 50 hours and more a week to gain an income from which one still cannot live. Despite work, more and more employees depend on Hartz IV as a “supplement” (Hartz IV is the drastic German welfare reform that combined unemployment benefits and income support, radically reduced the duration of benefits and was ruled in violation of the German basic law by the German Constitutional Court). Those who have nothing are sent into old age poverty. The conditions in most other states of the European Union are similar or even worse.
    Mass unemployment is the cause of ruinous competition among employees and promotes the genesis of the low-wage sector and discriminating forms of work like subcontracted work and contracts for work without union representation. Therefore a scarcity of work is urgently necessary for the 30-hour week. The average production time in Germany is currently 30 hours a week but the work is unequally distributed. The demand for the 30-hour week includes all conceivable forms of working hours (an extended vacation or an earlier opting out of working life or sabbaticals etc). This demand is proposed for all EU states. Mass unemployment is everywhere and increases dramatically in many EU states.
    Reduced working hours is an overarching social project, not a wage-policy project. The fair distribution of work takes into account both the interests of employees and the unemployed. Reduced working hours is an important step to equality and a sensible family measure regarding its effect of making possible the compatibility between family and calling.
    The distribution possibility always depends on the rate of productivity and price increases. Reduced working hours is the only logically and historically consistent response to the annual productivity increases that are above the real growth rates of the economy. Without reduced working hours, these productivity increases lead to a decreased work volumes and unemployment. Reduced working hours is only possible with full wage- and personnel adjustment. Otherwise the wage rate falls again as macro-economic calculations show (cf. Heinz-J. Bontrup/ Mohssen Massarat: Manifesto for Overcoming Mass Unemployment in: Ossietzky, May 2011 and reprinted in: Reduced Working Hours Now! 30 Working Hours! Pad-Verlag). For that reason, we urge union leaders in wage negotiations, academics, politicians and journalists to oppose the claim that reduced working hours with full wage- and personnel adjustment is impossible.
    The “Reduced Working Hours Initiative” cannot start from employees and their factories on the micro-economic plane. Initiation by a concerted DGB union campaign overarching the companies is needed. Union leaders have to fulfill a towering responsibility. The end of mass unemployment can ultimately only be introduced with broad support from politics, social- and environmental organizations, the churches and the whole civil society.
    We know about the strenuous conditions in the factories where workers resisted extended working hours after the struggle over the 35-hour week came to a standstill. We know many cases where employees had negative experiences since past reduced working hours without hiring the unemployed often had to be paid with increased work pressure. Enlightenment work in the factories is necessary in the context of personal planning.
    Only a collective reduction of working hours on a 30-hour week is the crucial key for the perspective of full employment – if not the most important. We declare our readiness to actively support and accompany a social campaign.
    First co-signers (as of 2/10/2013)
    Prof. Dr. Erwin Jan Gerd Albers, Hochschule Magdeburg
    Norbert Arndt, Stellvertretender Bezirksgeschäftsführer ver.di Bochum-Herne
    Clarissa Bader, 1. Bevollmächtigte IG Metall Gevelsberg-Hattingen
    Friedrich-Karl Beckmann, Konzern-Betriebsratsvorsitzender Philips Deutschland
    Prof. Dr. Benjamin Benz, Evangelische Fachhochschule Bochum
    Petra Bewer, Stuttgart
    Prof. Dr. Heinz-J. Bontrup, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen
    Prof. Dr. Gerd Bosbach, Hochschule Koblenz
    Achim Brandt, Betriebsratsvorsitzender Robert Bosch Elektronik, Salzgitter
    Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt, Fernuniversität Hagen
    Prof. Dr. Günter Buchholz, Hochschule Hannover
    Ingrid Buchwieser, Bad Oldesloe
    Rainer Butenschön, Vorsitzender des Fachbereichs Medien, Kunst u. Industrie im ver.di- Landesbezirk Niedersachsen/Bremen
    Prof. Dr. Christoph Butterwegge, Universität Köln
    Peter Conradi, Stuttgart, von 1972 bis 1998 MdB für die SPD
    Michele Dattaro, 1. Bevollmächtigter IG Metall Velbert
    Dr. Diether Dehm, Geschäftsführer Edition Musikant, Eiterfeld
    Jochen Ebel, Dipl.-Physiker, Borgheide
    Prof. Dr. Wolfram Elsner, Universität Bremen
    Prof. Dr. Tim Engartner, Universität Frankfurt a.M.
    Julia Eppstein, Düsseldorf
    Prof. Dr. Gottfried Erb, Hungen
    Prof. Dr. Trevor Evans, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht, Berlin
    Tanja Flanhardt, Gewerkschaftssekretärin FB Handel Schwerin
    Uwe Foullong, ver.di Düsseldorf
    Prof. Dr. Franz Fujara, TU-Darmstadt
    Richard Funke, Köln
    OLtzS Dr. Philipp Gabsch, Rostock
    Prof. Dr. Berthold Gasch, Lauenburg/Elbe
    Thomas Gesterkamp, Autor und Publizist, Köln
    Prof. Dr. Eberhard von Goldammer, Witten
    Prof. Dr. Werner Goldschmidt, Universität Hamburg
    Prof. Dr. Ernst Gotschling, Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Hanna Grabley, Bad Saarow
    Mathias Greffrath, Schriftsteller und Journalist
    Prof. Dr. Peter Grottian, Freie Universität Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Ingrid Haller, Frankfurt a.M.
    Alfred Hartung, Wolfsburg,
    Prof. Dr. Fritz Helmedag, Technische Universität Chemnitz
    Prof. Dr. Friedhelm Hengsbach, SJ, Ludwigshafen
    Prof. Dr. Peter Hennicke, Wuppertal
    Prof. Dr. Rudolf Hickel, Universität Bremen
    Mathias Hillbrandt, 1. Bevollmächtiger IG Metall Witten
    Dr. Stefan Hochstadt, Dortmund, Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter Piraten-Fraktion Landtag NRW
    Georg Hupfauer, Vorsitzender der KAB Deutschlands und Mitglied im Hauptausschuss des
    Zentralkomitees der Deutschen Katholiken (ZDK)
    Prof. Dr. Klaus Jacob, Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Johannes Jäger, Fachhochschule bfi Wien
    Prof. Dr. Kerstin Jürgens, Universität Kassel
    Anette Jung, Dipl-Ing., Herne
    Prof. Dr. Anastasios Karasavvoglou, Kavala Institute of Technology, Greece
    Prof. Dr. Siegfried Katterle, Universität Bielefeld
    Katja Kipping, MdB und Vorsitzende der Partei DIE LINKE
    Prof. Dr. Klaus Peter Kisker, Freie Universität Berlin
    Rainer Knirsch, ehrenamtl. Bildungsreferent, IG Metall
    Prof. Dr. Bernd Koenitz, Leipzig
    Otto König, ehem. 1. Bevollmächtigter IG Metall Gevelsberg-Hattingen
    Dr. Michael Kopatz, Wuppertal Institut für Klima, Umwelt, Energie GmbH
    Prof. Dr. Thomas Korenke, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen
    Martin Krämer, Gewerkschaftssekretär IG Metall, Frankfurt a.M.

    Prof. h.c. Dr. Jürgen Kranz, Berlin
    Daniel Kreutz, Köln
    Stephan Krull, ehem. Betriebsrat VW-Wolfsburg
    Prof. Dr. Berthold Kühn, Dresden
    Prof. Dr. Ekkehard Lieberam, Leipzig
    Rainer Linxweiler, Betriebsratsvorsitzender, Druck- u. Verlagszentrum Hagen
    Prof. Dr. Gerhard Löhlein, Frankfurt a.M.
    Prof. Dr. Birgit Mahnkopf, Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Recht Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Harald Mattfeldt, Universität Hamburg
    Rainer Matz, 1. Bevollmächtigter IG Metall Recklinghausen
    Jochen Marquardt, Regionsgeschäftsführer DGB Ruhr-Mark
    Roland Meya, Betriebsratsvorsitzender Ontex Recklinghausen GmbH
    Prof. Günther Moewes, Dortmund
    Prof. Dr. Mohssen Massarrat, Universität Osnabrück
    Prof. Dr. Klaus Müller, Erlbach-Kirchberg
    Prof. Dr. Oskar Negt, Universität Hannover
    Gisela Notz, Journalistin und Frauenrechtlerin
    Prof. Dr. Jürgen Nowak, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
    Prof. Dr. Erich Ott, Hochschule Fulda
    Prof. Dr. Karl Otto, Universität Bielefeld
    Dr. Joachim Paul, Fraktionsvorsitzender der PIRATEN, Landtag NRW
    Peter Rath-Sangkhakorn, Publizist und Verleger, Bergkamen
    Manfred Sautter, Saarbrücken
    Prof. Dr. Werner Ross, Zwickau
    Sabine Ruwwe, Dipl. Geologin, Wiesbaden
    Robert Sadowsky, 1. Bevollmächtiger IG Metall Gelsenkirchen
    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Saggau, Bielefeld
    Prof. Dr. Hajo Schmidt, Fernuniversität Hagen
    Jutta Schneider, ehem. Betriebsratsvorsitzende Gillette Berlin
    Peter Schnell, Offenbach
    Prof. Dr. Mechthild Schrooten, Hochschule Bremen
    Prof. Dr. Susanne Schunter-Kleemann, Hochschule Bremen
    Prof. Dietmar Seeck, Hochschule Emden-Leer
    Prof. Dr. Franz Segbers, Universität Marburg
    Prof. Dr. Sorg, Hamburg
    Joachim Spangenberg, Sprecher des BUND, AK Wirtschaft- und Finanzpolitik
    Eckart Spoo, Mitherausgeber der Zeitschrift Ossietzky
    Prof. Dr. Klaus Steinitz, Berlin
    Margareta Steinrücke, Soziologin, Arbeitszeitforscherin
    Prof. Dr. Brigitte Stolz-Willig, Fachhochschule Frankfurt a.M.
    Prof. Dr. Joachim Tesch, Leipzig
    Prof. Dr. Günter Thiele, Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin
    Karl-Heinz Thier, Hamburg
    Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Triebel, Berlin
    Dr. Axel Troost, MdB, Stellvertretender Vorsitzender der Partei DIE LINKE und Finanzpolitischer Sprecher der Bundestagsfraktion
    Prof. Dr. Fritz Vilmar, Freie Universität Berlin
    Sahra Wagenknecht, MdB, Erste Stellvertretende Vorsitzende der Fraktion DIE LINKE
    Prof. Dr. Ingo Wagner, Leipzig
    Gisela Walk, Dipl.-Psychologin, Hamburg
    Ralf Woelk, Vorsitzender DGB-Region NRW Süd-West
    Dr. Winfried Wolf, Chefredakteur Luna Park
    Dr. Hartmut Wolf, Frankfurt a.M.
    Prof. Dr. Norbert Zdrowomyslaw, Fachhochschule Stralsund
    Prof. Dr. Achim Zielesny, Westfälische Hochschule Gelsenkirchen
    Prof. Dr. Karl Georg Zinn, RWTH Aachen
    V.i.S.d.P.
    Prof. Dr. Heinz-J. Bontrup (Tel. 0160/94479984)
    Prof. Dr. Mohssen Massarrat (Tel. 0176/96746309)
    Contact address: 30-Stunden-Woche [at] gmx.de
    http://www.freembtranslations.net


3/17-18/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Furlough Questions and Answers 2013, 3/17 Dept. of Defense via cpms.osd.mil
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - Department of Defense DCPAS
    Defense Civilian Personnel Advisory Service
    Nonappropriated Fund (NAF) Furlough Questions and Answers 2013
    Updated: 11 Mar 2013
    Questions and Answers on NAF Furloughs
    FURLOUGH - GENERAL ADMINISTRATION
    1. What is a furlough and when are furloughs of NAF employees necessary?
    A furlough is the placing of a NAF regular employee in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status.
    A furlough of NAF employees may be necessary to absorb reductions in resources necessitated by downsizing, lack of work, or other budget situations. In non-emergency situations, a furlough is typically a planned event in that the Component has sufficient time to reduce spending and give adequate notice to employees of its specific furlough plan and how many furlough days will be required. A furlough may also occur in emergency situations requiring the curtailment, suspension or shutdown of operations.
    2. Are NAF employees affected by furloughs caused by sequestration?
    NAF employees are not covered by the requirements and procedures applicable to furloughs of appropriated fund employees under FY13 sequestration. However, if the reduction in appropriated fund resources leads to a curtailment in MWR or exchange business operations, NAF employees may be furloughed for business-based reasons. Furloughs of NAF employees are processed under DoD NAF human resources policies and Component procedures.
    WORK STATUS AND NOTIFICATION
    3. Which NAF employees may be affected by a furlough?
    Each Component has discretion to identify which regular employees will be furloughed and when to schedule furloughs based on its particular needs and mission in accordance with NAF Business Based Action (BBA) procedures, if a furlough is 8 calendar days or more.
    4. If a NAF employee is furloughed , how will he or she be notified?
    Each Component will determine the method and timing of notifying NAF employees of whether they are affected by a furlough, subject to applicable DoD and Component policy and collective bargaining agreements. Different notification requirements may apply depending on the length of the furlough. The length of a furlough may be on a continuous or discontinuous basis.
    5. Is a furloughed NAF employee separated from employment?
    No. NAF employees who are furloughed are not separated from NAF employment. They are placed in a temporary non-duty, non-pay status.
    6. May a NAF employee volunteer to do his or her job in a non-pay basis while furloughed?
    No. A NAF employee may not volunteer to do his or her job while furloughed. 7. Who should NAF employees contact for more information about whether they may be furloughed?
    NAF employees should contact their supervisor or their human resources office for information about whether they may be furloughed. Bargaining unit employees may also contact their union representatives.
    PAY
    8. Are furloughed NAF employees entitled to severance pay?
    Only NAF employees who are furloughed for more than 60 consecutive days and resign in lieu of accepting the furlough are entitled to severance pay.
    9. Are NAF employees who are furloughed eligible to apply for unemployment compensation?
    Maybe. Employees who are placed in a non-pay status may be eligible to receive unemployment compensation. Affected employees should be provided with a SF-8 Notice to Federal Employee about Unemployment Insurance and advised to contact the State Public Employment Service Office. For further information, see the Department of Labor website “Unemployment Compensation for Federal Employees” at http://workforcesecurity.doleta.gov/unemploy/unemcomp.asp
    LEAVE AND OTHER TIME OFF
    10. May an employee take paid leave or other forms of paid time off; e.g., annual, sick, court, or military leave, any compensatory time off earned, or time off awards, instead of taking furlough time off?
    No. During a furlough a NAF employee may not substitute paid leave or other forms of paid time off for any hours or days designated as furlough time off.
    11. What happens if a furloughed employee is scheduled to be on annual or sick leave or in some other pay status during a period designated as furlough time off?
    All scheduled leave is canceled during the scheduled furlough time off. An employee who is furloughed may not be placed on annual leave, sick leave or in some other pay status.
    12. Does a NAF employee continue to accrue annual and sick leave while out on furlough?
    No. NAF employees do not accrue annual or sick leave while in a non-pay status.
    13. What happens to employees on leave-without-pay (LWOP) under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?
    Furloughed employees on LWOP under FMLA continue to be charged LWOP for the period of family medical leave. However, if the employee was scheduled to take paid leave under the FMLA instead of LWOP, the paid leave is cancelled and the employee is placed on furlough. If the paid leave is cancelled, the period of absence may not be used to reduce the 12-week entitlement to FMLA leave.
    HEALTH BENEFITS
    14. May a NAF employee who is furloughed continue to participate in the NAF Health Benefits Program (HBP)?
    Yes. Benefits for medical and dental coverage may be continued up to twelve months, provided the employee pays the required employee share of the premium. NAF employees should contact the servicing NAF Human Resources Office for information and instructions on premium payment procedures.
    GROUP LIFE INSURANCE
    15. May a NAF employee who is furloughed continue participation in their NAF employer’s NAF Group Life Insurance plan?
    Yes. Furloughed employees may elect to continue paying life insurance premiums. Group life insurance coverage varies among the Components depending on the provisions of the particular NAF employer’s plan. NAF employees should contact the servicing NAF Human Resources Office for information on Group life insurance.
    RETIREMENT
    16. What happens to an employee’s NAF retirement and 401(k) plan during a furlough?
    Retirement coverage and provisions vary depending on the NAF employer. Since the Components each offer their own NAF retirement programs, employees in a non-pay status should check with their servicing NAF Human Resources Office (or ComponentNAF contact number below) regarding creditable service and deposit contributions.
    Department of Army: 877-384-2340
    Department of Air Force: 800-828-3065 or 800-435-9941
    Department of Navy (CNIC): 877-414-5358 or 866-827-5672
    Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM): 866-639-2363
    United States Marine Corps: 877-211-1518
    Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): 800-508-8466
    17. What happens to a NAF employee’s 401(k) loan if he or she is furloughed?
    The employee is responsible for making loan payments while in a non-pay status in order for the loan not to default. Loan program provisions must meet IRS requirements and vary by sponsoring Component. Questions about individual NAF 401(k) benefits should be addressed to the appropriate NAF Human Resources Office or respective NAF 401(k) plan administrator.
    18. What happens to a NAF employee’s CSRS/FERS retirement plan (elected following a move from civil service to NAF ) while the employee is on furlough?
    An employee who made a decision to remain enrolled in CSRS or FERS and TSP is subject to the applicable plan’s rules regarding deductions during periods in a non-pay status. Employees should contact their local NAF Human Resource’s Office for information. Employees may also refer to the OPM website for specific information about the effect of LWOP on CSRS and FERS retirement benefits: http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight /pay-leave/leave-administration/fact- sheets/effect-of-extended-leave-without-pay-lwop-or-other-nonpay-status-on-federal- benefits-and-programs/
    FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA)
    19. What happens to a NAF employee’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA) during a furlough?
    Flexible Spending Account provisions vary among the Components depending on the provisions of the particular NAF plan. NAF employees should contact the servicing NAF Human Resources Office for information.
    WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
    20. What happens to NAF employees who are receiving benefits under Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) during a furlough?
    Employees who are receiving benefits under workers’ compensation must be notified in writing if their position is identified as being furloughed. Workers’ compensation benefits continue for eligible employees; however, there is no leave supplement available during a furlough. NAF employees may contact their Component’s workers’ compensation office for assistance.
    Department of Army: 210-466-1381 or 877-384-2340
    Department of Air Force: 800-828-3065 or 800-435-9941
    Department of Navy (CNIC): 877-414-5358 or 866-827-5672
    Navy Exchange Service Command (NEXCOM): 757-440-4579 or 866-878-1776
    United States Marine Corps: 877-211-1518
    Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES): 800-508-8466
    LONG TERM CARE (LTC) INSURANCE
    21. What happens to a NAF employee’s Long Term Care (LTC) insurance coverage during a furlough?
    Furloughed employees may elect to continue paying long term care insurance premiums. LTC insurance coverage varies among the Components depending on the provisions of the particular NAF plan. NAF employees should contact the servicing NAF Human Resources Office for information.

  2. Hours cut takes bite out of bus drivers' pay, letter to editor by Anne Sadlier, 3/18 FloridaToday.com
    BREVARD, Fla., USA - I have been a bus driver in Brevard for three years. When I was hired, I was told it would take about five years to reach the top salary of $14.98 an hour through step increases.
    Until now, I’ve been happy driving “my kids” to and from school —hearing their joys, their sorrows, or just being “Miss Annie” to them.
    After three years, it became clear there would be no step increases to my pay. Last year, we were told our health-care deductions would increase and our co-pay would be 20 percent more. Many drivers had to give up health-care coverage because they couldn’t afford the extra expense. We also saw an extra 3 percent taken from our paychecks to cover our new Florida retirement deduction.
    Now we are told that instead of our guaranteed 35 hours a week, we’ll be guaranteed only 30 hours a week. That comes to over $200 a month. To a driver taking home a little over $1,000 a month, that is huge!
    When did we become the forgotten people?

    [When you stopped pushing for shorter hours but kept on pushing for higher pay.]
    Are we not an essential part of the school system? We are professional drivers with Commercial CDL licenses. Every day, we get thousands of children to and from school in a safe manner.
    How is it possible for us to supplement our pay with other employment during the time we’re held “hostage” — our off hours between driving kids in the morning and again in the afternoon? Some of us are on food stamps already.
    We love “our” kids, but we need our hours, too.


3/16/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. The Worm returns, furlough Congress.., opinion by ??, BuffaloNews.com
    BUFFALO, N.Y., USA - This one is irresistible.
    Dennis (the Worm) Rodman goes to North Korea, makes friends with short, not-so-benevolent despot Kim Jong Un, who has threatened the United States with “miserable destruction,” and then packs his gym bag and heads to St. Peter’s Square.
    Once there, he starts campaigning for Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana to be elected the first black pope. Otherwise, he said, he’d be content to meet whomever landed the job; as it turned out, that would be Pope Francis, former Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Buenos Aires. Rodman’s people are still waiting for the new pope’s people to call them back.
    Apparently snubbed by the spiritual leader of more than a billion Catholics, Rodman’s diplomatic pendulum is swinging back to the North Korean tyrant, whose nation is best known for its atom bomb, famine and concentration camps. Rodman tells the media that he’s planning a return trip to North Korea in August to “vacation” with Kim, whom he has called a “friend for life,” a “good guy” and a “great leader.”
    You can’t make this stuff up. …
    Now there’s an idea: Kevin Gaughan, Western New York’s regent of regionalism, has proposed a way to ensure that the effects of the “sequester” are fairly shared throughout government. The spending cuts, which are to amount to $1.6 trillion over 10 years, should include a contribution from members of Congress, requiring them to take a 14-day furlough. “Basic fairness suggests that politicians should make equal sacrifice to that being made by people affected by Congress’ inability to do its job,” he wrote in an email from his bully pulpit at www.LetPeopleDecide.org.
    We think that’s a fine idea. In fact, members of Congress should willingly offer to accept the same 20 percent pay cuts that are about to affect 280 civilian employees at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station, and to keep volunteering for them until Congress comes to its senses and strikes a balanced deal that attacks the federal budget deficit. We assume that Reps. Brian Higgins and Chris Collins will get right on this. …

  2. Crane Employees Protest Furloughs, Budget Cuts, by Dan Goldblatt, IndianaPublicMedia.org
    ODON, Ind., USA - Dozens of government union workers protested sequestration cuts outside NSA Crane Friday [NSA= Naval Support Activity].
    Holding banners and chanting, Crane employees used their lunch break to protest a 20-percent pay cut many are facing. The move will involve an unpaid furlough one day a week.
    Union local secretary-treasurer Mary Crow says Congress’ inability to produce a budget should not cause her paychecks to get smaller.
    “We think furloughs, sequestration, pay/hire freezes are ridiculous,” she says.

    [But not as ridiculous as paycuts without the hourscuts would be, and not nearly as ridiculous as jobcuts would be.]
    “The people here are hard workers, during all the wars we work late, we go on ships, we have some people deployed in Afghanistan.
    [Here's another example of the prevailing idea that working hard is the same as working long hours, and no mention of working smart.]
    We’re here to support the war-fighter.”
    The workers say they are angry at lawmakers both sides of the aisle. Crane computer programmer Michael Padgett says the furloughs could affect the way the base responds to a national security incident.
    “Our main job is to support our war-fighters,” he says. “Without our support, and they need it desperately, we’re going to be shorted up a little bit,” he says.
    In a statement, Congressman Todd Young says his office has talked with a number of Crane employees and understands how they’re being affected by the furloughs.
    Young blames the president, saying he has failed to put forth a specific plan and sequestration leads to across the board cuts rather than targeted reductions.
    Dan Goldblatt is the Multi-media Producer for WFIU/WTIU News. A graduate of Indiana University, he studied journalism and anthropology. He currently lives in Bloomington with his cat, June Carter.


3/15/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Short-time work - Everything you need to know about short-time work in Switzerland, ch.ch/en
    BERN, Switzerland - Short-time work is given in the case of a temporary reduction or cessation of work in a business. This page tells you what you need to know as an employee.
    To protect jobs, companies can temporarily reduce or eliminate employees‘ working hours. Work loss exceeding 10% is called short-time work.
    [or worksharing in the U.S. and Kurzarbeit in Germany.]
    Registering short-time work
    Employers must notify the canton in writing of their intention to apply short-time work. Employees do not need to take any specific steps. The canton checks to make sure the short-time work is lawful and determines whether it is really conducive to protecting jobs.
    Consent of the employees
    The employer must obtain written consent from the employees for short-time work. They have the right to reject compensation for short-time work, in which case the employer must continue to pay full wages.
    Compensation for short-time work
    If there is a lack of work, employees receive compensation for short-time work. This amounts to 80% of lost earnings. However, you can only receive unemployment compensation provided you have used up any overtime accrued in the past six months (whether it was paid for or not).
    Short-time work does not apply to apprentices and temporary staff. They receive full wages, and as their employment contract has a fixed term, their employment may not be terminated prematurely.
    Calculating the Payment for Short-Time Work
    Example:
    Engineer, 1 child eligible for benefits
    Insured income: CHF 7,810 [CHF = CHelvetian Francs = Helvetian Francs = Swiss Francs; we're guessing that CH- is an "ach-laut" (k-like sound) with which the German-speaking Swiss pronounce the H at the beginning of the Latin word for Switzerland - it could be the "ich-laut" (sh-like sound) but that usually requires a preceding high-front vowel = /i/ or /e/.]
    (Broadly speaking, insured wages are the wages from which AHV contributions were deducted. The 13th months’ pay is included, while work-related expenses are not.)
    Situation A. Short-term work 50%. Wage calculation: 50% of the wage of 7,810 from the employer = Wage of 3,905
    And Wage calculation: 80% of 50% [of the wage from the canton's unemployment insurance fund] (compensation for short-time work) = Wage of 3,124
    Total 7,029. Explanation: plus child and education allowances, as without short-time work.
    In comparison with unemployment
    Situation B. Unemployment. Wage calculation: 80% of 7,810 [from the canton's unemployment insurance fund]
    Total 6,248. Explanation: plus child and education allowances per day according to cantonal rules, provided no one else is entitled to these allowances.
    Short-time work has no impact on the period of entitlement to unemployment benefits. Following a period of short-time work, unemployment benefits will be based on normal wages.
    AHV, IV, EO and ALV contributions
    Short-time work has no impact on social insurance contributions. Employers and employees must continue to pay full contributions.
    Temporary employment
    Employees who lose full or half days of work are required to accept any temporary work assigned by the regional employment centres.
    If you have any questions regarding calculations and benefits, contact the unemployment office responsible for short-time work in your company (your employer will provide you with this information).
    Termination of employment possible
    Both employers and employees may terminate the employment contract during a short-time work period, subject to the applicable notice periods. Employers must pay employees full wages for the duration of the notice period, regardless whether full employment is available or not. ...

  2. Furlough notices expected for Fort Knox, Fort Campbell employees, The Courier-Journal via courier-journal.com
    NASHVILLE, Tenn., USA — Over the next couple of weeks, notifications of planned furloughs are expected to be sent to federal employees who work on Kentucky military installations as unions negotiate the impact of automatic spending cuts.
    Thousands of federal employees who work at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell could face up to 22 unpaid days off work from April to September as part of the cuts triggered March 1. Union officials say they expect that the sending of required 30-day notifications to employees will begin in mid- to late March.
    Fort Knox, home to the Army’s Human Resources and Recruiting commands, has about 10,000 civilians and contractors, and installation spokesman Kyle Hodges said about 5,200 of those civilian workers face furloughs.

    The military will evaluate some positions that could be exempt based on health and safety concerns. But “there are not going to be a lot of exempted employees,” said Vicki Loyall, president of Local 2302 of the American Federation of Government Employees based at Fort Knox, which covers nearly 3,000 civilian employees.
    She said the union will press for employees to have flexibility in scheduling the furlough days. She said that not only do employees lose money out of their paychecks, but changes to work schedules, such as when shifts start or end, could affect families and home lives.
    “I would like to minimize the domino impact on employees that comes with changing work schedules,” she said.
    Loyall said she’s getting many calls from employees who are worried about making car or house payments when the furloughs start and even questioning whether to cancel their health insurance.
    At Fort Campbell, on the Kentucky-Tennessee line, military leaders have said nearly all of the 8,000 civilian employees could face furloughs, even as thousands of active-duty troops from the 101st Airborne Division are deployed to Afghanistan.
    The salaries of service members are exempt from the automatic budget cuts, but Maj. Gen. James McConville, commander of the 101st Airborne, said last week in a speech before leaving for Afghanistan that the cuts would hurt the community and staff that supported the division through 12 years of war and multiple deployments.
    Support staff at the installation would be reduced to a 32-hour workweek and have a 20 percent cut in their pay as a result of the furloughs, according to a copy of his speech. Children attending military schools on the post would go to classes only four days a week because of teacher furloughs.
    Robert Jenkins, a spokesman for the installation, said no date had been set for employee notification of the planned furloughs, but it was expected to start within a couple of weeks.
    Cmdr. Leslie Hull-Ryde, a Defense Department spokeswoman, said the school systems on military installations are working to manage the spending cuts while maintaining accreditation standards. Summer-school programs have not been canceled, and spring sports programs would continue.
    Michael Priser, president of the Federal Education Association, a union that covers about 6,000 teachers and staff that work for Department of Defense school systems worldwide, said that even during a previous federal government shutdown in the 1990s, military schools remained open.
    Schools at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell both end the year in May, a month earlier than some other military schools in the United States. Priser said those school systems will have a harder time trying to schedule furloughs before the school year ends and still be prepared for end-of-year exams.


3/14/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Furloughs set for 280 at Falls base, by Jerry Zremski jzremski@buffnews.com, BuffaloNews.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – Some 280 civilian employees at the Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station will be furloughed every Monday starting in late April, and the 914th Airlift Wing will be grounded on that day as “sequestration,” the painful set of automatic budget cuts engineered by President Obama and Congress, takes effect.
    Base officials announced the furloughs Wednesday, and these furloughs could be just the start. The furlough announcement covers employees of the Air Force Reserve unit at the base, but the Air National Guard unit, the 107th Airlift Wing, has not yet announced its budget-cutting plan.
    “Should these furloughs take effect in late April, the plan is for the 914th Airlift Wing to be closed for business on Mondays through the fiscal year,” said Col. Allan Swartzmiller, the unit’s commander. “However, base security and emergency services will still be maintained.”
    The furloughs mean that the full-time employees at the 914th will lose 20 percent of their take-home pay through Sept. 30, when the 2013 federal fiscal year ends.
    “We are doing everything in our power to avoid or minimize the effects of this administrative furlough on our employees as it breaks faith with those who have proven themselves both effective and efficient to our mission and have made our Air Force better,” Swartzmiller said.
    Base officials announced the furloughs at a town hall meeting in Niagara Falls on Wednesday attended by more than 300 people.
    Still, some of the details of the cutbacks remain to be worked out.
    Pentagon officials have not given base officials an exact date for the start of the furloughs. While the current target date is late April, “that could slip,” said Sgt. Kevin Nichols, a spokesman for the 914th.
    The Department of Defense has said it will have to furlough most of its civilian employees for 22 nonconsecutive days to comply with sequestration.
    At the 914th, “the decision was to keep everyone on the same page” and simply shut down the unit’s civilian operations on Mondays, Nichols said.
    Things could change, Nichols added, if the 914th is deployed overseas – as it has been repeatedly over its history.
    The civilian furloughs are the second big blow to strike the Niagara Falls base.
    A $28.1 million simulator project has been put on hold because of sequestration. Base officials say the simulator – which will be used to train Air Force Reserve cargo plane pilots from throughout the Northeast – is key to the base’s future.
    Such cutbacks are occurring throughout the military because sequestration will reduce defense spending by 13 percent for the rest of the year, compared with 9 percent for most other federal programs.
    Obama and Congress agreed to those across-the-board cuts, hoping that they would be so draconian that they would force compromise on a more planned and orderly deficit reduction plan.
    But the president and lawmakers never even came close to a deal to replace the sequestration cuts, which started to take effect March 1.

  2. Workweek now longest in 15 years - Number of the day: 1944, SFgate.com
    [This somewhat cryptic headline would be clearer like this -]
    Workweek now longest in 15 years - Exceeded only 69 years ago in 1944, SFgate.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA – That's the last year that U.S. factory workers put in longer hours than they do now.
    [But there were a lot more U.S. factory workers then before decades of technology & offshore outsourcing.]
    The workweek averaged 41.9 hours in February, according to the Labor Department.
    That tied December 1997 and January 1998 as the most since May 1944, when wartime production pulled women into factories. (Think Rosie the Riveter.)
    Longer workweeks [due to increased consumer demand can] mean more overtime [if the lengthening starts close enough to the 40-hour threshold and goes beyond it], which [can] encourage..more hiring, says Michael Montgomery, an economist at IHS Global Insight.
    [but may not encourage more hiring, because under our current overtime design, employees have an incentive (more money) to work overtime and employers have a disincentive to do more hiring (more employee benefit packages to pay for). However, shorter workweeks in terms of stricter enforcement or the existing 40-hour ceiling, and additionally a shorter definition of full time would definitely mean more overtime, so we don't have to wait for unpredictable consumer demand, and automatic conversion of overtime into training&jobs would definitely mean more hiring, so we don't have to wait for unpredictable management response.]


3/13/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Clerk office hours cut, by Lisa Tindell, The Atmore Advance via atmoreadvance.com
    PENSACOLA, Fla., USA - With financial shortfalls blamed for part of a statewide problem, Chief Justice Roy Moore issued a mandate last week that will see circuit clerk offices around the state closing every Wednesday — a move Escambia County Circuit Clerk John Robert Fountain said was inevitable.
    “Because of budget cuts we knew this was coming at some point,” Fountain said. “We took a couple of days to analyze the mandate and get things in order. We will be closing our office to the public beginning Wednesday, March 20.”
    Fountain said the closure is more about catching up with backlogs of work than it is about cutting costs.
    “We will still be here working on those Wednesdays we are closed to the public,” Fountain said. “It will be a ‘catch up’ day for us. By having more time to devote to paperwork, we will be able to take care of a backlog of work.”
    Fountain said the employees in the circuit clerk’s office will continue to work thanks in part to funding from local sources.
    “This is a state office and we get the majority of our funding from the state,” Fountain said. “We aren’t doing this — it’s coming from higher ups. Our employees will still be working thanks to additional funding we get from the Escambia County Commission, the judges and the district attorney’s office. They are all helping out to keep our employees on board and working for the county citizens.”
    Currently, five clerks assist Fountain in a full-time position with six other part-time employees on board as well.
    “We are very fortunate to have kept our employees working,” Fountain said. “The additional funding from our local source have helped us pick up some pieces and keep working. Other counties are operating on fumes with funding for only three or flour clerks working for the whole office. Those offices are seeing a larger backlog of paperwork than we are seeing here in Escambia County.”
    Fountain said based on traffic in the office, Wednesday may be the best day of the week to be closed.
    “Based on how things have been for us, this is the best day for us to be closed to the public,” Fountain said. “It would be the least inconvenient day for the public considering the traffic we usually see at mid-week.”
    Although the cut to four days a week service to the public is a blow for the office, Fountain said more cuts are possible putting a dark cloud over the future of the office and the courts.
    “There is more talk about more cuts in the months ahead,” Fountain said. “There has been discussion that the judicial budget for the state will see another 20 percent cut. It may seem a little rough right now, but it’s going to get worse.”
    In last week’s order, Moore blamed the closing on significant shortfalls in state funding for circuit and district clerks office across the state.
    Funding for courts was cut by $25 million for fiscal year 2013 with an expect offset of about $13 million short for the current year forward.
    Moore also said the expected appropriation for the state court system would be $16.5 million short in operating funds for fiscal year 2014.

  2. S Korea - work hours, (3/12 late pickup) Yonhap News Agency via globalpost.com
    SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea's average weekly working hours fell to an all-time low in 2012 as local firms reduced production amid an economic slump and new labor rules, data showed Wednesday.
    South Korean employees of companies with five or more employees put in an average 41.4 hours at work each week last year, compared to 41.9 hours tallied a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
    Local workers' monthly working hours also fell to an all-time low level of 179.9 hours last year, hovering below the 180-hour mark for the first time since 1999, when the agency began to compile such data.
    Market watchers said the drop came as more companies reduced working hours in line with the government's policy implemented in 2004 to limit the weekly working time to 40 hours from the previous 44 hours.
    [S.Korea made this limitation over a seven-year period from 2004 to 2011 by size of company, over 1000 employees first, and then fewer and fewer. This seems to be a way to discourage the work compression that many employers practice if the workweek goes down an hour a year for everyone, as France planned in 1982 but only got down one hour before a change of government, hence its weird 39-hour workweek for nearly two decades. But then France dropped four hours by company size (over two years with the deadline repeatedly extended) with only two sizes, first large and second small, with the dividing line at only 20 employees and the government going second with the small companies(!) - and it STILL WORKED to cut unemployment by 1% per hourcut: from 12.6% when it was voted-in in 1997 to 8.6% in spring 2001 when it finished, before the US-led recession hit France in the summer and lifted unemployment back to 10-point-something, an irrelevant figure the deniers use to "disprove" workspreading.]
    The rising fiscal crisis over the eurozone also added to the decline as more firms struggled to cut costs by reducing night-shift production and working hours on holidays.
    The country's average monthly wage came to 3.18 million won (US$2,897.78) last year, up 5.3 percent from a year earlier.
    Meanwhile, South Korea's average weekly working hours came in second place among the member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2010, according to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance.

    [Another version -]
    Korea's Work Week Falls to Lowest Level Since 1999, by Yoo Li-an Lian.yoo@arirang.co.kr, Arirang News via arirang.co.kr
    SEOUL, South Korea - Koreans work some of the longest hours in the OECD, with the country only coming after Turkey -- where the work week is nearly 49 hours -- with Mexico following next.
    [It is truly bizarre how many economies try to claim the top work-hard(-not-smart) title in the age of robotics, even though they have no Christian history that might chain them to the Protestant/Puritan work ethic. Note that Turkey and Mexico are not particularly enviable economies. And their stats must exclude China, where life is cheap (over 20% unemployment = over 200 million jobless!) last we heard 10 years ago) and hours are mega - for peanuts.]
    But that could be changing.
    A recent report showed that Koreans clocked the least number of work hours in a week since 1999.
    The average work week came to about forty one hours last year, according to Statistics Korea on Wednesday.
    The figure has fallen steadily since the financial crisis of 2007, when it was a little over forty three hours.
    Experts say the biggest reason for the decline is that more companies are standardizing working hours for their employees.
    Experts also add that the global economic downturn has put a strain on companies and a fear of rising labor costs caused them to cut the work week down.
    [Bizarre - usually rising labor costs cause employers to put the workweek up and fire the extras.]
    The overall decrease in working hours may seem like good news for overworked Korean employees, but experts say it's just not that simple.
    Unlike in other countries, there is psychological resistance to a decrease in work hours in Korea because employees are often evaluated based on hours spent at the office rather than performance.
    [Join the club - it's called "face time."]
    Experts add that smaller paychecks could also add to the burden workers feel, especially in a struggling economy.
    [= non-sequitur]

  3. FSD launches trial scheme on reducing working hours of Fire Stream members, HKSAR Government via 7thspace.com
    HONG KONG, China - The Fire Services Department (FSD) will launch a phased trial scheme from March 15 (Friday) on the department's new proposal to reduce the conditioned working hours of Fire Stream members to 51 hours per week (the "New 51 Proposal").
    A spokesman for the FSD said today (March 13) that the new proposal was formulated taking into account operational experience in recent years with regard to the enhanced functionalities of the fire appliances/equipment currently available, as well as the adoption of various efficiency measures. One of the key principles of the scheme is to maintain the level of service provided to the public and the level of safety of front-line staff. The FSD will complement the manpower streamlining measures with appropriate resource deployment to ensure that sufficient manpower is available to meet the requirements at the scene for fire fighting and rescue operations.
    By implementing these measures, operational fire personnel of divisions participating in the trial scheme will be able to enjoy more rota leave.
    Their conditioned working hours will also be reduced from 54 hours to 51 hours per week.
    The spokesman said the trial scheme will be launched in three phases. Phase 1, to be launched from March 15, will involve Fire Stream staff in the Hong Kong Command including all land divisions on Hong Kong Island, the Marine and Offshore Islands Division and the Diving Unit. Phase 2 is expected to start from June 25 and more divisions will be included as appropriate.
    The duration of Phases 1 and 2 will be subject to extension if the situation so requires. Subject to the satisfactory completion of phases 1 and 2, phase 3 is expected to commence from October 5 and the trial will be extended to cover all operational Fire Stream members in Hong Kong, Kowloon and New Territories commands. In general, this phase may last for up to three years, but the FSD will seek to shorten the duration, depending on the progress of the trial scheme.
    The spokesman reiterated that in formulating the trial scheme of the "New 51 Proposal", the management had carefully considered various factors including operational efficiency, the safety of front-line staff and the target response time, and is confident that the reduction in conditioned working hours can be achieved having regard to the three principles (cost-neutrality, no additional manpower, and maintaining the same level of service to the public).
    During the trial, the FSD management will closely monitor the implementation of the measures and staff feedback and will ensure that the level of service provided to the public will be maintained.
    The spokesman said that upon successful completion of the trial scheme and subject to the final endorsement for the FSD to reduce the conditioned working hours of operational staff in the Fire Stream to 51 hours per week, the FSD would study the feasibility of further reducing their weekly conditioned working hours to 48 hours.


3/12/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Work-sharing bill offers alternative to layoffs - Companies could cut hours instead of jobs, by Alex Goldsmith, KRQE via krqe.com
    A proposal to create a "work-sharing" program to reduce the affects of job layoffs in New Mexico was approved 37-32 in the House Tuesday.
    SANTA FE, N.M., USA - Instead of cutting jobs, a House bill aims to give companies the option of cutting hours instead.
    A proposal by Rep. Georgene Louis, D-Albuquerque, that passed the House Tuesday aims to create a "work-sharing" program in New Mexico.
    Under the bill, companies would have the option of agreeing with the state to trim the hours for several employees instead of layoffs.
    Affected employees would get partial unemployment benefits to make up some of the difference. and the business would still have to keep paying existing benefits.
    That would allow companies to keep trained staff while cutting down on costs and would spread the pain of a layoff across several employees. Work-sharing, also known as short-time compensation, would be optional.
    "We can keep jobs, keep people working and allow them to support their family," Louis said.
    As of the middle of last year, 23 states including the District of Columbia have work-sharing systems in effect.
    House Republicans expressed concerns about the bill. Minority Whip Rep. Nate Gentry, R-Albuquerque, said he was concerned that it would cause the state's unemployment insurance fund to be depleted.
    In the fiscal-impact report prepared for the bill, the Workforce Solutions Department points out that there would add significant administrative burdens on employers.
    Federal grant funding would be available to help New Mexico pay to set up and promote the system. A 2012 employment law would allow the federal government to pay part of the short-time compensation benefits.

  2. National Archives cuts hours for exhibits, research at 2 DC-area facilities due to budget cuts, AP via Minneapolis Star Tribune via StarTribune.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The National Archives is reducing its public operating hours due to automatic federal budget cuts taking effect.
    In the past, the National Archives offered extended hours between March 15 and Labor Day to accommodate crowds viewing the U.S. Constitution during Washington's tourism season. Exhibits were kept open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., seven days a week.
    Now officials say those extended hours will be eliminated. Exhibits will be open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. year round.

    Archives research rooms in Washington and in College Park, Md., also will have reduced hours beginning Friday. They used to offer evening hours three nights a week, staying open until 9 p.m. Now they will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

  3. Jordan's domestic workers have working hours reduced, Al-Bawaba via albawaba.com via SyndiGate.info
    AMMAN, Jordan - The Labour Ministry [in Jordan] on Monday said it has amended the regulations governing the working hours of domestic helpers in households, reducing their workday from 10 to eight hours.
    In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, the ministry said the decision corresponds to its efforts to secure more rights for guest workers to be in compliance with the Labour Law and international criteria governing the labour sector.

    Labour Minister Nidal Katamine stressed the importance of abiding by the Labour Law, especially articles that require employers to provide the ministry with complete details of their employees and their job descriptions, as well as the need for keeping an updated record of their personal and work details.
    “The ministry will not hesitate to take the appropriate legal action against those who do not abide by the regulations and will enforce the law, which stipulates fining violators between JD50-500,” the statement quoted Katamine as saying.
    He added that this practice makes the ministry’s work easier with regards to its efforts aimed at addressing unemployment and labourers’ rights.
    The ministry also noted that more than 7,206 domestic helpers had benefited from a two-month grace period that offered them the opportunity to rectify their work status.
    Earlier this month, the ministry addressed the diplomatic missions of countries whose nationals work in the Kingdom, urging them to encourage their citizens to abide by the laws and regulations governing work in Jordan.
    At the time, Labour Ministry Secretary General Hamdah Abu Nejmeh pointed out that the ministry decided to implement an inspection campaign after most of the domestic helpers failed to take advantage of a 60-day grace period, which ended on February 6, to regulate their status in accordance with the law.
    “The campaign will continue as long as there are workers breaching the regulations,” the official said, adding that most of the domestic helpers who have been caught by the inspectors were from the Philippines, followed by Sri Lankans and Indonesians.
    Abu Nejmeh explained that violators will be repatriated to their countries and banned from entering the Kingdom for three years, adding that their employers will be prevented from recruiting guest workers in the future and be subject to legal action in accordance with the law.
    Meanwhile, the ministry noted that a total of 58,458 guest workers renewed their work permits or rectified their status in accordance with labour regulations during the grace period, which ended on March 7.
    According to the ministry, nearly 70 per cent of the foreign labourers who benefited from the government decision were Egyptians, while 38.6 per cent of the domestic helpers who renewed their work permits or rectified their work status were Filipinas.


3/10-11/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Work sharing looks like a good bet for Wisconsin businesses; will politics intrude? 3/10 (3/05 late pickup) InBusiness via ibmadison.com
    MADISON, Wisc., USA - In these politically contentious times, finding a legislative initiative for which there’s true bipartisan support might seem a little like discovering a beautiful oasis after spending weeks lost in the desert, dodging snakes on the left and scorpions on the right. (Or vice versa, if you prefer.)
    Then again, this shimmering blue pool of kumbaya could well be a mirage. It all depends on how you look at it.
    First things first. There appears to be broad support in the Legislature for a state work-share program that would be a win-win-win for businesses, workers, and communities.
    Twenty-five other states currently offer work-share programs, and supporters point out that in Rhode Island alone, work sharing prevented more than 16,000 layoffs between 2007 and 2011. Such programs have also been successful internationally. According to one analysis, a German work-share program saved approximately 235,000 jobs in 2009, when the global economy was reeling and pink slips were flying like confetti at a post-Super Bowl celebration.
    In addition, the federal Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 allows states to temporarily seek reimbursement for the costs of the program, making the passage of a work-share bill something of a no-brainer for Wisconsin pols.
    The program works like this: Rather than lay off employees en masse during economic downturns, businesses would be allowed to reduce employees’ hours. So instead of letting go a fifth of its workforce, for example, a company could reduce its employees’ hours by 20%. Employees would then be allowed to claim unemployment benefits for the lost hours. The number of months businesses could take advantage of the program would be limited (e.g., six months over a five-year period), the program would be voluntary for businesses, and workers would not be required to do job searches while they receive partial unemployment benefits.
    Work-share advocates note that this benefits businesses, which can retain their skilled workers and are not forced to hire and train new employees after every recession and recovery. It would also benefit workers and the communities they live in.
    “One of the benefits of the work-share program for businesses is that they’re able to keep their skilled workers attached to the company and they can avoid [incurring] additional cost later on – when the economy and orders pick up, they’re able to ramp up much more quickly,” said state Sen. Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point), who introduced a work-share bill (SB 28) to the Legislature in mid-January. “They don’t have to go through retraining and rehiring. And for the employees, the benefit is they continue to have access to any type of health insurance benefits or retirement benefits or any other benefits that the company offers. They also maintain most of their earnings. …
    “For the community, it really helps because people are losing the majority of their paychecks and their buying power [when they’re laid off], so they can continue to buy groceries and pay their bills, and so it’s a real benefit for everyone.”
    Real consensus
    According to Lassa, there’s broad support from across the political spectrum for work-sharing programs. The concept has been endorsed by both conservative and progressive think tanks, including the right wing-leaning American Enterprise Institute and the left wing-leaning Center for American Progress.
    In addition, lawmakers feel a certain sense of urgency to get a bill passed soon, because as one member of the state Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council told Lassa, “every day the state doesn’t do this, we lose money because of the federal incentives.”
    Still, as widely embraced as work sharing is, it wouldn’t be politics if there weren’t at least one fly in the ointment.
    About a month after Lassa introduced her work-share bill, legislators including Sens. Paul Farrow (R-Pewaukee) and Rick Gudex (R-Fond du Lac) and Reps. Edward Brooks (R-Reedsburg) and Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton) introduced their own bills, Senate Bill 26 and Assembly Bill 15, which are similar to Lassa’s legislation but leave out measures that would require employers to negotiate with their employees’ unions. Of the 25 states that currently have work-share programs, only Minnesota does not require a union representative to sign off on an employer’s work-sharing plan.
    This new tack set off a flurry of complaints from Democrats in the Legislature. In a written statement, state Senate Minority Leader Chris Larson (D-Milwaukee) said, “Republicans began their war on bargaining rights with Act 10, and with this bill they have now turned their attention to private sector unions. This bill is a clear opening shot at undermining private sector unions.”
    Apparently worried that the Republican version of the work-share legislation was going to get hurriedly pushed through the legislative process, Rep. Sandy Pasch, (D-Shorewood) said in a written statement, “I urge the Republican authors of this flawed legislation to slow down and work with us in a bipartisan manner to ensure that we avoid completely unnecessary conflict and delay in implementing a work-share program.”
    Ouch. So much for kumbaya.
    For his part, Sen. Farrow noted that any union-protection measures in the work-share legislation were unnecessary. In a written statement, he said that the Republicans’ bill “is in no way an attack on private sector unions. The language my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are talking about is not required by the U.S. Department of Labor nor will it add or take away any of the protections that unions currently enjoy under both federal and state law.”
    Rep. Brooks, the lead sponsor of AB 15, was more blunt: “With more than 200,000 Wisconsin residents unemployed, this issue is too important to politicize. This bill is about jobs and nothing else.”
    Moving forward?
    Despite the political football this issue has now become, it seems all but certain that a work-share program will soon become an option for businesses, and with half the nation already onboard and the advantages of instituting a work-share program clear to employers, employees, and politicians alike, it could come soon.
    “[States with a work-share program] are getting the advantage that they’re able to maintain their skilled employees, whereas those that do not have the work-share program are losing out on the federal incentive,” said Lassa. “So I do think there already is an advantage for those states and those companies that are participating in the work-share program.”

  2. SharedWork program could help employers reduce layoffs in Ohio, 3/10 (3/06 late pickup) Daily Reporter via ToledoLegalNews.com
    TOLEDO, Ohio, USA - Rep. Mike Duffey believes Ohio has the potential to set a national benchmark with House Bill 37.
    The proposal, which landed in the legislature last month, would create SharedWork Ohio, an initiative designed to allow employers and employees to collaborate in reducing work hours to prevent layoffs.
    "... shared work provides workers and employers with an alternative to layoffs," said Duffey, R-Worthington, in recent sponsor testimony before the House Commerce, Labor and Technology committee.
    "Rather than lay off a set percentage of workers to cut costs, employers instead reduce the hours of workers. Those workers earn normal pay per hour, but also collect pro-rata unemployment while maintaining benefits."
    In this sense, Duffey said, shared work could be visualized as allowing employers to convert a typical layoff — in which workers lose 100 percent of their employment — to a factional layoff in which a larger subset of workers share the impact of a layoff but no one individual loses his or her job.
    "This smoothes the transition for employers and workers, avoiding jobs losses and helping retain talented workers that can be expensive for employers to replace through new hiring and training," he said.
    The bill, which would go into effect immediately, is jointly sponsored by Rep. Gary Scherer, R-Circleville.
    Duffey originally introduced the measure as House Bill 484 during the last General Assembly.
    "As I previously testified, President Reagan signed the first federally-authorized shared work program as part of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982," he said.
    "More recently, shared work has been championed by both Democrats and Republicans in various states, particularly following legislation passed by Congress in 2012."
    Duffey said that legislation, the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, modernized federal statute and "eliminated some of the barriers to state adoption of this program as well as provided some incentives to states and through them to employers."
    In passing the act, Duffey said, Congress provided full funding for shared work benefits for up to three years, as well as grants to pay state-incurred costs to implement, administer and promote shared work programs.
    "The history of shared work is one of bipartisanship and affiances across the political spectrum to help American workers to keep their jobs. And this spirit is reflected in this bill through the strong bipartisan 81-15 vote it received in the Ohio House, with a majority of House Democrats voting yes," he said.
    Under the bill's provisions, companies that participate in the venture would have to submit a plan to the director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services that satisfies specific requirements such as guidelines for giving advance notice about reduced work weeks.
    "If Ohio passes legislation this year, we will join 25 other states that have already adopted shared work programs," Duffey said.
    "So what has been the result in other states? In 2009, shared work was credited with 11,000 participating jobs in state of New York. That same year, in Missouri, 24,193 jobs. Three years ago, in 2010, Texas claimed 24,665 jobs utilized shared work. I believe Ohio can benefit as much, if not more, than these states from this program."

    Although the benefit may be larger during periods of economic decline, Duffey said, layoffs can occur during growth periods as part of the job market churn. He went on to highlight a 2002 study in California that found manufacturing firms are more likely than other firms to use shared work programs.
    "This is consistent with support in Ohio from prominent employers such as the Kenworth Truck Co. in Chillicothe," Duffey said.
    Scherer said Kenworth has successfully used shared work programs in other states.
    As the region's largest employer, the Chillicothe assembly plant provides more than 2,000 jobs but has occasional shut downs.
    "... if Kenworth had an approved shared work plan in place, these workers would be able to receive partial unemployment benefits for the shut down days, reducing the hardship on those families and risk to the company that employees might leave," Scherer said.
    "Shared work is a win-win for Kenworth and its associates. The workers can receive money to partially offset their lost wages. The company reduces the risk of its well-trained, employment-vetted, hard working employees being forced to try to find comparable work elsewhere."
    Duffey said he believes Ohio could set a participation benchmark with the program.
    "This is due in part to the possibility of excellent promotion ... but also by virtue of the benefit to the state trust fund, to employers and our careful drafting to include the opportunity for employers to avoid routine layoff premium hikes by opting instead into this program," he said.
    HB 37 has gained bipartisan support from more than 35 lawmakers.
    The bill has not been scheduled for additional hearings.

  3. Shared-Work Program Helps Businesses Avoid Layoffs, by Jane Sander, 3/11 NBC Right Now via KNDO 23 via kndo.com
    KENNEWICK, Wash., USA -- A program offered by the Employment Security Department helps businesses avoid layoffs. And the results prove it's making a big impact.
    Over 97% of the employers who used Washington's Shared-Work Program last year said they would recommend it for other businesses.
    Dayco Heating and Air Conditioning in Kennewick uses the program to help support employees when their volume of business slows during their off-season.
    Workers get financial support when they're putting in fewer hours to make up for their lost wages.

    In Benton and Franklin Counties 25 businesses use the program helping more than 130 local employees.
    "It makes it better for them and for their families that they're not going to go without. It makes it better for us that we're not losing key employees that are valuable to the company," said Ken Day. Dayco Heating and Air Conditioning.
    Across the state the program saved 19,000 jobs and $12 million in unemployment benefits.
    The program is permanent to help businesses in slumps no matter what the economy is like.
    Participation in the program doubled during the recession, but as the economy recovers businesses will likely depend less on the service.


3/09/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. West Wing employees to face furloughs, pay cuts, by Reid J. Epstein, (3/8 late pickup) Politico 44 via politico.com (blog)
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - West Wing employees will face furloughs and pay cuts due to sequester, deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.
    Earnest did not specify what cuts the White House would make to its own staff, though he said “we’re also faced with making some tough decisions when it comes to ongoing projects” and equipment purchases.
    “We’re also a pretty personnel-heavy agency, if you will,” Earnest said. “So that means that there will be employees … who work here at the White House that will be facing pay cuts, that will be facing furloughs and again, this is the result of a policy that Democrats and Republicans agree is really bad.”
    [But not as bad as facing job cuts.]
    The White House has been vague about what it will cut from the West Wing budget. It was announced Tuesday that public White House tours will be suspended as part of sequestration cuts to the Secret Service, though that agency is part of the Department of Homeland Security, not the Executive Office of the President.

  2. U.S. Customs and Border Protection furloughs spark concern among business owners in South Florida, by Brian Entin, News Channel 5 via WPTV.com
    PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. - They protect our coastline from the bad guys, but even they aren't protected from the sequester.
    Sixty thousand Customs and Border Patrol workers received furlough notices Thursday. That includes agents in South Florida.
    The agency says it must cut over 750 million dollars, but they're trying to keep the furloughs from impacting public safety and national security.
    The Coast Guard and local agencies will continue to patrol the waters, but authorities say to expect longer wait times if you're getting back from a cruise or an international flight.
    "CBP will continue to make every effort to minimize the sequester’s impact on public safety and national security, but expects that planned furlough of employees, along with reductions to overtime and hiring freeze will increase wait times at ports of entry, including international arrivals at airports, and reduce staffing between land ports of entry," officials with Homeland Security said in a statement Friday.
    Small businesses near the Port of Palm Beach say they will also be impacted by the budget cuts.
    Workers on the tour boat "The Dolphin Dream" say they've heard their wait time for customs when returning from the Bahamas will be longer.
    They say that is a problem for their guests who come from all over the world to spend a week touring the Bahamas.
    "They want to fly out the same day. They've been stuck on the boat for a week and they are paying good money," Carl Bush, an employee on the boat, said.
    Right now, Bush says it only takes thirty minutes to an hour for customs to board the boat and do their checks.
    But the furloughs will likely increase the wait time when the boat returns to West Palm Beach.
    "If our customers have to be at the airport by noon and customs doesn't get here until 10 a.m., then the customers aren't going to make their flights," Bush said.
    U.S. Customs and Border Patrol will not elaborate on the furloughs and how they will schedule them, but says wait times will likely go up.
    "They are hurting the small people. It's very bad for people in this business," Bush said.

    [But not as much as they'd be hurting them with downsizing instead of just timesizing. And overtime during high unemployment is nuts anyway. And the timesizing approach can be developed into a program for full employment and the safe dismantling the thousands of government safety-net programs that are only in place because the Fed has been fostering 6-6.5% unemployment (excluding welfare, disability, homelessness, prisons...) to control inflation. The timesizing approach can also be designed as a growth-friendly way to control inflation, unlike current Fed unemployment-fostering and as a safe way to reduce all the taxes required to pay for all those safety-net programs once full employment makes them unnecessary.]
    As for airports, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said Monday she expects wait times to increase to 150 to 200 percent of normal.
    "I don't mean to scare, I mean to inform. If you're traveling, get to the airport earlier than you otherwise would," she said.
    U.S. Customs and Border Patrol overtime cuts will start April 7th and furloughs are expected to start in the middle of April.


3/08/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Assembly Passes Work-sharing Bill without Collective Bargaining Protection - Small Disagreement Suggests Deep Dispute over Role of Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council, by Jon Peacock, (3/06 late pickup) Wisconsin Budget Project Blog via wisconsinbudgetproject.org
    MADISON, Wisc., USA - The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday to approve a bipartisan idea, but in the process rekindled debate about respect for collective bargaining. What made the debate interesting and significant is that it could have been avoided by simply passing the version of the bill approved by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Advisory Council, with the full support of the labor and business groups on that advisory body.
    The substantive merits of the debate, which concerned only a small part of the bill, are far less important than the procedural matter of whether the Legislature decides this session to depart from the long practice of deferring to the recommendations of the UI Advisory Council. The Council uses a consensus process that provides stability to the state laws relating to unemployment benefits and taxes. Both the labor and business groups prefer that stability to the erratic swings in the UI system that could occur if the law is changed significantly every time control of the legislature changes hands.
    The bill in question, Assembly Bill 15, helps employers to temporarily downsize [wage costs] without being forced to discharge employees. It takes advantage of a change in federal law relating to unemployment insurance, which promotes work sharing by allowing employees whose hours have been cut to receive partial unemployment benefits (with the approval of the employer). It’s an option that may appeal to businesses experiencing a short-term reduction in market demand, since it enables them to retain skilled employees, thereby avoiding the time and expense of searching for and retraining new workers after demand recovers.
    Senator Julie Lassa has been pushing this idea for at least a year, and she took her draft legislation to the UI Advisory Council, which endorsed it. Lassa’s bill, like the legislation in nearly all of the 25 states that have authorized this form of work sharing, would have required union representatives (if any) to approve the work share plan. However, rather than wait for that bill to make its way through the legislative process, Assembly GOP leaders quickly advanced AB 15, which omitted the part of the bill giving unions a small role in approving the employer plans for the workers. (The GOP author of AB 15, Rep. Brooks, says that provision is redundant.)
    The backdrop for Wednesday’s debate is that the Walker Administration and a number of GOP legislators have proposed sweeping changes in the unemployment insurance system, and they don’t want the labor members of the Advisory Council to be able to block those proposals. The Assembly vote on AB 15 is a warning to the Council, and particularly to the labor members, that they shouldn’t attempt to stop or water down the proposed changes, or else the Council role will soon become irrelevant. But that also puts the business representatives on the Council in a very awkward position. Although they support the proposed changes backed by the Governor, they are very fearful about the long-term consequences of undermining or eliminating the Council’s role in UI policymaking.
    Amendments relating to the disputed portion of AB 15 were tabled on straight party-line votes. The final motion for passage was approved by a vote of 74-22, and AB 15 now goes to the Senate for consideration. Although I think the Senate will be somewhat more receptive to the arguments for passing the version of the bill recommended by the Advisory Council, I can’t predict what the outcome will be in that chamber of the Legislature.

  2. SAD 60 furlough day saves band, Excel and about 11 jobs, by Christina Higginbotham chigginbotham@fosters.com, Foster's Daily Democrat via fosters.com
    NORTH BERWICK, Maine, USA — A furlough day recently approved by the Teachers Association for the MSAD 60 district [Maine School Administrative District 60] will save a number of programs and jobs to be saved.
    The furlough will generate $75,000 in savings for the district and allow the reinstatement of the elementary school band and K-12 Excel programs that had been recently cut, as well as approximately 11 positions scheduled to be eliminated.
    After a shortfall of $578,000 in the district, a bare bones budget had also eliminated one secretarial position, 1.6 administrative positions, eight teacher positions, and 10 Ed Tech positions.
    The reduction in staff reduced the shortfall by $120,337. Due to the furlough day savings, an estimated 11 school staffers will now not lose their positions, according to Superintendent Steven Connolly.
    The furlough day is said to have its own complications, according to the district’s website.
    Days to spare are limited due to being two-thirds of the way through the school year. As a result, spring conferences have been canceled for Grades K-12.
    “We wanted to hold the furlough day at a time that will not affect the kids,” Darcy Goulet, president of the Teachers Association said Thursday night.
    Irreversible cuts have already been weighed as anticipating savings of $404,000.
    Some of those savings include: $200,000 in 2012 anticipated employee costs due to turn over from FY11-12 to FY12-13; closing schools the week of June 24-28 for a savings of $27,500; and tuition reimbursement freeze for a savings of $55,000.
    Connolly’s fiscal goal for June 30 is to spend no more than 99 percent of the funds approved by the state, leaving a 1 percent cushion, $345,000, to avoid a repeat overexpenditure this June.

  3. Women demand better working hours, RTHK.hk
    HONG KONG, China - More than 30 female unionists have marked international women's day with a demand for standardised working hours.
    The Women Affairs Committee of the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions protested at the central government offices to demand the Employment Ordinance be amended to an eight-hour day and a 44-hour work week.
    [Sounds like five 8-hour days plus a half day. But what was it before?]
    They say many members are required to work at least 10 hours a day.


3/07/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Peterson Offers Testimony On SharedWork Proposal, OhioSenate.com
    COLUMBUS, Ohio — State Senator Bob Peterson today urged members of the Senate Commerce & Labor Committee to support his legislation that would create a shared work program, also known as short-time compensation. Peterson is sponsoring Senate Bill 25 with Senator Frank LaRose (R- Copley).
    In his testimony, Peterson noted that a shared work program provides employers and workers an alternative to layoffs. Rather than eliminate positions, a plan is adopted to reduce the hours worked of all employees. Under this scenario, workers would continue to earn their normal pay per hour, but also collect prorated unemployment for the hours the no longer work. If enacted, Ohio would join 25 other states in establishing a shared work program.
    “Creating a shared work program in Ohio will give companies such as the Kenworth Trucking Company in Chillicothe an additional tool to retain skilled workers instead of losing them through layoffs, and then having to find and retrain new employees,” Peterson said. “In addition, my proposal is designed to be budget neutral, as any employer who chooses not to participate will retain their option for layoffs.”

  2. California Unpaid Overtime Law Firm Helps Get Fluctuating Work Week Ruled Inapplicable, DigitalJournal.com (press release)
    California unpaid overtime law firm helps get fluctuating work week ruled inapplicable by Kandis A. Westmore, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California.
    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., USA -- On February 20, 2013, the Honorable Kandis A. Westmore, United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of California, issued an order providing that the approximately 150 Retail Sales Representatives ("RSRs") who work for defendant The Hershey Company ("Hershey") in a conditionally certified collective action who are seeking overtime pay would be compensated at an hourly rate of 1.5 (time-and-a-half) and not under the fluctuating work week methodology at .5 rate (half-time), if the RSRs are found to be misclassified in that case in the pending case of Zulewski, et al. v. The Hershey Company, Case No. 4:11-cv-05117-KAW.
    On October 19, 2011, Hershey RSRs filed this second suit seeking overtime pay for violating overtime rights of its national sales force after Hershey failed to change its policy following the first suit. Previously, on February 23, 2011, the Honorable Magistrate Judge Bernard Zimmerman issued an order holding that the 120 Hershey RSR plaintiffs in the case of Campanelli, et al. v. The Hershey Company, Case No. 3:08-cv-01862-BZ, were entitled to overtime compensation. The Court held that the RSRs are not exempt under the "outside sales" or "administrative exemptions" as a matter of law. Campanelli, et al. v. The Hershey Company, 765 F.Supp.2d 1185 (N.D.Cal. 2011).
    In January 2012, Hershey finally agreed to start paying some overtime going forward but refused to retroactively pay any overtime for improperly classified RSRs before that date.
    Under its new overtime policy [sounds pretty old], Hershey was paying 1.5 times the hourly rate for overtime worked but in court insisted it was only legally obligated to pay its workers at a .5 hourly rate for past overtime due under the fluctuating work week methodology.
    [Clearly this is not the fluctuating workweek of Walter Reuther's Request = fluctuating adjustment of the workweek against unemployment.]
    Hershey claimed that paying the claimants at a 1.5 rate amounted to a "windfall" to the RSRs.
    Rejecting Hershey's arguments Judge Westmore noted that "Congress enacted the Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) in 1938 to eliminate 'labor conditions detrimental to the maintenance of the minimum standard of living necessary for health, efficiency, and general well being.'" The case is set for trial October 7, 2013 in Oakland, California.
    The plaintiffs are represented by Thomas J. Brandi and Brian J. Malloy of The Brandi Law Firm in San Francisco, California and by David Feola of Hoban & Feola LLC in Denver, Colorado.
    The Brandi Law Firm was founded in 1992 with the simple philosophy of providing quality professional and personal service to our clients throughout California. We represent people who have been physically and financially injured in all types of personal injury actions, including defective drugs, auto defects, auto accidents, defective roadway design, aviation accidents, consumer fraud, and child injuries.
    Website: www.brandilaw.com
    Press release service and press release distribution provided by http://www.24-7pressrelease.com

  3. Benefit of longer working hours is just a myth, by Peter Bentley, Sydney DailyTelegraph via dailytelegraph.com.au
    Sydney, N.S.W., Australia - If you thought the most painful cultural phenomenon we could import from South Korea was an equine-themed dance craze, think again. Gangnam ain't got nothing on "gwarosa".
    Gwarosa can be translated as "death from overwork". It's an officially recognised phenomenon in Korea where, in recent decades, people have been suffering from overwork-induced heart attacks, strokes and mental illness.

    The condition is not figurative. Medical research shows that overwork leads to a sustained build-up of the stress hormone cortisol, which increases the likelihood of cardiac disease, sleep problems and depression. Korea has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Yet in Australia we are being constantly pushed to work longer. Across the nation, business lobby groups are hustling for longer working hours, less overtime, and more weekend work.
    The Restaurant & Catering Association, for example, has a submission before the Fair Work Commission arguing for an end to existing weekend penalty rates.
    Measures designed to engineer longer hours are often promoted as a means of improving labour productivity. But this misunderstands the fact that labour productivity is output per hour, not total output per worker.
    But is it still reasonable to assume that the Australian economy would benefit if we all worked longer?
    Koreans still put in long hours today, but back in 2000 they were working longer than the rest of the OECD, with the average worker pulling 51 hours per week. The average Australian at the time was working 37 hours per week. Yet Korean labour productivity levels were abysmal. An hour of work was adding an average of $US17 per hour to the GDP, compared to $49 per hour in the US, $33 in Japan and $41 in Australia.
    So the Korean government decided to reduce the working week from 44 to 40 hours and the average weekly hours have fallen from 51 to 44.
    The change in productivity has been spectacular. In real terms, Korea is up 56 per cent since 2000. By comparison Australia rose 13 per cent. All of this proves that those pushing for longer, tougher working hours are failing us not just socially, but economically as well.
    It is vital that we shatter these myths because surveys show Australians want to work less. More than half of working people would prefer an extra two weeks annual leave over a rise in pay. It's a lesson we should know by now.
    Peter Bentley is executive director of the McKell Institute

  4. On the dogma of the 35-hour work week, by Anthony Peters, International Financing Review via IFRe.com
    [Another display of cluelessness from the financial sector -]
    LONDON, U.K. - Those with memories going back to the Soviet era will remember the highly official title of Chief Ideologist. Soviet Communism was a doctrinal faith and, like the Vatican – before becoming Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Ratzinger served as chief ideologist under the heading of Prefect of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – needed to maintain ideological orthodoxy across the platform. Enter, stage left (no pun intended), Francois Hollande.
    President Hollande is, by dint of his previous roles in the Partie Socialiste (PS), chief ideologist for the French centre left and he has subsequently been quite adamant in his defence of his own orthodoxy. Sceptics, myself included, have feared that France was due a severe reality check in terms of labour legislation.
    There has always been much mirth across Europe about that Gallic holy cow (no horse meat here) of the 35 hour work week
    [maybe among the know-it-alls in the financial sector, but generally, not even Europe knows what it's doing right or realizes how much it's already doing (the unionized sector of west Germany has long been on a 35-hour workweek, 38 in the east) and how urgently it needs to do more of it in terms of workspreading - mirth/ridicule? = plain ignorance - of the conservative industries in the U.S. that have had 35 hours since the 1960s: insurance, academe...; Wall Street itself had 37.5 for female clerks in the 60s; the WPA in the 30s could only find 30 hours a week for its employees and the "radical" U.S. Senate passed a 30-hour workweek in 1933!]
    but as the global financial and economic crisis has bitten harder and deeper into France’s progressively less competitive manufacturing base, many had expected the man to crack. No way.
    [Why should he and France join the Race to the Bottom like all the gullible economies listening to financiers' masochism-for-everyone-else advice? Maybe Singapore is that export-dependent but France certainly isn't. It is domestic consumer-spending dependent like most large economies, and that means it can get a lot more bang for its policy-shifts by cutting the workweek as much as it takes to max its consumer spending than it can by propping up an obsolete Protestant work ethic that's 400 years old and totally luddite.]
    Wednesday’s 2012/Q4 unemployment numbers will have offered no respite for the embattled but unerringly stubborn President. Of course it can’t be denied that Hollande jumped on a runaway train when he won the Presidency and we are nearly through the first quarter of 2013 before having been presented with the statistics for the end of last year but it would be a brave man who would predict that the first quarter of the current year will show a reversal of the trend.
    The recent record high in French unemployment was reached in 1998 at 10.8% [no! in 1997 at 12.6% - that's the range that motivated even the center-right UDF to enact hours cuts in 1996 = the optional Robien Law] but yesterday’s report of 10.6%, marginally higher than the consensus forecast, is not far off and, as said, there is no trend reversal in sight. Youth unemployment, the bane of the age, has risen from 24.0% to 25.2%. This is not what the Hollande administration had in mind when it won power last year. Leafing through the French economic metrics for the last months, the only item which seems to be consistently rising is that which measures wages.
    [AND consumer spending per capita = the real foundation of economic dynamism.]
    Major doubters – I have one chum in Paris who consistently accuses me of not being negative enough – feel that the decline in manufacturing output is more likely to accelerate from here rather than slow and that the probability of France being able to attract new inward investment is next to nil.
    [Inward investment is unnecessary and potentially unsustainable and destabilizing compared to domestic consumer spending.]
    The recent spat between Maurice Taylor, CEO of tyre manufacturer Titan and the indomitable Arnaud Montebourg over French working practices was a case in point. Montebourg has a delightfully brusque manner when it comes to instructing foreign industrialists that they are wrong when they express the opinion that his country is not a good place to make things.
    [Good for Montebourg! May he put these mountebanks in their place and exclude them from France's vibrant consumer markets if they stay unwilling to contribute French jobs and wages to same.]
    Opinions can never be wrong [oh sure - what planet...?]
    Firstly, Monsieur Montebourg, an opinion can never be wrong. You might not agree with it but as it only an opinion, it can by definition not be branded as wrong.
    [What claptrap. Note the total divorce of the financial sector from the inconvenience of evidence.]
    Secondly, perception is reality and if you want to sell your country as a viable manufacturing base, you don’t achieve that by accusing those with money to spend of being ignorant idiots.
    [Peters has already demoed a couple of breath-taking instances of ignorance. And there are plenty of polls that indicate "those with money to spend" which prettywell restricts us to the top brackets these days actually spend (and donate!) a smaller percentage of their megabucks than any other brackets, and therefore are the single most-effective cause of recession and depression via their coagulation of the money supply.]
    Taylor was pretty damning of the [ie: his] workforce when he wrote “I assured the unions we wouldn’t cut wages but told them we were going to produce more. I said, 'We expect workers to come in for seven hours a day. You’ll get paid for your lunch hour and break, but I’ve noticed that currently you work about three good hours in the day and the rest of the time you remind me of a beauty parlor with all your chit-chat and milling around.' Well, Spike [whodat?] got up and said, 'You do not understand — that is the French way!' I proceeded to tell him that the French way, my friend, means you’re going to lose your job.”
    [Generally well-rested people work more productively in shorter hours than less productively, but if Taylor's French workforce does not, then it's management's problem for not making expectations clear long since.]
    In the event, of course, Titan did not take over the Goodyear plant and it was closed.
    [So did Taylor have any French workforce at all in the first place? and if not, whence his tirade?]
    Somehow, don’t ask me how, France has again and again succeeded in confounding all critics and has valiantly hung on to its progressive social model.
    [Maybe because it's just common sense, which closed-minds on Planet Finance seem to have lost sight of.]
    I recall the introduction of the 35 hour week which was put in place under the banner of individuals working less and sharing the work load around more equitably. Great idea. Then came that hours would be cut but wages wouldn’t. On the back of that, French workers worked just as hard and just as productively as their peers except that more of those hours were now either worked at more expensive overtime rates – not good for competitiveness
    [not good indeed, but competitiveness shmetitiveness now it's Race to the Bottom - it's not good because the whole point is MORE JOBS, and France has not yet implemented smooth and automatic conversion of corporate overtime and individual overwork into training and JOBS.] – or they were taken in compensation as extra paid holidays – not good either.
    [Beg to differ - more financially secure free time is restful and creative, and for those of you who are always paying lip service to Free Markets and Free Trade, you have missed the fact that the most fundamental Freedom is Free Time - you seem to want/need it for yourselves while denying it to, and its value for, everyone else.]
    So, if the work is shared around by a shorter working week, does that not make 10.2% unemployment [UE] a worse outcome than it appears at first?
    [No, it makes it necessary to shorten the working week further, as much as it takes (usually 1 hour for each desired 1% UE drop) to re-include all these potentially self-supporting jobmarket participants and re-activate all these currently inactive currently taxpayer-dependent consumer-spenders.]
    I am not an econometrician and really can’t come to a definitive conclusion on that matter but if perception is reality [no, agreement about perception is "reality"] and if an opinion can by definition not be wrong [huh?], then my interpretation of the unemployment figures is that it has to be.
    [Hooboy. As the old Italian across the road (Joe Crovo) used to say, "You're perfectly entitled to your own wrong opinion."]
    I shall stick by my original statement that 2013 is a year for politics and not one for economics but we cannot be far from someone waking up and deciding that being complacent about Europe simply because US consumers are leveraging up again [don't worry - that's strictly debt-based and temporary] is not a viable strategy.
    Alas, no need to start selling yet but, to haul out an old chestnut, don’t miss the ball but dance close to the door [huh?].
    Anthony Peters, SwissInvest strategist...is from Manchester but was educated in Germany and Switzerland before taking a degree in History and Politics in his home town. He trained in banking in Zurich. Since 1987 he has been back in the City [London] where he worked in fixed income sales. Since 2008 he has been with SwissInvest from where he services his institutional clients and comments on markets.

  5. For law on working hours, the devil is in the details - ...An inflexible approach could do more harm than good, by Bernard Chan, (3/08 dateline issue) South China Morning Post via scmp.com
    Some less-skilled workers in certain sectors are being forced to work long hours. (photo caption)
    HONG KONG, China - The debate on standard working hours will soon be under way, with a committee being formed to examine the possibility of legislation. Many people will see it as a natural step following the introduction of a minimum wage. But it is significantly more complicated; the potential to accidentally damage Hong Kong's competitiveness may also be greater.
    If we look around the world, we see there is no agreement on what laws regulating working hours are actually designed to achieve. In Japan and Europe, the main aim is to ensure workers' health and safety. In Australia, work-life balance is also a factor. In the US, the cap on hours is simply the point at which higher hourly overtime wages must be paid. In Korea, during the Asian financial crisis, hours were reduced partly in the hope that it would ease unemployment by sharing work out.
    [Bottom line= if working hours had not been cut in half, 80 hours to 40, from 1840 to 1940 in the hope, repeatedly borne out by experience, that it would ease unemployment by sharing work out, and if those falling levels had not been inflexibly enforced, we would be living in a much more luddite, technology-resistant world today, and one with even more unemployment and poverty than we already have from freezing the workweek since 1940 and continuing to inject worksaving technology. That being said, what needs to be strictly enforced is the conversion of overtime into training and jobs, not a self-defeating "point at which higher hourly overtime wages must be paid."]
    In Hong Kong, many labour activists see this essentially as a working-class issue. They say some less-skilled workers in certain sectors are being forced to work long hours - in other words, are being exploited. A cap to ensure overtime is paid and hours are not unreasonable would therefore have a similar aim to the minimum wage: to protect poorer workers from unscrupulous employers.
    We do have vulnerable workers; we know that hours are especially long in retail, catering, logistics, security, cleaning and elderly care. Surveys suggest that maybe as many as half of workers in Hong Kong who do overtime are not properly compensated.
    When employers in low-value industries claim that standard working hours will cost them so many billions of dollars a year, they might be arguing against themselves. Could that sum of money be the amount they are currently saving by getting employees to work without overtime?
    I believe we should also see this as a middle-class issue. Many workers would say that the average full-time working week in Hong Kong of 49 hours is too long. For some white-collar workers, however, the situation is more complex. Standard working hours legislation would need to allow exemptions.
    Accountants, for example, have to work long hours at times of the year when companies prepare their accounts. Maybe it would make sense to set a cap on hours over several months rather than by the week. Investment bankers often work late into the night. But they get massive bonuses; do we need to care about their hours? A chief executive in a big company on a big package has to be on call whenever he is needed. He cannot clock in and out.
    Some people might want to work long hours for a while, just as some younger people at times hold down two jobs to make money. So, should a standard hours law make exceptions for particular professions, for people with particular responsibilities at work, or for people who are happy to voluntarily opt out?
    Then there is the question of definition. Do "working hours" include meal breaks and rest periods?
    Last, but not least, we have to consider economic impact. The minimum wage was never going to be a major financial burden to most employers in Hong Kong because those firms are in high-value industries and need to attract skilled staff. However, the minimum wage did affect a lot of companies at least a bit because of unforeseen administrative and record-keeping requirements.
    Standard working hours could financially hurt a far wider range of employers and employees, if the law is not carefully designed. And, as is always the case with regulation, there is the additional danger that administrative burdens alone will affect Hong Kong's competitiveness. I believe a law on working hours is good in theory, but we must be careful about the details.
    Bernard Chan is a member of the Executive Council


3/06/2013 – News and opinion about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around 50 years from now will long have made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Assembly to take up bill publication, work-sharing, WisPolitics.com
    MADISON, Wisc., USA - The state Assembly today passed measures to alter the process for publishing enacted laws ["SB2"], and to establish a work-share program in the state [SB?].
    The work-share bill would allow employers to reduce their employees’ hours for six months out of a five-year span as an alternative to implementing layoffs.
    Democrats praised the intent of the legislation, but said it should include language from most other states with similar programs that requires consideration of private sector unions. They sought to restore that aspect of the bill, arguing that the state’s Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council had recommended a similar measure.
    Rep. Ed Brooks, R-Reedsburg, countered that such a measure would be redundant, since union members would be notified of such a plan if required under their current collective bargaining agreements.
    SB 2, meanwhile, now heads to the governor’s desk. That bill largely removes the secretary of state from the process of publishing enacted legislation, instead delegating that authority to the Legislative Reference Bureau.

  2. Windsor Assembly Plant cutting hours, WindsorStar.com
    WINDSOR, Ont., Canada - Falling demand for Chrysler Group's minivans means workers at the Windsor Assembly Plant will face reduced hours [but not lost jobs] during the March Break.
    "Employees at Chrysler Group LLC's Windsor Assembly Plant will be working reduced hours for the week of March 11-15 as a result of the company's ongoing operating pattern to align production with market demand," Chrysler Canada spokeswoman LouAnn Gosselin said Tuesday in an email. "Normal production will resume the week of March 18."

    Most of the 4,500 hourly employees will be working four-hour shifts, while skilled trades workers are being instructed to report for their regularly scheduled eight-hour shift, said Dino Chiodo, president of CAW Local 444.
    While sales of Chrysler vehicles rose four per cent in the U.S. last month from a year ago, demand for the Dodge Grand Caravan and pricier Chrysler Town and Country fell 18 per cent and 26 per cent respectively.
    Combined sales of the minivans also fell in Canada to 7,142 for the first two months of this year compared to 7,826 in 2012.
    The Town and Country set a monthly sales record in Canada while Dodge Grand Caravan, remained the fourth best selling vehicle in the country.
    As well as reduced hours during March Break, Chrysler has yet to schedule any overtime Saturday shifts so far this year, said Chiodo.
    CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he won't repeat the mistakes of previous Chrysler owners who failed to align production with demand, thereby overproducing vehicles that had to be deeply discounted.
    Chiodo said he support's Chrysler's strategy.
    "It's always a concern when you have downtime in the schedule but you want to make sure you have as much capacity in the system to meet consumer demand," he said. "I don't see it as a problem at this point. This is something that will work itself out."

  3. Short-time working and lay-offs (information for employees), by Leslie Furber, (3/05 late pickup) FreelanceAdvisor.co.uk
    BRIGHTON, U.K. - It can be quite common that during a bad patch an employer, rather than make redundancies, may choose to make other changes to your Employment contract.
    In our article about Written Contracts and Statements we look at how an employer can make changes to your contracts of employment, but here we look at two other options your employer may consider, which are:
    1. Lay-offs
    When an Employer does not have enough business to enable them to employ all or part of their work-force for a temporary period. An employee is laid-off if they do not work for a week and get no pay for that week. The employer may describe this as unpaid holiday rather than a lay-off (although it is still a lay-off).
    2. Short-time working.
    This is when your hours of work are reduced (by reducing the number of days or shifts per week you work, or the hours per day you work) by more than 50%, and your pay is reduced accordingly, because there is not enough work to operate normal working hours.
    This can also apply if your employer’s business premises is temporarily closed (e.g. due to flooding, fire, power supply failure).
    Lay-offs or short-time working will not apply if you are a temporary worker, only if you are an employee.
    [Apparently they still distinguish between permanent layoffs ("redundancies") and temporary layoffs ("lay-offs") in the U.K., though they have generally merged in the U.S.]
    There is a general right in common law to tell most employees not to turn up for work, but there is no general right to not pay employees because work is not available.
    Lay-offs or short-time can be imposed on you only:
    • If there is a contractual right to do so
    • A collective agreement (with a Union) to do so exists, or
    • A precedent has been created through previous custom and practice at your workplace
    If none of these exist your employer should consult with you (or your Union representatives) about why this change is necessary, with a view to seeking your consent.
    If your contract (or other circumstances above) does allow for lay-off or short-time working an employee may be entitled to:
    • Receive a Statutory Guarantee Payment (which ‘keeps’ the employees’ service during the period) – for more information on Guarantee Payments see below, or
    • Claim a Redundancy Payment (if they have worked for their Employer for 2 years, and the lay-off or short-time working lasts for 4 consecutive weeks or for any 6 weeks in a 13 week period) – for more information on how to claim a Redundancy payment in these circumstances see below.
    If your contract does not allow for a lay-off or short-time working then an employee who has had no pay of any kind for a particular week, because they have not been provided with any work, or has been put on short-time working may be entitled to:
    • Choose to resign and claim constructive unfair dismissal (due to a breach of your employment contract) if they have 1 years service (or 2 years since 6th April 2012), or
    • Claim that there has been an unlawful deduction of wages. The employee must raise a grievance with their Employer before making a claim to an Employment Tribunal for this.
    If, however, an employee agrees to a lay-off or short-time working then this could constitute a change in their contract of employment and they may be entitled to:
    • Receive a Statutory Guarantee Payment (as above), or
    • Claim a Redundancy Payment (as above)
    Guarantee Payments
    • These payments can be received for a maximum of 5 days in a 3 month period (if the lay-off days do not follow on immediately from each other the 3 month period is calculated separately for each day of lay-off)
    • Guarantee payments are currently up to £24.20 per day (from 1st February 2013; pro-rata’d for part-time employees) and are generally revised annually
    • On days when a guaranteed payment isn’t payable, it may be possible to claim JobSeekers Allowance
    • You should usually be able to do other work for another employer if you are laid-off or on short-time working (unless you contract prohibits this), but this should not be for a competitor of your employer
    • If you want to do other work you should let your employer know and get their agreement to this. You should make sure that you can return to your normal job as soon as your employer is able to offer you work again. If you don’t do this your employer may argue you have resigned by taking up other work
    • If your employer fails to pay a guarantee payment you can make a claim to an Employment Tribunal within 3 months
    • You cannot be dismissed or selected for redundancy for challenging an employer’s refusal or failure to pay a guarantee payment or for taking a claim about this to an Employment Tribunal
    Guarantee payments are not made where:
    • You have less than 1 months service
    • The lay-off is as a result of industrial action
    • The employer offers you suitable alternative employment for the day in question and you refuse this
    • You refuse a reasonable request to remain on stand-by during the lay-off period
    Redundancy Payments in these circumstances
    • You must give your employer notice of your claim for redundancy within 4 weeks of the last week of lay-off or short-time working
    • Your employer has 7 days to accept your claim or give you written counter notice of the claim
    • If your employer does not give you counter-notice of the claim they have accepted your claim to redundancy
    • A counter-notice by your employer means they expect work will start again (within 4 weeks, that must be continuous for at least 13 weeks)
    • The employer can withdraw their counter-notice in writing
    • You must give notice to terminate the contract of employment by resigning after 7 days after you have told your employer you are claiming redundancy and they have not counter-claimed, or they have withdrawn their counter-claim (you have up to 3 weeks to hand in your notice of resignation after the first 7 days)
    • If you follow the correct procedures to claim a redundancy payment but your employer argues you are not entitled to it or doesn’t pay it you may be able to make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for this payment
    ...Please note that the advice given on FreelanceAdvisor.co.uk and by our Advisors is guidance only and cannot be taken as an accurate, up to date or authoritative interpretation of the law. It can also not be seen as specific advice for individual cases. Please also note that there are differences in legislation in Northern Ireland.

  4. The 35-hour law, Wikipédia.com
    [French Wikipedia article "Loi des 35 heures" translated by Bing software and cleaned up by Phil Hyde. At last Google News Search has come up with something that can help the rest of the world benefit from France's recent experience with workweek reduction as an organic job "creation" method, now that everyone else's experience, except South Korea's, is over 50 years in the past. Also seekable, Germany's recent experience (Kurzarbeit) and Netherlands' recent experience (Dutch word for it?).]
    PARIS, France - The 35-hour reform is a measure of French economic policy implemented by the Jospin Government from the year 2000 by two laws passed in 1998 and 2000(1,2) fixing the legal length of full-time employment at 35 hours per week as an annual average, instead of the previous 39 hours, in return for a greater flexibility of scheduling. This measure adds itself to the series of laws reducing the legal duration of work, notably the establishment of the 40-hour workweek by the Matignon Accords in June 1936, which have, in France, participated in the long history of worktime reduction which, since the 19th century, characterizes the ensemble of developed economies.
    First defended from the perspective of social progress but also inspired by the logic of sharing the work, the "road to the 35-hour workweek" showed up as the priority method of job creation in the Socialist Party platform in the legislative elections in 1997(3). The effects of the reform on the actual hours of work have resulted in a diminution of working hours by about 2.6 hours(4). The reform also had an impact on the worktime of managers, although many of them were not regulated by a legal worktime length on a weekly basis but called "at forfeit" ["exempt from overtime regulations"] (on an annualized base or accountable in days, not hours). But in addition, econometric analyses of the creation of jobs differ. In 2004, an Insee study estimated that job creation amounted to 350,000 jobs between 1998 and 2002 without apparent financial imbalance for the enterprises(5). But other studies have made more negative assessments, some even arguing that there was a negative effect on employment taking into account long-term effects(6). In fact, measurement of the actual effects of the 35-hour reform on the economy is complex especially because in terms of job creation, the negative effect of the increase in the cost of hourly labor manifests only gradually set against the consideration that it is offset by declines of government costs (which have weighed on public finances), a wage moderation and gains in productivity resulting from the reform, whose magnitude is difficult to assess. All this contributes to fuel a large debate, at once among economists and in the political world.
    During the 1990s, no other country in the OECD implemented a similar reform in terms of a generalised reduction of worktime(7). However, in Germany, a country where worktime length falls within the collective agreements of each professional area (within the limit of a 48 hours/week average imposed by law), working time reduction agreements have also been negotiated by the social partners, five areas having a 35-hour workweek length (see "35 hours/week in Germany in five professional areas" below). ...
    Origin
    Worktime reduction is a gradual phenomenon that characterizes all societies and results from technological progress. Technological progress, by permitting an increase in hourly labor productivity (that is, what a worker produces in an hour), permits - under the effect of market forces, an increase in the value-added to be shared between the capital and labor factors of production - an increase of the real hourly wage of workers (in the long term, hourly wages increase in the same rhythm as the hourly labor productivity [oh no it doesn't - the last few years of dramatic productivity leaps cum sinking real wages has exploded this canard] ), and therefore permits them to reduce their hours of work: employees in effect choose to divide their time between work and leisure [oh please; this is another rightwing myth - employees rarely "choose" anything within the totalitarian structure of the corporation], and a real wage increase will incentivate them to work a little less(8): one could say that they make a trade-off between income and leisure [no, CEOs make it for them - this must be written by an on-some-other-planet economist]. Over the years, hourly labor productivity growth has permitted both an increase of hourly wages and a reduction of average worktime.
    [Permitting a wage increase and actually increasing wages are two different things. Generally, if CEOs respond to technology by cutting jobs rather than workhours, a labor surplus develops that restrains wage increases.]
    Average worktime is different from country to country, depending on their level of technological progress, but also depending on their individual and collective preferences regarding the choice between income and leisure.
    [Maybe Scandinavians "choose" their proportions of income (work) and leisure (unpaid), but global management in general seems to be on a "competitiveness"-driven crusade to completely deregulate worktime and plunge us all down into the third world and back to the "dark Satanic mills" of the 1830s. Witness the subtle jabs at shorter worktime in this piece and the ridicule of France's 35-hour workweek in one of tomorrow's articles. Btw, this Wikipedia entry is diverging pretty far from the topic. We suspect assassination by a thousand nicks.]
    The reduction of worktime can be done by "free" bargaining [our quotes - not really free during high joblessness] between workers and employers (as is the case in the Anglo-Saxon countries [no, the FLSA regulates hours of work in the USA]), but in certain countries, including France, the State made the choice to regulate the hours of work [no, every advanced economy regulates hours of work]. The Government of Lionel Jospin, in accordance with the promises of the PS [Partie Socialiste?] during the legislative campaign of 1997, imposed a reduction in working time on all employees.
    [and they really only need to impose it on those with inflationary incentive.]
    Worktime reduction is one of the traditional ideas of the left.
    [No, worktime reduction is and always has been centrist. On the left, neither Marx, Engels, Lenin, Trotsky or any of the major figures ever focussed on worktime reduction and none of them "got" it - its centrality, its power, its status as a system requirement. And the labor movement in the U.S. got distracted from shorter hours onto higher pay and benefits in the 1930s, thus losing vital control of the supply and demand of...themselves. They dropped the ball, allowed labor to become a surplus commodity as technology moved in and was responded to by downsizing instead of "timesizing." Thus management succeeded in distracting labor from its power issue, and U.S. union membership is now down to 11% or less of the workforce - because the U.S. left by dropping this issue has become useless. Meanwhile, intelligent CEOs have always realized the necessity of worktime reduction: Lord Leverhulme, W.K.Kellogg, Edward Filene, the Lincoln brothers (Lincoln Electric), Nucor Steel, SAS... and shorter hours are reinvented 1000s of times a day in every recession as part of worksharing to avoid layoffs in the U.S. alone - this French article writer is highly biassed and remarkably ignorant of economic history.]
    The socialist Paul Lafargue had pleaded for a reduction as early as 1880, in his book The Right to Laziness [no one outside France except specialists has ever heard of Lafargue - note the paucity of big names, or any names, in this tiny list], as well as the humanist Thomas More, in his book Utopia, in 1516(9) [what's a humanist doing in this list? is this writer trying to say humanists are socialists, even if they're 300 years before the evolution of socialism?]. French employee unions fought for worktime reduction, but the decisions were taken by [successive French] governments.
    [AND employee unions in every advanced country fought for worktime reduction AND the decisions were taken by successive governments in every first-world country.]
    The transition to the 35-hour workweek figured in 1981 among the "110 proposals for France" of François Mitterrand, who, once elected, contented himself with lowering the legal length to 39 hours a week.
    [Breathtaking ignorance of French history! Mitterand's plan was to cut one hour a year for five years, 1982-1987, and wind up with a 35-hour workweek, but his government was defeated and he only got one hour "done." That's why France was stuck for two decades with the weird 39-hour workweek.]
    Martine Aubry, Lionel Jospin's Minister for Social Affairs will carry out the implementation of the flagship measure of the Socialist economic program measure brought back into fashion by Dominique Strauss-Kahn(10).
    [Hmm, Wall Streeters kept their own personal vices unexposed but brought down Elliot Spitzer for his and have been working, working on doing the same to Strauss-Kahn.]
    More recently, in the 1990s, worksharing has been a subject of interest for the center-right, as shown by the text of the (experimental) legislation: the Robien Law of 1996(11), offering tax relief for employers in return for hiring tied to a strong worktime reduction.
    In Europe
    35 hours in Germany in five professional sectors
    In Germany, where the duration of the work is fixed in each professional sector by a collective agreement between the social partners (within the limit of an average of 48 hours/week averaged imposed by law), five sectors have a worktime of 35 hours weekly (and notably metallurgy since 1990)(12). This applies however only in the former West Germany and [only] a fixed percentage of employees working 40 hours is authorized (18% in metallurgy). In 2003, under the threat of relocations, the unions agreed to a weakening of these agreements; the percentage rose to 50% for enterprises in which more than half of the employees have higher pay(13). The same year, a strike was launched to demand the introduction of the 35-hour workweek in East Germany but failed.
    France: above average worktime in Europe
    According to a study, the average effective length of work during the reference week within the second half [or third?] of 2006, all types of jobs and job areas combined, is at 38 hours in France, for an average of 37.9 hours in the 27-member EU and an average of 37.4 hours within the euro-currency members. Germany is at 35.6 hours, the Netherlands 30.8 hours. Some countries work more than France with 38.6 hours in Italy, 40.1 hours in Croatia and 42.7 hours in Greece(14).
    The 35-hour policy
    Objectives
    The stated objectives of the Socialist Party for the transition to the 35-hour workweek were:
    The effect anticipated from the reform was to share the volume of [natural, market-demanded] work on offer to the overall labor pool. The reduction of the worktime [per person] would then be accompanied by job creation.
    [Which is in fact what happened as the workweek for all advanced economies was cut in half, from over 80 hours to 40, between 1840 and 1950, sometimes with (US 1938-40), but mostly without, careful coordinated planning.]
    This point has been harshly criticized by economists, including some economists close to the Socialist Party such as Thomas Piketty(15).
    [The article on Piketty in the English-language Wikipedia does not mention worktime per person at all in any form as an economic variable, let alone an important historic or potential control variable, let alone as the control variable of our lifetimes. If the anglophone article is an accurate reflection of Piketty's position, it would appear that his three years of teaching at MIT infected him with the general and fairly effective taboo on any discussion whatsoever of worktime economics throughout the international population of economists who have any notion of being included in any important policy or professional discussions. As *Tom Walker asks, "Why is the best remedy the forbidden one?" But then, Barbara Tuchman in her amazing *March of Folly demonstrated several examples of this strange phenomenon, which certainly impugns the "intelligence" of our species.]
    The law may be an opportunity to relaunch negotiations and social dialogue in order to optimize the organization of work and then ultimately to grow the productivity of the economy.
    [Nonsequitur alert! This sentence was apparently written when the 35-hour law was first passed. Note the supply-side assumption that productivity growth is the ultimate goal - no thought about the marketability of that productivity growth, as if Say's "Law" is infallibly ex-cathedra - "if you build it, they will come" - or in this case, "if you produce it, it will sell," because Say said so = Markets Clear!!! - nevermind price drops or hyperproduction pollution or historical counterexamples = "Don't bother me with facts, my mind's made up!"]
    On the individual level, the measure will bring free time to workers and likely improve their family and community life,... It is therefore likely to improve the living conditions and health of the employee, but also the living conditions of his family. Among the diverse benefits put forward, there have been cited a reduction in health expenditures, a bettering of productivity due to [better] health, a "fairer" distribution of responsibilities between men and women in the heart of the home, greater importance accorded to the family (for example, educating its children and listening-to and helping the grandparents...), and a greater facility in taking vacations.
    General plan
    The reduction of worktime (RWT) is a policy put in place by Martine Aubry, under the government of Lionel Jospin, to reduce the weekly duration of work with the idea that this would permit job creation and boost the economy in France, to combat unemployment through worksharing (although this would not necessarily include sharing individual workstations).
    With a quota of overtime fixed at 180 hours annually, the maximum duration of worktime throughout the year in the absence of a legal impairment is about 39 hours.(16) This quota does not preclude, as in the rest of the European Union, a maximum effective worktime of 48 hours in an isolated week [unclear!].
    In 1848, the legal duration of work was 48 hours in France, then 40 hours in 1936 [four years before the USA!], 39 hours in 1982, and 35 hours in 2002. But already in 1982, a joint accord in metallurgy provided a period of 33h 36[m?] for continuous-fire plants,(17) and in 1996, the law on the arrangement and reduction of worktime (called the Robien law) put in place by Gilles de Robien offered assistance to companies to encourage them to apply this policy of worktime reduction (10% less social taxes for 10% more hires). In the event, few companies experimented with taking advantage of this law between 1996 and 2002.
    Under the Jospin government, these political ideas gave rise to a law of worktime-reduction education and incentive (law no. 98-461 of 13 June 1998) with the aim of preparing and informing employers, then to a law concerned with the negotiated reduction of worktime (law no. 2000-37 of 19 January 2000) to set the implementation rules for the transition to the 35-hour workweek. For example, delays in transitioning to 35 hours depended on company size.
    The plan was to reduce the duration of weekly worktime from 39 to 35 hours . Specifically, the employee could continue to work 39 hours, but certain supplementary hours (4 per week) would cumulate for use in the form of half-days or full days of rest ("RWT"). In any case, the maximum duration of work over a year was 1,600 hours.(18) It was revised to 1,607 hours a year in 2005 following the introduction of "Solidarity Day" [is this an additional holiday or an additional workday?].
    Examples of possible schedules:
    35 hours without RWT day, 7 hours a day, 5 days a week
    37.5 hours a week and 12 RWT days a year
    39 hours a week and 24 RWT days a year
    39 hours a week and a half RWT day per week
    39 hours a week and two RWT days per 4-week period
    The 35-hour workweek arrangements took place case by case, and gave rise to discussions (sometimes strained) and negotiations between employers and employees. The RWT acronym entered common speech to designate, by semantic extension, the rest days (RWT days) earned through worktime reduction.
    In cases where negotiations did not produce agreement, the law specifies the terms of the overtime hours (amended in 2003 by François Fillon who stretched the quotas). In 2003, they are limited to a total of 180 hours per employee per year, 130 in cases where modulation applies (workweek variation throughout the year).
    Stretching of the hours of overtime:
    for companies up to 20 employees, 10% of the 36th to the 39th hour inclusive, then 25% up to the 43rd hour inclusive
    for companies of more than 20 employees, 25% of the 36th to the 43rd hour inclusive
    beyond 43 hours, 50% stretching
    [Does this make sense?? Why on earth would they allow more stretching with more stretching, instead of less with more? What a silly complication of the wrong part of the design here, when it's obvious that the single crude distinction between small and "large" companies at just 20 employees is the aspect that needs attention, and indeed received attention in South Korea's 44-to-40-hour transition with a total of seven company-size gradations 2004-2011.]
    These ovetime hours can also be compensated by a compensating rest (a stretch of 25% is equivalent to a quarter of an hour per overtime hour). Finally. actual hours beyond quota automatically authorize a compensating rest (50% for companies up to 20 employees, 100% for others).
    Case of small businesses
    Small businesses, that is to say, businesses and economic and social organizations of 20 employees or less, and the public sector [why on earth would they let the biggest economic organization, the government, go with the smallest???], benefited from an exempting allowance that subjected them only gradually to the 35-hour workweek and to additional rules and rights promulgated in the overtime area.
    First off, their legal workweek was reduced from 39 to 35 hours two years after the more important companies in 2000, namely starting on 1 January 2002.(19)

    Secondly, actual overtime hours in these small businesses entitled employees only to compensation of 10% (instead of 25%) during the first calendar year in which the "35 hours" applied, namely up till 31 December 2002. This exemption was extended by the Fillon law to 31 December 2005 if no company-level accord had set a different overtime stretch.(20) This exemption was extended again, with no fixed deadline[!], in 2005.(21)
    [This is where Sarcozy was doing his unemployment-hiking hatchet job on the 35-hour workweek, in his bizarre worship of Bush's suicidal America, still today in the process of splitting into (over-)workers and (parasite-)drones despite some offset thanks to the worksharing programs in just over 50% of the states.]
    Thirdly, for these companies, the options for counting compensatable overtime hours were more advantageous. Initially, hours that simply violated the 35-hour quota were counted, then for the year 2002 those beyond 37 hours and then for the year 2003 back down to 36 hours. This 36-hour threshold, in stead and place of 35, was perpetuated by the law of 31 March 2005.
    All the detailed impairments were finally repealed by the 2007 TEPA law.(22)
    In the framework of workweek reduction to 35 hours without a collective accord being signed, the 10% stretches could be:
    either converted to rest, which represents approximately two days of rest per year,
    or paid, which represents an increase in weekly salary [but not hourly wage] of about 1%.
    [It strikes me that somewhere along the line here the main idea of reducing unemployment was lost and the emphasis in this design shifted to compensating overtime, whereas a much more effective emphasis would be on converting overtime into training&jobs, as in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the Timesizing Program. And yet France's shift to the 35-hour workweek STILL WORKED to cut unemployment from 12.6% in 1997 when it was voted in, to 8.6% in spring 2001 before the US-led recession hit France = 1% less unemployment per workweek-hourcut, same as the US itself got in its cut from 44 to 40 hours in 1938-40.]
    In fact, employees under this scheme transition either to 35 hours and get paid for 35 hours (so a [4-hour] reduction of their [39-hour workweek's] salary), or if they have 4 overtime hours in a week (in conformance to their initial employment contract), they work 39 hours and get paid for 39.[citation needed]
    The employer could also decide to apply a personnel accord (that is, an agreement signed by the unions and the employer representatives in a professional area) or else negotiate a business accord, either with a delegated union, if the company has one, or with an employee authorized by a representative union.
    Impact
    The impact of the recent worktime reduction remains uncertain because of the lack of historical decline. Thus an OECD survey concluded in 2003:(23)
    «Overall, the short term effects of this measure on employment were probably positive. In a longer term perspective, one might fear that this policy of collective worktime reduction will weigh heavily on public finances and that it cut into economic growth potential.»
    [Well, "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush," and France has "probably" positive short term effects on employment while the USA, by avoiding any discussion or strict enforcement of workweek limits, has short term job losses that are mounting ever higher and making it ever harder for the entrenched plutocracy to externalize and poohpooh the costs in terms of record-breaking welfare, disability, homelessness and incarceration. Meanwhile nervous onepercenters in France are trying to attack their nation's "probably" positive short term experience with mere longer term fear.]
    Also to consider in the assessing the economic impact of the 35 hour week is the financial dimension, and also the social dimension. The stress generated by the worktime reduction [nevermind the alternative stress of jobloss and unemployment] could be harmful for the health of certain employees [oh please - what blatant straining for deregulators' face-saving], while others on the contrary could thereby profit from a better quality of life.
    Opposition to the reform criticizes the 'important cost' for government and business of what the French left considers 'social progress.'
    [If the opposition had any perspective, it would notice the important maintenance of French consumer spending, domestically marketable productivity and domestic investment sustainability - and the savings for French unemployment insurance funds and welfare funds and disability funds and for homeless and prison services.]
    It's appropriate to take into account the following factors, which don't all go in the same direction:
    • Impact on employment
    • Job creation balance-sheet
    • The original goal of the Socialist Party to create 700,000 jobs(24)
    The impact of the workweek cut is difficult to estimate [only if you desperately want it to be], because it's necessary to gauge the role of other measures in force (including easing of costs) [OK], of eventual job loss [not OK, this has an indefinite timeframe and is therefore begging for a plain erroneous or specially biassed forecast] that would be caused by taxes and charges that finance these measures, and of the general economic context [OK].
    [As we said, in 1997 when the 35-hour party was voted in, unemployment was 12.6%. In spring of 2001 before the US-led recession hit France, it was 8.6%. So the 4-hour workweek cut had a 4% impact on unemployment. Let's start from there instead of from obfuscation.]
    In addition, the impact varies depending on the considered time horizon [dba data window]; the positive effect is immediate [that should be good enough, because everywhere else the negative effect of downsizing is immediate AND CUMULATIVE], the negative impact on employment would only appear gradually.(25)
    [Let's cut the conditional, subjunctive, indefinite timeframe, STRAINED attempts at criticism that go on and on without merit or substance.]
    Studies, all relatively conservative [in what sense?], arrive at different results. They do not decide in a precise manner on the number of jobs created or destroyed by the transition to 35 hours, leaving room for controversy.
    [And demanding that kind of precise decision in any social science let alone something so prone to bias as economics is ridiculous and not asked of ANY OTHER economic policy shift.]
    A massive creation of jobs?
    The Institute of Research, Economic and Social (IRES), managed by the French unions, spoke in 2002 of a net amount of 500,000 jobs created.(26)
    Martine Aubry, the originator of the project, stated in February 2004 [incomplete ref.], that a net of 'about 400,000 jobs' had been created "outside of hospitals and local communities." The Socialist Pary has officially adopted these figures.

    [ CLEANED UP TO HERE 5/19 ]
    The Medef, opposed from the outset to the 35 hour week deemed "uneconomical" and "antisocial" 27, estimated the number of jobs created during the first year of their implementation at 1500028. The employers ' organization has also highlighted the cost of the measure, stating that "35 hours are very widely at the origin of the handicaps of our country's competitiveness. The shock in terms of direct and indirect costs, abnormalities, rigidities and reputation was considerable and explains the stall of the French economy "(29)
    Insee, in 2004, considers the creation of 350,000 jobs, or 200,000 direct jobs and 150,000 jobs due to the reduction in charges that accompany the reduction of working time, jobs that would not be all permanents(30).
    According to DARES (Statistical Department of the Ministry of labor), 35 hours created 350,000 additional jobs throughout the period 1998-2002(31).
    A contribution moderate to the drop in unemployment?
    The Foundation Concorde, taken over by the IFRAP, calculated in 2002 that the 35 hours are directly responsible for the creation of 50,000 jobs, a cost for public finances of 10 billion euros32.
    OECD speaks of a 'uncertain' balance, ' which will be a contribution moderate downward unemployment' and 'in the next years, lower than in the youth employment."[citation needed]
    Two economists, Matthew path and Etienne Wasmer, reached the conclusion that the reduction of working time did not had a significant impact on the chomage(33).
    Destruction of jobs?
    Christian Gianella, OECD Economist, concludes simulations that the Aubry laws have destroyed jobs, 'in spite of significant creations that have been able to accompany them on the period 1998-2001"," especially considering the cost of [the] funding relief of loads and the hourly SMIC Dynamics induced by the introduction of minimum monthly guarantees» 6.
    Cost of this job creation
    Some opponents of the reform as the ex-socialiste Pierre Larrouturou, stressed the problem that these subsidies have been paid without conditions. According to them, should have been that they are administered only if a certain number of jobs had been created within the company. Have done without condition would have had an effect comparable to a simple reduction of taxes, given that no obligation of reorganization, most companies would have converted these aid in overtime and not jobs [citation needed].
    Effects on productivity
    Competitiveness of enterprises
    The effects of the 35 hours on the competitiveness of companies, include:
    An increase in the hourly costs of 11.4% (39 hours / 35 hours), due to the reduction of working hours, without loss of wages for the employees or the cost of 4 hours additional weekly for those who continued to work 39 hours.
    A reorganization of the business. A portion of the additional costs have therefore been depreciated by productivity gains, but this reorganization has itself had a cost, that has not always had direct impact on the competitiveness of enterprises.
    Effect of noria: job creation focused on young people at the lower wage early in his career as that of the replaced workers. [citation needed]
    A comparative study on Insee over the period 1997-2000, the competitiveness of enterprises having adopted the 35 hours, measured by the overall productivity of the factors (capital and labor), fell (by 3.7%) with businesses remaining in the 39 hours. Despite the reduction in charges granted by these companies, as well as the frequent freezing nominal wages.
    The increase in the number of deposits of balance sheet remains difficult to interpret. And after some, it is an effect of the 35 hours, while for others, it is only a consequence of a lack of competitiveness of some companies that the transition to the 35-hour week has made that reveal earlier [citation needed].
    Flexible hours
    The consideration for the most often negotiated business is the ability to have more flexible hours.
    Thus, when the company had a change of activity, it was resorting to overtime or technical unemployment (except agreement of annualized). The negotiations that followed the Aubry laws have widespread seasonal forms of modulation of working time or the time-savings accounts. This modulation of schedules is made all the more necessary that the overtime was capped by these laws.
    In addition, some SMEs (traders, liberal) had to reduce the number of hours of opening to the public of their business due to the limit in 1600 by the number of hours worked per year and inability to financial to hire an additional employee.
    labor productivity
    Finally according to the OECD over the 1990-1996 period, i.e., before setting up 35 hours:
    hourly labor productivity has experienced a high rate of growth in France: 2.32% per year against 1.44% for the European Union and 1.95% for the OECD. This growth rate average was 1.63% over the period 1990-1996 [citation needed].
    However the hourly productivity improvement was not sufficient to compensate for the reduction of working time. Indeed, per capita productivity has experienced an annual average growth of 1.06% in France but of 1.54% in OECD countries. This rate was in France of 1.13% in the period 1990-1996 [citation needed].
    According to the 2007 report of the Committee on employment in the Europe(34):
    35 Hours had no effect on the whole of the French time. For people working full time averaged 41.3 hours (including overtime) before the 35-hour week, it rose to an average of 41 hours after.
    Strong effect on the productivity of work: 35 hours allowed to annualise the work, and to accelerate the rotation of the teams, allowing a better use of the equipment: equipment used to 50 hours per week in 1995 are used for 55 hours in 2000, still the same figure in 2007.
    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the United States, the cost in dollars of the time of working of the French worker increased by 11.5% between 1990 and 2003. By contrast, the cost of the American worker working time was 43% and 42% for the British worker. In 1990, French workers had the lowest hourly cost of Europe, with the Germans. In 2002, the hourly cost is the lowest among the major industrialized countries: 5% less than in the United Kingdom, 25% less than in the United States.[citation needed]
    According to the statistics of 2007, productivity per hour worked in France is 40.1 euros per hour, she is in England £ 22.3 / hour, is reported in euros: about 32 euros per hour.
    Social consequences
    35 hours and birth
    The fertility rate reached in France child 1.98 by femme35, some sociologists make the link with the 35 hours without explaining why the United Kingdom has experienced almost the same increase from 1.63 in 2001 to 1.87 in 200636. Other origins are often pointed to this high level (support for children from 3 years to kindergarten, high immigration from countries with high fertility (Turkey, Maghreb),...), not to mention the overseas (Mayotte fertility is more than four children per woman). In the USA the fertility rate is higher than that of the France37.
    Consequences for workers
    Rated by the workers concerned
    The RWT has also had a profound impact on the daily organization of work: business requirement for improved performance resulted in a widespread use of new technologies [citation needed] with a layout competition of individuals, of the workshops, in terms of quantity and quality of production. Family life could both be facilitated by the time released and the RWT, and be affected by requirements for greater flexibility.
    It follows a contrasting social balance evidenced by Insee studies grouped in an economy and Statistique38: ' there are mainly the increase of time spent with the family (spouse and children) and passed to rest or perform other domestic, semi-loisir or leisure activities.» "Conversely, variability of schedules, the schedules in General atypicite and its increase, the rise of the objectives and the adverse impact of the RWT compensation influence negatively this satisfaction."
    The reform increased the inequalities between employees: ' studies, both quantitative and qualitative, tend to highlight inequalities in capacity to work within the labor: between socio-professional categories, status, age and between companies and sectors activite38.»
    Income
    Article does not sufficiently cite its sources (April 2009)...
    In the case of employees subject to overtime, the transition to the 35-hour could result in a decrease in overall revenue when a part of their overtime was more settled in the same way.
    Overall, the intermittents du spectacle, seasonal workers, temporary workers, saw their wages drop for a full year: mission contracts agreed in general on the basis of slots (1 hour conducted, 1 paid hour), excluding them de facto (except jurisprudence for the intermittent) and the monthly the annualization of the volume of hours worked to guarantee the fixity of a salary subject to regulations (on a month35 weekly hours worked may give rise to compensation involving, for example, 140, 147, or 154 hours monthly, against a provision fixed 151, 67 hours invariable for 35 hours (4, 33 weeks × 35 hours or 35 hours x 52 weeks / 12 months) paid monthly to the employees hold a contract CDD or TDCI non, giving rise to unstable remunerationwhich ratified the notorious precariousness of these statuses yet recognized as regular by revenus39 sources.
    According to a study by Insee on over the period 1997-2002, the purchasing power of employees at the top or at the bottom of the social hierarchy has increased very slightly, but has stagnated or declined in the middle. Indeed, the purchasing power of workers has increased by 0.8% on average per year (mainly related to the increase of the minimum wage). This rate was 1% for executives, but only 0.2% for employees, while the intermediary professions have suffered from a negative rate of 0.2%. In order to explain the poor purchasing power increase, Insee notes especially a continuing recession incentives related to the renegotiation of their terms at the time of the implementation of the reduction of working time.
    On the other hand, the TCTS agreements have sometimes been concluded in exchange for a freeze on nominal wages over several years, which in a context of even moderate inflation means a fall in real wages and purchasing power.
    Case of the hospital
    The establishment strongly disrupted the operation of the hopitaux40 when recruitments have not offset the reduction of working time. Otherwise, some hospital executives believe that adoption of the 35 hours has instead been beneficial: thus, the HRD of Quimper hospital, Yannick Heulot said in January 2005: 'Since the implementation of the 35-hour, absenteeism for illness of personnel has decreased' (41).
    New features introduced in the labor law and social dialogue
    Executives Article does not sufficiently cite its sources (April 2009)...
    A consequence of the «Aubry2» law deals with executives. In the French labor law, prior to 2000, the your category referred to as employees 'framework' was not defined. It existed only in collective agreements and in the "law of social security" (supplementary executive retirement fund) where an employee was defined as a framework when it is a contributor or not. Act 2000 introduced, for the first time, the 'framework' in the labor code.
    A consideration of the introduction of the notion of a frame in the labor code was the introduction, in this same code, the concept of annual annual working days for certain categories of staff. Such framework should meet its objectives by working for example 215 days per year (maximum legal 218 days), free him in 3 h/day or 15 hours a day. This type of clause is dangerous because, in many companies, the annual individual objectives are not negotiable.
    The instituent negotiation Article does not sufficiently cite its sources (April 2009)...
    Second point which was not an absolute novelty, the concept of 'negotiation instituent. It was, according to some players of economico-social life, from a legislative text centralized and general decline of decentralized negotiations to apply multiple combinations of options open by law. Among the agreements thus negotiated clauses could be included 'revision' clauses, clauses of "follow-up". A monitoring clause often involves the creation of a 'joint commission's monitoring of the agreement' and the requirement of a minimum joint dialogue in this Committee.
    In summary, negotiations could lead to the creation of an institution ("institution" here being the Monitoring Committee), hence the expression "negotiation instituent. It should be noted that such an approach corresponds to the concepts of some philosophers such as Cornelius Castoriadis, who find that a company, a civilization are self-built by creating its institutions generally without really trying, but that the self-empowerment of the workers and patrons through the instituting explicitly desired; This does not mean that the objective is completed, or that annoying side effects are excluded. In this case, the novelty anxious to massing of the instituent negotiation.
    This point is controversial. Prior to 1997, was a widely shared consensus among the reformers of right and left on the reduction and management of working time by negotiations differentiated according to industries and businesses, Gilles de Robien, right and left, CFDT for example. These however thought that the negotiations could be on for years over the progress of productivity varied and that it would contribute to improving social relations on the ground. Or the fact that the Government decided to legislate in haste has reduced these hopes to nil; some actors, the CFDT, even declared that the fluidity of the social dialogue had strongly declined through the strengthening of a sterile Manichaeism bosses/employees.
    Reaugmentation of the duration of work in some enterprises
    The questioning of the agreements in 35 hours remain rare in 2005(42). However, can cite a few cases that gave rise to a significant media coverage.
    In July 2004, the employees of Bosch in Vénissieux agreed to go from 35 to 36 hours without wage compensation. (In this case, the hourly wage decreased). The company provided a removal of 300 jobs over the following years and refused to make new investments, noting that the social costs in France were higher by 20% compared with the Italy or the Czech Republic.
    In addition, the reduction of the cost of the work related to a relatively small increase in the hours of work should have allowed new investments and therefore of new hires (240). This case has in recent years inspired other companies: for example the Group soft, Alcan, Seb, and Hewlett-Packard. Unions speak them "use blackmail.
    A questioning 35 hours?
    This article is incomplete in its development or the expression of concepts and ideas. Its content is therefore to be considered with caution...
    The question of overtime
    For the employees concerned, the law on the 35-hour allows a quota limited to overtime. From 2002, the overtime system is gradually relaxed with an increase in the annual quota (passage to 180 hours annually in 20021 200343 220 hours), under the second Government of Raffarin. The tax exemption of overtime, voted in August 2007 TEPA law, under the Fillon Government, encourages the hours supplementaires(44).
    «Work more.»
    After 2003, annual working time increases slightly with the removal of Whit Monday for a so-called day of "solidarity".
    While a study of 200645sur the duration of the effective average work shows that all types of jobs and all branches combined working hours is 38 hours in France, compared with 35.6 hours in the Germany, 36.9 hours in the United Kingdom, 30.8 hours at the Denmark and the Union averaged 37.9 hours 27, the Government of François Fillon (UMP) vote laws in 2007, the aim of which is to allow working more, depending on the choices of companies or employees; in particular, the TEPA law establishes the tax exemption of overtime.
    This partial questioning of 35 hours, i.e. the idea that the reduction of working time would create jobs (fallacy of a fixed mass of work) go hand in hand, according to some, with a questioning of the intervention of the State in the field of the regulation of the travail46 time.
    This hypothesis was yet not proved accurate with the Matignon Accords.
    Critical supporters of the week from 4 days to map
    Related article: four-day week.
    From before that are passed laws Aubry, Pierre Larrouturou was violently opposed. Michel Rocard47 in 1993, and Jacques Delors48en 1997, officially voted in favour of the 4-day week. In 1993 the right Senatorial vote an amendment establishing experimentally the 32 hours(49).
    This new approach to the design of the work however struggled to spread, because it involves the refusal to stick to the traditional policies. At the time when Pierre Larrouturou was member of the PS, such questioning, yet influential members of the party, would also need to dissociate itself from their colleagues. [citation needed]
    Pierre Larrouturou was estimated in 1998 that the 35-hour reform would not produce the effect of 'critical mass' necessary. The impact on employment would be low and it would be very costly. Thousands of employees would be frustrated and this could be one of the causes of the defeat of the left in 200250.
    He also felt that it would not bring the qualitative developments expected in the work report. For all these reasons, the 35-hour week would discredit the principle of the "RWT". [citation needed]
    Jacques Delors, Michel Rocard, Pierre Larrouturou, who felt too soft Aubry law, say that could mitigate its adverse effects using the S4J, already applied for a long time by of many SME/VSE (Granny Nova, Fleury Michon, restaurants, driving schools, small computer software...)(51).
    According to Pierre Larrouturou (52), a study of the Ministry of labor [citation needed] considers that a general movement to map 4 days week could create 1.6 million jobs. In this case the effort to make by the Assedic would be smaller, employers and employees would have less to contribute.
    Low wages have lost nothing, frameworks and business lost 2 or 3%. This decline could sometimes become, over time, less consistent, because the incentive of employees and best performance (more time for leisure, short time return trips, reduced transport costs, less fatigue at work, better quality of life and better involvement of the employee). [citation needed]
    Even if the Aubry law also had a paid weeks option, it did not allow total contributions unemployment relief, while with the S4J this advantage has been granted, to condition, however, that there were at least 10% of additional employees hired. No constraint of this order was imposed in the context of the Aubry law, new hires have been relatively insignificant. [citation needed]
    Pierre Larrouturou sets a rate of unemployment less than 5% (residual unemployment) in a draft Treaty for a social Europe social, receiving the soutien53, among others, Jacques Delors, Michel Rocard, but Romano Prodi, then President of the European Commission, Elio Di Rupo (President of the Belgian PS), Bronislaw Gemerek (liberal MEP), etc. [citation needed]
    Notes and references
    1. ? a et b « Les dispositions successives sur la durée du travail [archive] », MINEFE, 2003 [PDF]
    2. ? Loi n°98-461 du 13 juin 1998 d'orientation et d'incitation relative à la réduction du temps de travail (Loi dite loi Aubry I) [archive] (texte initial)
    3. ? Programme du PS pour les élections législatives de 1997 [1] [archive]
    4. ? graphique page 38, « Les effets de la RWT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Insee, 2004 [PDF]
    5. ? « Les effets de la RWT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Économie et Statistique, Insee, 2004 [PDF]
    6. ? a et b « Les trente-cinq heures : un réexamen des effets sur l’emploi » [archive], Christian Gianella, in Économie et Prévision, n°175-176, p. 163-178, 2006 [PDF]
    7. ? « L’expérience française de réduction collective du temps de travail (RWT) est originale parmi les pays de l’OCDE. », communiqué de presse Insee [archive], juin 2005 [PDF]
    8. ? Voir article détaillé : Économie du travail#Modèle microéconomique néoclassique : offre de travail
    9. ? Thomas Morus, L'Utopie, Paris, Paulin, 1842, 311 p. [lire en ligne [archive]], p. 142–147
    10. ? << Strauss-Kahn ou la tentation de Washington [archive] >>, Sophie Fay et Philippe Goulliaud, Le Figaro, 14 octobre 2007
    11. ? NOR: TASX9601538L : LOI no 96-502 du 11 juin 1996 tendant à favoriser l'emploi par l'aménagement et la réduction conventionnels du temps de travail (1) J.O n° 135 du 12 juin 1996 page 8719
    12. ? « Bisher ist die 35-Stunden-Woche nur in fünf Branchen als Regel-Wochenarbeitszeit in Tarifverträgen fixiert: in der Stahl-, Metall-, Elektro-, Druck- sowie in der holz- und papierverarbeitenden Industrie - und auch nur in den alten Bundesländern. » (jusqu'à présent, la règle des 35h par semaine est fixée dans les conventions collectives de 5 branches uniquement : acier; métal; électronique; imprimerie; bois et papier - et uniquement dans les anciens Länder c'est-à-dire l'ex-Allemagne de l'Ouest) Communiqué [archive] du Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 4 mai 2005
    13. ? Communiqué du syndicat de la métallurgie [archive] IG Metall, 16 août 2005
    14. ? Alternatives Économiques, hors Série du 2e trimestre 2007, cité par le site ContreInfo : contreinfo.info [archive]
    15. ? Le supplice des 35 heures [archive], Thomas Piketty, décembre 2007
    16. ? 4h (nombre d'heures supplémentaires par semaine) × 45,53 (nombre annuel de semaines de travail en tenant compte des congés payés et des jours fériés) = 182,12
    17. ? Accord national métallurgie du 23 février 1982 sur la durée du travail [archive], annexe 3, article 1
    18. ? art. L212-8 & 9 du Code du travail (ancien)
    19. ? art. 1, paragraphe II de la loi n°2000-37 du 19 janvier 2000 relative à la réduction négociée du temps de travail, NOR: MESX9900090L
    20. ? art. 5 de la loi n° 2003-47 du 17 janvier 2003 relative aux salaires, au temps de travail et au développement de l'emploi,NOR: SOCX0200137L
    21. ? art. 4 de la loi n° 2005-296 du 31 mars 2005 portant réforme de l'organisation du temps de travail dans l'entreprise, NOR: MRTX0508094L
    22. ? LOI n° 2007-1223 du 21 août 2007 en faveur du travail, de l'emploi et du pouvoir d'achat, art. 1 XI
    23. ? John P . Martin, Martine Durand et Anne Saint-Martin, La réduction du temps de travail: une comparaison de la politique des « 35 heures » avec les politiques d'autres pays membres de l'OCDE [archive] [PDF]
    24. ? PS info : 1 Changeons la politique économique et sociale, programme pour les élections législatives 1997 Voir le document source [archive]
    25. ? les premières années, les entreprises n'ajustent pas immédiatement leur demande de travail aux nouvelles conditions (et, mis à part les réorganisations, sont obligées d'embaucher pour faire face à la réduction des heures travaillées), à plus long terme l'augmentation du coût du travail ne modifie que progressivement le comportement des entreprises (faillites, délocalisations, réduction d'effectif, annulation des investissements)….
    26. ? Michel Husson, « Réduction du temps de travail et emploi : une nouvelle évaluation », Revue de l'IRES, n° 38, 2002/1
    27. ? "La bataille des 35 heures" [archive], le Monde,22 août 2009
    28. ? "Créations d'emplois, dialogue social, salaires…Ce que les 35 heures ont déjà changé. Premier bilan, onze mois après le vote de la loi sur la réduction du temps de travail." [archive], Libération, 22 août 1999
    29. ? "Les 35 heures et le coût du travail : les vrais enjeux d'une compétitivité équitable" [archive], communiqué du MEDEF, 5 janvier 2011
    30. ? « Les effets de la RWT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Insee, 2004 [PDF]
    31. ? DARES, Les politiques de l'emploi et du marché du travail, coll. Repères, éd. La Découverte, 2003
    32. ? 65 milliards de francs, Colloque Ifrap [archive], p. 26 [PDF]
    33. ? Chemin, M. and E. Wasmer, (2009), Using Alsace-Moselle local laws to build a difference-in-differences estimation strategy of the employment effects of the 35-hour workweek regulation in France, forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics. Voir aussi : quedisentleseconomistes [archive]
    34. ? ec.europa.eu [archive] [PDF]
    35. ? (en) Total fertility rate - Country Comparison [archive] - IndexMundi
    36. ? (en) Fertility rate 'at 26-year high' [archive], BBC, juin 2007
    37. ? (en) United States Total fertility rate [archive] - IndexMundi
    38. ? a et b Économie et Statistique n° 376-377 (Sommaire), communiqué de presse [archive] du 17 juin 2005, Insee [PDF]
    39. ? http://www.infoprudhommes.fr/note-juridique/43-le-montant-du-salaire-de-base [archive]
    40. ? « L'hôpital et les 35 heures [archive] », Emmnauel Cuny (neurochirurgien), 4 décembre 2007, dans Les Échos
    41. ? Un hôpital qui n'est pas malade de ses 35 heures, article sur le site de Radio-France, janvier 2005 : http://www.radiofrance.fr/reportage/dossier/index.php?aid=100000135&arch=1&formtype=dossier&rid=100000053 [archive]
    42. ? «Peu d'entreprises ont précédé Hewlett-Packard dans la remise en cause des 35 heures», Nathalie Brafman et Sophie Landrin, Le Monde du 11 novembre 2005
    43. ? site service public [archive]
    44. ? « À partir du 1er octobre, les heures supplémentaires devraient rapporter davantage [archive] », Le Monde, septembre 2007
    45. ? contreinfo.info [archive]
    46. ? Rapport du Conseil d'analyse économique: Temps de travail, revenu et emploi [archive]
    47. ? Michel Rocard, « Ce qu'ils en pensent [archive] », Nouvelle Gauche, 2009. Consulté le 31 janvier 2010
    48. ? Le Monde, 7 octobre 1997 : « La S4J est la formule la plus créatrice d'emplois. »
    49. ? http://www.francetv.fr/2012/blog/le-perchoir/video-de-la-semaine-quand-la-droite-voulait-experimenter-les-32-heures-115500 [archive]
    50. ? La gauche est morte, vive la gauche ! Presses de la Renaissance, 2001. Pages 98 et 99
    51. ? Pierre Larrouturou, Crise : La Solution interdite, Desclée De Brouwer, 2009.
    52. ? P. Larrouturou, « P.Larrouturou : La S4J créerait 1,6 million d'emplois [archive] », lemonde.fr, 2007. Consulté le 9 mars 2010
    53. ? Pierre Larrouturou, « Une autre Europe. 2)Négocier un Traité Social [archive] », Nouvelle Gauche, 2003. Consulté le 2 février 2008 ...
    Bibliography
    Jean Bounine, Vérité sur les 35 heures, 2002, Éditions du rocher (ISBN 978-2-268-04432-3)
    Pierre Larrouturou, Pour la semaine de quatre jours : sortir du piège des 35 heures, 1999, Éditions La Découverte (ISBN 978-2-7071-2961-1)
    Dossier « L’esprit d’entreprise au pays des 35 heures » de la Revue internationale de Psychosociologie, Volume XIII, 2007/3. ...
    Last modification of this page, the 6th of March 2013 at 6:37pm ...
    [Original French -]
    Loi des 35 heures, Dernière modification de cette page le 6 mars 2013 à 18:37, Wikipédia.com
    PARIS, France - La réforme des 35 heures est une mesure de politique économique française mise en place par le gouvernement Jospin à partir de l’année 2000 par deux lois votées en 1998 et 20001,2 fixant la durée légale du temps de travail salarié à temps plein à 35 heures par semaine, en moyenne annuelle, au lieu de 39 heures précédemment, en contrepartie d'une plus grande flexibilité des horaires. Cette mesure s'inscrit dans la continuité des lois de réduction de la durée légale du travail, notamment la mise en place des 40 heures par les Accords Matignon en juin 1936, qui ont, en France, participé à la longue histoire de la réduction du temps de travail qui, depuis le XIXe siècle, caractérise l'ensemble des économies développées.
    D'abord défendu dans une perspective de progrès social mais aussi inspirée par une logique de partage du travail, le « passage aux 35 heures» s'inscrivait dans l'objectif prioritaire de créations d'emplois du programme du Parti socialiste pour les élections législatives de 19973. Les effets de la réforme sur la durée effective du travail se sont traduits par une diminution de celle-ci d’environ 2,6 heures4. La réforme a aussi eu des impacts sur le temps de travail des cadres, bien que nombre d'entre eux n'étaient pas soumis à une durée légale du temps de travail sur une base hebdomadaire mais dite « au forfait » (sur une base annualisée ou comptabilisée en jours et non en heures). Mais par ailleurs, les analyses économétriques sur les créations d'emploi divergent. En 2004, une étude de l'Insee estimait que les créations d'emploi s'établissaient à 350 000 postes entre 1998 et 2002 sans déséquilibre financier apparent pour les entreprises5. Mais d'autres études ont fait des évaluations plus négatives, certaines arguant même d'un effet négatif sur l'emploi en prenant en compte les effets de long-terme6. De fait, la mesure des effets réels de la réforme des 35 heures sur l'économie est complexe notamment parce que en termes de créations d'emplois, l'effet négatif de la hausse du coût du travail horaire ne se manifeste que progressivement sachant qu'il est compensé par des baisses de charges (qui ont pesé sur les finances publiques), une modération salariale et des gains de productivité résultant de la réforme, dont l'ampleur est difficile à évaluer. Tout cela contribue à alimenter un large débat, à la fois parmi les économistes et dans le monde politique.
    Durant les années 1990, aucun autre pays de l'OCDE n’a mis en place une réforme similaire de réduction généralisée du temps de travail(7). Toutefois, en Allemagne, pays où la durée du travail relève des conventions collectives de chaque branche professionnelle (dans la limite de 48h/semaine en moyenne imposée par la loi), des accords de réduction du temps de travail ont également été négociés par les partenaires sociaux, cinq branches ayant une durée du travail de 35 heures hebdomadaires (Voir infra). ...
    Origine
    La réduction du temps de travail est un phénomène progressif qui caractérise toutes les sociétés, et qui découle du progrès technique. Le progrès technique, en permettant une augmentation de la productivité horaire du travail (c’est-à-dire ce que produit un travailleur en heure), permet – sous l’effet des forces de marché, l’augmentation de la valeur ajoutée partagée entre les facteurs de production capital et travail – une augmentation du salaire horaire réel des travailleurs (sur le long terme, le salaire horaire augmente au même rythme que la productivité du travail horaire), et partant, leur permet de réduire leur durée de travail : les employés choisissent en effet de répartir leur temps entre travail et loisirs, et une hausse de salaire horaire réel les incitera à travailler un peu moins(8) : on dit qu’ils font un arbitrage entre revenus et loisirs. Au fil des années, la hausse de la productivité du travail horaire a permis à la fois une hausse du salaire horaire et la réduction du temps de travail moyen.
    La durée moyenne de travail est différente selon les pays, en fonction de leur niveau de progrès technique, mais aussi en fonction des préférences individuelles et collectives concernant le choix entre revenus et loisir.
    La réduction du temps de travail peut se faire par libre négociation entre travailleurs et employeurs (c’est le cas des pays anglo-saxons), mais dans certains pays, dont la France, l’État fait le choix de réglementer la durée du travail. Ainsi, le gouvernement de Lionel Jospin, conformément aux promesses du PS lors de la campagne législative de 1997, a imposé une réduction du temps de travail à tous les salariés.
    La réduction du temps de travail fait partie des idéaux traditionnels de la gauche. Le socialiste Paul Lafargue avait plaidé pour une réduction dès 1880, dans son livre Le Droit à la paresse, de même que l'humaniste Thomas More, dans son livre l'Utopie, en 15169. Les syndicats de salariés français ont lutté pour la réduction du temps de travail, mais les décisions furent prises par les gouvernements, de gauche généralement (voir congés payés et Temps de travail).
    Le passage aux 35 heures figurait en 1981 dans les "110 propositions pour la France" de François Mitterrand, qui, une fois élu, s'était contenté d'abaisser la durée légale à 39 heures hebdomadaires. Martine Aubry, ministre des affaires sociales de Lionel Jospin, réalisera la mise en œuvre de la mesure phare du programme économique socialiste remise au goût du jour par Dominique Strauss-Kahn10.
    Plus récemment, dans les années 1990, le partage du temps de travail a été un sujet d'intérêt pour le centre droit, comme le montre le texte de loi (expérimentale) : Loi Robien de 199611offrant des allègements de charges patronales en contrepartie d'embauches liées à une forte réduction du temps de travail.
    En Europe
    35 heures en Allemagne dans cinq branches professionnelles En Allemagne, où la durée du travail est fixée dans chaque branche professionnelle par une convention collective établie entre les partenaires sociaux (dans la limite de 48 heures/semaine en moyenne imposée par la loi), cinq branches ont une durée du travail de 35 heures hebdomadaires (et notamment la métallurgie depuis 1990)12. Ceci ne s'applique cependant que dans l'ex-Allemagne de l'Ouest et un pourcentage fixe d'employés effectuant 40 heures est autorisé (18 % pour la métallurgie). En 2003, sous la menace de délocalisations, les syndicats ont accepté l'assouplissement de ces conventions ; le pourcentage a été amené à 50 % pour les entreprises dans lesquelles plus de la moitié des employés ont des salaires élevés13. La même année, une grève a été lancée pour réclamer l'introduction des 35 heures à l'Est mais n'a pas abouti.
    La France au-dessus du temps moyen de travail en Europe
    D'après une étude, la durée du travail moyenne effective pendant la semaine de référence au cours du second semestre 2006, tous types d’emplois et toutes branches confondus, est de 38 heures en France, pour une moyenne de l'Union européenne des vingt-sept de 37,9 heures, une moyenne de la zone euro de 37,4 heures. L’Allemagne est à 35,6 heures, les Pays-Bas à 30,8 heures. Certains pays travaillent plus que la France avec 38,6 heures en Italie, 40,1 heures en Croatie et 42,7 heures en Grèce14.
    La politique des 35 heures
    Objectifs
    Les objectifs affichés par le PS pour le passage aux 35 heures étaient :
    L’effet escompté de la réforme était de partager un volume de travail donné au sein de la population active. La réduction de la durée du travail s’accompagnerait alors d’une création d’emplois. Ce point a été durement critiqué par des économistes, y compris par des économistes proches du PS comme Thomas Piketty15.
    La loi peut être une opportunité de relancer les négociations et le dialogue social afin d’optimiser l’organisation du travail et donc en définitive d’accroître la productivité de l’économie.
    Sur le plan individuel, la mesure apportera du temps libre aux travailleurs, susceptible d’améliorer leur vie familiale, associative,… Elle est donc susceptible d’améliorer les conditions de vie, de santé de l'employé, mais aussi les conditions de vie de sa famille. Parmi les effets divers mis en avant, ont été cités une réduction des dépenses de santé, une amélioration de la productivité par la santé, une « plus juste » répartition des tâches entre hommes et femmes au sein du foyer, une attention plus importante accordée à la famille (par exemple, l'éducation de ses enfants, l'écoute et l'aide aux anciens…), et une plus grande facilité de prendre des congés.
    Projet général
    La réduction du temps de travail (RTT) est une politique mise en place par Martine Aubry, sous le gouvernement de Lionel Jospin, visant à réduire la durée hebdomadaire de travail avec l’idée que cela permettrait de créer des emplois et de relancer l'économie en France, pour lutter contre le chômage par le partage du travail (bien qu'il n'y ait pas partage des postes de travail eux-mêmes).
    Avec un contingent d’heures supplémentaires fixé à 180 heures, la durée du travail maximale moyenne sur l'année, en l'absence de dérogation, est d’environ 39 heures16. Ce contingent n'interdit pas, comme dans le reste de l'Union européenne, un temps de travail effectif maximal de 48 heures sur une semaine isolée.
    En 1848, la durée légale du travail était de 48 heures en France, puis de 40 heures en 1936, 39 heures en 1982, et 35 heures en 2002. Mais déjà en 1982, un accord paritaire de la métallurgie prévoyait un passage à 33h36 pour les usines à feu continu17, et en 1996, la Loi sur l’aménagement et la réduction du temps de travail (dite Loi Robien) mise en place par Gilles de Robien offrait une aide aux entreprises pour les inciter à appliquer cette politique de réduction (autour de 10 % de cotisations sociales en moins dans le cadre de 10 % d'embauches en plus). Dans les faits, rares sont les entreprises qui tentèrent l'expérience d'appliquer cette loi entre 1996 et 2002.
    Sous le gouvernement Jospin, ces idées politiques ont donné lieu à une Loi d'orientation et d'incitation relative à la réduction du temps de travail (loi n°98-461 du 13 juin 1998) ayant pour but de préparer le terrain et informer le patronat, puis à une Loi relative à la réduction négociée du temps de travail (loi n°2000-37 du 19 janvier 2000) pour fixer les règles d'application du passage aux 35 heures. Par exemple, les délais de passage aux 35 heures dépendaient de la taille de l'entreprise.
    Le projet était de réduire la durée hebdomadaire du travail de 39 heures à 35 heures. Concrètement, le salarié peut continuer à travailler 39 heures, mais certaines heures supplémentaires qu'il effectue (4 heures par semaine) sont cumulées pour être utilisées sous forme de demi-journées ou de journées complètes de repos ("RTT"). Quoi qu'il en soit, la durée maximale de travail sur un an était de 1 600 heures18. Elle est repassée à 1607 heures sur l'année en 2005 suite à la mise en place de la journée dite "de solidarité".
    Exemples de formules possibles :
    35 heures sans jour RTT, 7 heures par jour, 5 jours par semaine ;
    37,5 heures par semaine et 12 jours RTT par an ;
    39 heures par semaine et 24 jours RTT par an ;
    39 heures par semaine et une demi-journée de RTT par semaine ;
    39 heures par semaine et deux journées de RTT par période de 4 semaines.
    L'aménagement des 35 heures s'est fait au cas par cas, et a donné lieu à des discussions (parfois tendues) et des négociations entre le patronat et les employés. Le mot RTT est entré dans le vocabulaire courant pour désigner, par extension de sens, les journées de repos (Jours RTT) gagnées grâce à la réduction du temps de travail.
    Dans les cas où la négociation n'a pas donné lieu à des accords, la loi précise les modalités des heures supplémentaires (modifiée en 2003 par François Fillon qui a augmenté les contingents). En 2003, elles sont limitées dans un contingent : 180 heures par salarié et par an, 130 dans les cas où la modulation est appliquée (la durée hebdomadaire varie tout au long de l'année).
    Majoration des heures supplémentaires :
    pour les entreprises jusqu'à 20 salariés, 10 % de la 36e jusqu'à la 39e heure incluse, puis 25 % jusqu'à la 43e heure incluse ;
    pour les entreprises de plus de 20 salariés : 25 % de la 36e heure à la 43e heure incluse ;
    au-delà de 43 heures, la majoration est de 50 %.
    Ces heures supplémentaires peuvent également être compensées par un repos compensateur (une majoration de 25 % équivaut à un quart d'heure par heure supplémentaire). Enfin les heures effectuées hors contingent donnent droit automatiquement à un repos compensatoire (50 % pour les entreprises jusqu'à 20 salariés, 100 % pour les autres).
    Cas des petites entreprises
    Les petites entreprises, c'est-à-dire les entreprises et unités économiques et sociales de 20 salariés et moins et le secteur public, ont bénéficié d'un régime dérogatoire les soumettant progressivement aux 35 heures et aux règles de droit commun en matière d'heures supplémentaires.
    Premièrement, la durée légale de travail a été réduite de trente-neuf heures à trente-cinq heures deux ans après les entreprises plus importantes, soit à compter du 1er janvier 200219.
    Deuxièmement, les heures supplémentaires effectuées dans ces petites entreprises ne donnaient lieu qu'à une bonification de 10 % (au lieu de 25 %) pendant la première année civile au cours de laquelle les « 35 heures » étaient applicables, soit jusqu'au 31 décembre 2002. Cette dérogation a été prolongée par la loi Fillon jusqu'au 31 décembre 2005 lorsqu'aucun accord ne venait fixer un taux de majoration différent20. Cet avantage avait été à nouveau prolongé, sans fixation d'une date butoir, en 200521. Troisièmement, pour ces entreprises, les modalités de décompte du volume des heures supplémentaires réalisables étaient plus avantageuses. Initialement, seules s'imputaient sur le contingent, celles effectuées au-delà de trente-sept heures pour l'année 2002 et à trente-six heures pour l'année 2003. Ce seuil de 36 heures, en lieu et place de 35, avait été pérennisé par la loi du 31 mars 2005.
    L'ensemble des dispositifs dérogatoires a été supprimé définitivement par la Loi TEPA22.
    Dans le cadre de la réduction du temps de travail à 35 heures sans signature d'un accord collectif, ces majorations de 10 % pouvaient être : soit converties en repos, ce qui représente environ deux jours de repos compensateur par an ; soit payées, ce qui représente une augmentation de salaire d'environ 1 %. De fait, les employés sous ce régime sont passés aux 35 heures payées 35 (donc baisse du salaire de base), mais avec 4 heures supplémentaires par semaine (ce qui est conforme à leur contrat de travail initial, soit 39 heures payées 39).[réf. nécessaire] L'employeur pouvait aussi décider d'appliquer un accord cadre (c'est-à-dire un accord signé par les syndicats et les représentants du patronat de la branche professionnelle) ou bien de négocier un accord d'entreprise, soit avec un délégué syndical, s'il en existait dans l'entreprise, soit avec un salarié mandaté par un syndicat représentatif. Impact L'impact de la réduction récente du temps de travail reste incertain du fait de l'absence de recul historique. Ainsi une enquête de l’OCDE concluait en 200323 : « Au total, les effets à court terme de cette mesure ont très probablement été positifs sur l’emploi. Dans une perspective de plus long terme, on peut craindre que cette politique de réduction collective du temps de travail pèse lourdement sur les finances publiques et qu’elle ait entamé le potentiel de croissance économique. » Sont à prendre en compte dans l'impact économique des 35 heures la dimension financière, mais aussi la dimension sociale. Le stress généré par la réduction du temps de travail a pu être néfaste pour la santé de certains employés, tandis que d'autres ont au contraire pu ainsi profiter d'une meilleure qualité de vie. L'opposition à la réforme critique le coût important pour l'État et les entreprises, de ce que la gauche française considère comme un « progrès social ». Il convient de tenir compte des facteurs suivants, qui ne vont pas tous dans le même sens. Impact sur l'emploi Bilan de la création d'emplois L'ambition d'origine du parti socialiste était de créer 700 000 emplois(24). L'impact de l'application de la réduction du temps de travail est difficile à estimer, car il faut faire la part des autres mesures en vigueur (notamment les allègements de charges), d'éventuelles destructions d'emplois qui seraient causées par les impôts et charges qui financent ces mesures, et du contexte économique général. De plus, l'impact varie en fonction de l'horizon temporel considéré ; l'effet positif est immédiat, l'impact négatif sur l'emploi n'apparaîtrait que progressivement25. Les études, toutes relativement prudentes, arrivent à des résultats différents. Elles ne permettent pas de trancher de manière précise sur le nombre de créations ou de destruction d'emplois résultant du passage aux 35 heures, ce qui laisse de la place à la controverse. Une création massive d'emplois ? L'Institut de recherches économiques et sociales (IRES), géré par les syndicats de salariés français, parlait en 2002 de 500 000 emplois nets créés26 : Martine Aubry, l'instigatrice du projet, affirmait en février 2004[réf. incomplète], qu'« environ 400 000 emplois » nets avaient été créés, « hors hôpitaux et collectivités locales ». Le PS a officiellement repris ces chiffres. Le Medef, opposé dès l'origine aux 35 heures jugées "antiéconomiques" et "antisociales"27, a évalué le nombre d'emplois créés lors de la première année de leur mise en œuvre à 1500028. L'organisation patronale a également mis en avant le coût de la mesure, affirmant que "Les 35 heures sont très largement à l'origine des handicaps de compétitivité de notre pays. Le choc en termes à la fois de coûts directs et indirects, de désorganisations, de rigidités, et de réputation a été considérable et explique le décrochage de l'économie française"29 L'Insee, en 2004, estime les créations d'emplois à 350 000, soit 200 000 emplois directs et 150 000 emplois dus aux allègements de charges qui accompagnent la réduction du temps de travail, emplois qui ne seraient pas tous permanents30. Selon la DARES (service statistique du ministère du Travail), les 35 heures auraient créé 350 000 emplois supplémentaires sur l'ensemble de la période 1998-200231. « Une contribution modérée à la baisse du chômage » ? La fondation Concorde, reprise par L’IFRAP, calculait en 2002 que les 35 heures sont directement responsables de la création de 50 000 emplois, pour un coût pour les finances publiques de 10 milliards d’euros32. L'OCDE parle d'un bilan « incertain », « qui n’aura qu’une contribution modérée à la baisse du chômage » et, « dans les prochaines années, inférieure à celle des emplois-jeunes. »[réf. nécessaire] Deux économistes, Matthieu Chemin et Etienne Wasmer, sont parvenus à la conclusion que la réduction du temps de travail n'avait pas eu d'impact significatif sur le chômage33. Une destruction d'emplois ? L'économiste Christian Gianella, de l'OCDE, conclut de simulations que les lois Aubry ont détruit des emplois, « en dépit des importantes créations qui ont pu les accompagner sur la période 1998-2001 », « compte tenu notamment du coût du financement [des] allègements de charges et de la dynamique du SMIC horaire induite par l’instauration des garanties mensuelles minimales »6. Coût de cette création d'emplois Certains adversaires de cette réforme comme l'ex-socialiste Pierre Larrouturou, ont souligné le problème que ces subventions aient été versées sans conditions. En effet, selon eux, il aurait fallu que celles-ci ne soient administrées que si un certain nombre d'emplois avait été créé au sein de l'entreprise. L'avoir fait sans condition aurait eu un effet comparable à une simple baisse d'impôts, vu que, sans obligation de réorganisation, la plupart des entreprises auraient converti ces aides en heures supplémentaires et non en emplois[réf. nécessaire]. Effets sur la productivité Compétitivité des entreprises Parmi les effets des 35 heures sur la compétitivité des entreprises, on peut noter : Un accroissement des coûts horaires de main d'œuvre de 11,4 % (39 heures/35 heures), en raison de la réduction du temps de travail, sans diminution de salaire pour les salariés ou du coût des 4 heures supplémentaires hebdomadaires pour ceux qui ont continué à travailler 39 heures. Une réorganisation des entreprises. Une partie des coûts supplémentaires ont donc été amortis par les gains de productivité, mais cette réorganisation a elle-même eu un coût, qui n'a pas toujours eu d'effet direct sur la compétitivité des entreprises. Un effet de noria : les créations d'emploi ont porté sur des jeunes au salaire plus faible en début de carrière que celui des travailleurs remplacés. [réf. nécessaire] Selon une étude comparative de l’Insee portant sur la période 1997-2000, la compétitivité des entreprises ayant adopté les 35 heures, mesurée par la productivité globale des facteurs (capital et travail), a reculé (de 3,7 %) face aux entreprises restant aux 39 heures. Malgré les allègements de charges accordés par l’État à ces entreprises, ainsi que le gel fréquent des salaires nominaux. L'augmentation du nombre de dépôts de bilan reste délicate à interpréter. D'après certains, il s'agit d'un effet des 35 heures, alors que, pour d'autres, il n'est qu'une conséquence d'un manque de compétitivité de quelques entreprises que le passage aux 35 heures n'a fait que révéler plus tôt[réf. nécessaire]. Flexibilité des horaires La contrepartie pour les entreprises la plus souvent négociée est la possibilité d'avoir des horaires plus flexibles. Ainsi, lorsque l'entreprise avait une variation d'activité, elle devait recourir aux heures supplémentaires ou au chômage technique (sauf accord d'annualisation). Les négociations qui ont suivi les lois Aubry ont généralisé les formes de modulation saisonnières du temps de travail ou les comptes épargnes-temps. Cette modulation des horaires a été rendue d'autant plus nécessaire que les heures supplémentaires étaient plafonnées par ces lois. En outre, certaines PME (commerçants, libéraux) ont dû diminuer le nombre d'heures d'ouverture au public de leur entreprise en raison de la limite à 1600 du nombre d'heures travaillées par an et de l'impossibilité financière d'embaucher un employé supplémentaire. Productivité du travail Finalement selon l’OCDE sur la période 1990-1996, c'est-à-dire, avant la mise en place des 35 heures : la productivité horaire du travail a connu un fort taux de croissance en France : 2,32 % en moyenne par an contre 1,44 % pour l’Union européenne et 1,95 % pour l’OCDE. Ce taux de croissance annuel moyen n’avait été que de 1,63 % sur la période 1990-1996[réf. nécessaire] ; toutefois l’amélioration de la productivité horaire n’a pas été suffisante pour compenser la baisse du temps de travail. En effet, la productivité par tête a connu une croissance annuelle moyenne de 1,06 % en France mais de 1,54 % dans les pays de l’OCDE. De plus ce taux était en France de 1,13 % sur la période 1990-1996[réf. nécessaire]. Selon le rapport 2007 de la commission sur l’emploi dans l’Europe34 : Les 35 heures n’ont pas eu d’effets sur le temps plein des français. La moyenne pour les personnes travaillant à temps plein était de 41,3 heures (heures supplémentaires comprises) avant les 35 heures, elle est passée à 41 heures en moyenne après. Effet fort sur la productivité du travail : les 35 heures ont permis d’annualiser le travail, et d'accélérer la rotation des équipes, permettant une meilleure utilisation de l’équipement : les équipements qui étaient utilisés à 50 heures par semaine en 1995 sont utilisés pendant 55 heures en 2000, chiffre encore identique en 2007. Selon le Bureau of Labor Statistics, aux États-Unis, le coût en dollars de l'heure de travail de l'ouvrier français augmentait de 11,5 % entre 1990 et 2003. Par opposition, le coût de l'heure de travail de l'ouvrier américain était de 43 % et 42 % pour l'ouvrier britannique. En 1990, les ouvriers français avaient le coût horaire le plus élevé d'Europe, avec les allemands. En 2002, ce coût horaire est le moins élevé parmi les grands pays industrialisés : 5 % de moins qu'au Royaume-Uni, 25 % de moins qu'aux États-Unis.[réf. nécessaire] Selon les statistiques de l’OCDE de 2007, la productivité par heure travaillée en France est de 40,1 euros/heure, elle est en Angleterre de 22,3 £/heure, soit rapportée en euros : environ 32 euros/heure. Conséquences sociales 35 heures et natalité Le taux de fécondité a atteint en France 1,98 enfant par femme35, certains sociologues font le lien avec les 35 heures sans expliquer pourquoi le Royaume-Uni a connu presque la même augmentation passant de 1,63 en 2001 à 1,87 en 200636. D’autres origines sont souvent pointées pour ce niveau élevé (prise en charge des enfants dès 3 ans à la maternelle, immigration élevée en provenance de pays à fécondité élevée (Turquie, Maghreb),…), sans oublier l'outre-mer (à Mayotte la fécondité est supérieure à quatre enfants par femme). Par ailleurs aux USA le taux de fécondité est supérieur à celui de la France37. Conséquences pour les travailleurs Appréciation par les travailleurs concernés La RTT a aussi eu un impact profond sur l'organisation quotidienne du travail : dans les entreprises l'exigence d'amélioration des performances a entraîné un recours généralisé aux nouvelles technologies[réf. nécessaire] avec une mise en compétition des individus, des ateliers, des établissements en termes de quantité et qualité de la production. La vie familiale a pu à la fois être facilitée par le temps libéré et les RTT, et être affectée par les nécessités de flexibilité accrue. Il en résulte un bilan social contrasté dont témoigne des études de l'Insee regroupées dans un Économie et Statistique38 : « on remarque principalement l’augmentation du temps passé avec la famille (conjoint et enfants) et celui passé à se reposer ou à exercer d’autres activités domestiques, de semi-loisir ou de loisir. » « Inversement, la variabilité des horaires, l’atypicité des horaires de manière générale et son augmentation, la hausse des objectifs et l’impact défavorable de la RTT sur la rémunération influenceraient négativement cette satisfaction. » La réforme a augmenté les inégalités entre salariés : « les études, tant quantitatives que qualitatives, tendent à mettre en évidence le renforcement des inégalités au travail au sein du salariat : entre catégories socioprofessionnelles, statut, âge et entre entreprises et secteurs d’activité38. » Revenus Cet article ne cite pas suffisamment ses sources (avril 2009)... Dans le cas particulier des salariés assujettis à des heures supplémentaires, le passage aux 35 heures a pu se traduire par une baisse de revenus globaux lorsqu’une part de leurs heures supplémentaires n’était plus décomptée de la même façon. Les travailleurs intérimaires, les intermittents du spectacle, les travailleurs saisonniers, ont globalement vu leurs salaires baisser sur une année pleine: les contrats de mission sont en général convenus sur la base de tranches horaires (1 heure effectuée, 1 heure payée), les excluant de facto ( sauf jurisprudence pour les intermittents) de la mensualisation ou de l'annualisation du volume d'heures travaillées garantissant la fixité d'un salaire soumis à réglementation (sur un mois, 35 heures hebdomadaires effectuées peuvent donner lieu à une rémunération portant, par exemple, sur 140, 147, ou 154 heures mensuelles, contre une disposition fixe de 151, 67 heures invariables pour 35 heures (4, 33 semaines × 35 heures ou 35 heures × 52 semaines/ 12 mois) payées mensuellement aux salariés non-cadres titulaires d'un contrat de type CDD ou CDI , donnant ainsi lieu à des rémunérations instables, qui entérinent la précarité notoire de ces statuts professionnels pourtant reconnus comme sources régulières de revenus39. Selon une étude de l'Insee portant sur la période 1997-2002, le pouvoir d'achat des salariés en haut ou en bas de la hiérarchie sociale a progressé très légèrement, mais a stagné ou reculé en son milieu. En effet, le pouvoir d’achat des ouvriers a connu une hausse de 0,8 % en moyenne par an (essentiellement liée à l’augmentation du SMIC). Ce taux a été de 1 % pour les cadres, mais de seulement 0,2 % pour les employés, tandis que les professions intermédiaires ont souffert d’un taux négatif, de –0,2 %. Afin d’expliciter cette mauvaise progression du pouvoir d’achat, l’Insee relève surtout une décrue continue des primes liée à la renégociation de leurs modalités au moment de la mise en place de la réduction du temps de travail. D'autre part, des accords sur la RTT ont parfois été conclus en échange d'un gel des salaires nominaux sur plusieurs années, ce qui dans un contexte d'inflation, même modérée, signifie un recul des salaires réels et du pouvoir d'achat. Cas de l’hôpital La mise en place a fortement désorganisé le fonctionnement des hôpitaux40 quand des recrutements n'ont pas compensé la réduction du temps de travail. Dans le cas contraire, certains dirigeants d'hôpitaux jugent que l'adoption des 35 heures a été au contraire bénéfique : ainsi, le DRH de l'hôpital de Quimper, Yannick Heulot déclarait en janvier 2005 : « Depuis la mise en place des 35 heures, l'absentéisme pour maladie des personnels a diminué »41. Des nouveautés introduites dans le droit du travail et le dialogue social Les cadres Cet article ne cite pas suffisamment ses sources (avril 2009)... Une conséquence de la loi « Aubry2 » porte sur les cadres. Dans le droit du travail français, avant 2000, la catégorie de salariés dénommée « cadre » n'était pas définie. Elle n'existait que dans les conventions collectives et dans le « droit de la sécurité sociale » (caisse de retraite complémentaire des cadres) où un salarié était défini comme cadre selon qu'il y cotisait ou non. La loi de 2000 introduisait, pour la première fois, les « cadres » dans le code du travail. Une contrepartie de l'introduction de la notion de cadre dans le code du travail fut l'introduction, dans ce même code, de la notion de forfait annuel en jours pour certaines catégories de cadres. Tel cadre doit remplir ses objectifs en travaillant par exemple 215 jours par an (maximum légal 218 jours), libre à lui de le faire en 3h/j ou 15h/j. Ce type de clause est dangereux dans la mesure où, dans beaucoup d'entreprises, les objectifs individuels annuels ne sont pas négociables. La négociation instituante Cet article ne cite pas suffisamment ses sources (avril 2009)... Deuxième point qui n'était pas une nouveauté absolue, le concept de « négociation instituante ». Il s'agissait, selon certains acteurs de la vie économico-sociale, à partir d'un texte législatif centralisé et général, de décliner des négociations décentralisées pour appliquer les multiples combinaisons d'options ouvertes par la Loi. Parmi les clauses des accords ainsi négociés pouvaient figurer des clauses de « revoyure », des clauses de « suivi ». Une clause de suivi comporte souvent la création d'une « commission paritaire de suivi de l'accord » et l'obligation d'un dialogue paritaire minimal dans cette commission. En résumé, une négociation pouvait déboucher sur la création d'une institution (l'« institution » étant ici la commission de suivi), d'où l'expression « négociation instituante ». Il convient de noter qu'une telle démarche correspond aux concepts de certains philosophes tels que Cornelius Castoriadis, qui constatent qu'une société, une civilisation s'auto-construit en créant ses institutions généralement sans le vouloir vraiment, mais que l'auto-émancipation des travailleurs et des patrons passe par l'auto-institution explicitement voulue ; ceci ne signifie pas que l'objectif soit rempli, ni que des effets secondaires ennuyeux soient exclus. Dans le cas présent, la nouveauté tient beaucoup à l'aspect massif de la négociation instituante. Ce point est controversé. Avant 1997, existait un consensus largement partagé chez les réformistes de droite et de gauche sur la diminution et l'aménagement du temps de travail par négociations différenciées selon les branches et entreprises, Gilles de Robien à droite et la CFDT à gauche, par exemple. Ces derniers pensaient toutefois que les négociations pouvaient se faire sur des années au fil des progrès de productivité variés et que cela contribuerait à améliorer les relations sociales sur le terrain. Or le fait que le gouvernement décide de légiférer à la hâte a réduit ces espoirs à néant ; certains acteurs, la CFDT entre autres, ont même déclaré que la fluidité du dialogue social avait fortement régressé par le renforcement d'un stérile manichéisme patrons/salariés. Réaugmentation de la durée de travail dans quelques entreprises Les remises en cause des accords survenus dans le cadre des 35 heures restent rares, en 200542. On peut toutefois citer quelques cas ayant donné lieu à une importante médiatisation. En juillet 2004, les salariés de Bosch à Vénissieux ont accepté de passer de 35 à 36 heures sans compensation de salaire. (Dans ce cas, le salaire horaire baisse). La société prévoyait une suppression de 300 emplois sur les années suivantes et refusait d’opérer de nouveaux investissements, notant que les coûts sociaux en France étaient supérieurs de 20 % par rapport à l’Italie ou à la République tchèque. De plus, la réduction du coût du travail lié à une relativement faible augmentation de la durée du travail aurait dû permettre de nouveaux investissements et donc de nouvelles embauches (240). Ce cas a depuis quelques années inspiré d’autres entreprises : par exemple le groupe Doux, Alcan, Seb, et Hewlett-Packard. Les syndicats parlent eux de « chantage à l'emploi ». Une remise en cause des 35 heures ? Cet article est incomplet dans son développement ou dans l’expression des concepts et des idées. Son contenu est donc à considérer avec précaution... La question des heures supplémentaires Pour les salariés concernés, la loi sur les 35 heures permet un contingent limité d'heures supplémentaires. À partir de 2002, le régime des heures supplémentaires est progressivement assoupli avec une augmentation du contingent annuel (passage à 180 heures annuellement en 20021, à 220 heures en 200343), sous le deuxième gouvernement Raffarin. La défiscalisation des heures supplémentaires, votée au sein de la loi TEPA d’août 2007, sous le gouvernement Fillon, encourage les heures supplémentaires44. « Travailler plus » Après 2003, le temps de travail annuel augmente très légèrement avec la suppression du lundi de Pentecôte pour une journée dite de « solidarité ». Alors qu'une étude de 200645sur la durée du travail moyenne effective démontre que tous types d’emplois et toutes branches confondus la durée de travail est de 38 heures en France, contre 35,6 heures en l'Allemagne, 36,9 heures au Royaume-Uni, 30,8 heures au Danemark et une moyenne de l'Union européenne des vingt-sept de 37,9 heures, le gouvernement François Fillon(UMP) vote des lois en 2007, dont l'objectif est de permettre de « travailler plus », selon les choix des entreprises ou des salariés ; en particulier, la loi TEPA instaure la défiscalisation des heures supplémentaires. Cette remise en cause partielle des 35 heures, c'est-à-dire de l'idée que la réduction du temps de travail créerait des emplois (Sophisme d'une masse fixe de travail) irait de pair, selon certains, avec une remise en cause de l'intervention de l'État dans le champ de la règlementation du temps de travail46. Cette hypothèse ne s'était pourtant pas révélée exacte avec les Accords Matignon. Critique des partisans de la semaine de 4 jours à la carte Article connexe : Semaine de quatre jours. Dès avant que soient votées les lois Aubry, Pierre Larrouturou s'y était violemment opposé. Michel Rocard47 en 1993, et Jacques Delors48en 1997, se sont officiellement prononcés en faveur de la semaine de 4 jours. En 1993 la droite sénatoriale vote un amendement instituant à titre expérimental les 32 heures 49. Cette nouvelle approche de la conception du travail a cependant du mal à se répandre, car elle implique le refus de s’en tenir aux politiques classiques. À l’époque où Pierre Larrouturou était membre du PS, une telle remise en question, de la part de membres pourtant influents de ce parti, aurait aussi nécessité de se désolidariser de leurs collègues. [réf. nécessaire] Pierre Larrouturou estimait en 1998 que la réforme des 35 heures ne produirait pas l’effet de « masse critique » nécessaire. L’effet sur l’emploi serait faible et elle serait très coûteuse. Des milliers de salariés seraient frustrés et cela aurait pu être une des causes de la défaite de la gauche en 200250. Il estimait aussi qu'elle n’apporterait pas les évolutions qualitatives espérées dans le rapport au travail. Pour toutes ces raisons, les 35 heures allaient discréditer le principe même de la "RTT". [réf. nécessaire] Jacques Delors, Michel Rocard, Pierre Larrouturou entre autres, qui jugent la loi Aubry trop molle, affirment que l’on pourrait pallier ses effets pervers en utilisant le dispositif S4J, déjà appliqué depuis longtemps par de nombreuses PME/TPE (Mamie Nova, Fleury Michon, restaurants, auto-écoles, petites SSII informatiques…)(51). Selon Pierre Larrouturou(52), une étude du ministère du travail[réf. nécessaire] estime qu'un mouvement général vers la semaine de 4 jours à la carte pourrait créer 1,6 million emplois. Dans ce cas l’effort à consentir par l’Assedic serait moindre, employeurs et employés auraient ainsi moins à contribuer. Les plus faibles salaires n'ont rien perdu, les cadres et les commerciaux ont perdu 2 ou 3 %. Cette baisse a pu parfois devenir, au fil du temps, moins conséquente, en raison de l’intéressement des employés et d’un meilleur rendement (davantage de temps pour les loisirs, temps réduit en trajets aller/retour, frais de transport réduits, moindre fatigue au travail, meilleure qualité de vie et meilleure implication de l’employé). [réf. nécessaire] Même si la loi Aubry avait elle aussi une option de semaines libérées, elle ne permettait pas l’exonération totale des cotisations chômage, alors qu'avec la S4J cet avantage a été accordé, à condition toutefois qu'il y ait eu embauche d’au moins 10 % de salariés supplémentaires. Aucune contrainte de cet ordre n'ayant été imposée dans le cadre de la loi Aubry, les embauches ont été relativement peu importantes. [réf. nécessaire] Pierre Larrouturou définit un taux de chômage inférieur à 5 % (chômage résiduel) dans un Projet de Traité pour une Europe Sociale Sociale, recevant le soutien53, entre autres, de Jacques Delors, Michel Rocard, mais aussi Romano Prodi, alors président de la Commission européenne, Elio Di Rupo (Président du PS belge), Bronislaw Gemerek (eurodéputé libéral), etc. [réf. nécessaire] Notes et références ? a et b « Les dispositions successives sur la durée du travail [archive] », MINEFE, 2003 [PDF] ? Loi n°98-461 du 13 juin 1998 d'orientation et d'incitation relative à la réduction du temps de travail (Loi dite loi Aubry I) [archive] (texte initial) ? Programme du PS pour les élections législatives de 1997 [1] [archive] ? graphique page 38, « Les effets de la RTT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Insee, 2004 [PDF] ? « Les effets de la RTT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Économie et Statistique, Insee, 2004 [PDF] ? a et b « Les trente-cinq heures : un réexamen des effets sur l’emploi » [archive], Christian Gianella, in Économie et Prévision, n°175-176, p. 163-178, 2006 [PDF] ? « L’expérience française de réduction collective du temps de travail (RTT) est originale parmi les pays de l’OCDE. », communiqué de presse Insee [archive], juin 2005 [PDF] ? Voir article détaillé : Économie du travail#Modèle microéconomique néoclassique : offre de travail ? Thomas Morus, L'Utopie, Paris, Paulin, 1842, 311 p. [lire en ligne [archive]], p. 142–147 ? << Strauss-Kahn ou la tentation de Washington [archive] >>, Sophie Fay et Philippe Goulliaud, Le Figaro, 14 octobre 2007 ? NOR: TASX9601538L : LOI no 96-502 du 11 juin 1996 tendant à favoriser l'emploi par l'aménagement et la réduction conventionnels du temps de travail (1) J.O n° 135 du 12 juin 1996 page 8719 ? « Bisher ist die 35-Stunden-Woche nur in fünf Branchen als Regel-Wochenarbeitszeit in Tarifverträgen fixiert: in der Stahl-, Metall-, Elektro-, Druck- sowie in der holz- und papierverarbeitenden Industrie - und auch nur in den alten Bundesländern. » (jusqu'à présent, la règle des 35h par semaine est fixée dans les conventions collectives de 5 branches uniquement : acier; métal; électronique; imprimerie; bois et papier - et uniquement dans les anciens Länder c'est-à-dire l'ex-Allemagne de l'Ouest) Communiqué [archive] du Westdeutscher Rundfunk, 4 mai 2005 ? Communiqué du syndicat de la métallurgie [archive] IG Metall, 16 août 2005 ? Alternatives Économiques, hors Série du 2e trimestre 2007, cité par le site ContreInfo : contreinfo.info [archive] ? Le supplice des 35 heures [archive], Thomas Piketty, décembre 2007 ? 4h (nombre d'heures supplémentaires par semaine) × 45,53 (nombre annuel de semaines de travail en tenant compte des congés payés et des jours fériés) = 182,12 ? Accord national métallurgie du 23 février 1982 sur la durée du travail [archive], annexe 3, article 1 ? art. L212-8 & 9 du Code du travail (ancien) ? art. 1, paragraphe II de la loi n°2000-37 du 19 janvier 2000 relative à la réduction négociée du temps de travail, NOR: MESX9900090L ? art. 5 de la loi n° 2003-47 du 17 janvier 2003 relative aux salaires, au temps de travail et au développement de l'emploi,NOR: SOCX0200137L ? art. 4 de la loi n° 2005-296 du 31 mars 2005 portant réforme de l'organisation du temps de travail dans l'entreprise, NOR: MRTX0508094L ? LOI n° 2007-1223 du 21 août 2007 en faveur du travail, de l'emploi et du pouvoir d'achat, art. 1 XI ? John P . Martin, Martine Durand et Anne Saint-Martin, La réduction du temps de travail: une comparaison de la politique des « 35 heures » avec les politiques d'autres pays membres de l'OCDE [archive] [PDF] ? PS info : 1 Changeons la politique économique et sociale, programme pour les élections législatives 1997 Voir le document source [archive] ? les premières années, les entreprises n'ajustent pas immédiatement leur demande de travail aux nouvelles conditions (et, mis à part les réorganisations, sont obligées d'embaucher pour faire face à la réduction des heures travaillées), à plus long terme l'augmentation du coût du travail ne modifie que progressivement le comportement des entreprises (faillites, délocalisations, réduction d'effectif, annulation des investissements)…. ? Michel Husson, « Réduction du temps de travail et emploi : une nouvelle évaluation », Revue de l'IRES, n° 38, 2002/1 ? "La bataille des 35 heures" [archive], le Monde,22 août 2009 ? "Créations d'emplois, dialogue social, salaires…Ce que les 35 heures ont déjà changé. Premier bilan, onze mois après le vote de la loi sur la réduction du temps de travail." [archive], Libération, 22 août 1999 ? "Les 35 heures et le coût du travail : les vrais enjeux d'une compétitivité équitable" [archive], communiqué du MEDEF, 5 janvier 2011 ? « Les effets de la RTT sur l’emploi : des simulations ex ante aux évaluations ex post [archive] », Insee, 2004 [PDF] ? DARES, Les politiques de l'emploi et du marché du travail, coll. Repères, éd. La Découverte, 2003 ? 65 milliards de francs, Colloque Ifrap [archive], p. 26 [PDF] ? Chemin, M. and E. Wasmer, (2009), Using Alsace-Moselle local laws to build a difference-in-differences estimation strategy of the employment effects of the 35-hour workweek regulation in France, forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics. Voir aussi : quedisentleseconomistes [archive] ? ec.europa.eu [archive] [PDF] ? (en) Total fertility rate - Country Comparison [archive] - IndexMundi ? (en) Fertility rate 'at 26-year high' [archive], BBC, juin 2007 ? (en) United States Total fertility rate [archive] - IndexMundi ? a et b Économie et Statistique n° 376-377 (Sommaire), communiqué de presse [archive] du 17 juin 2005, Insee [PDF] ? http://www.infoprudhommes.fr/note-juridique/43-le-montant-du-salaire-de-base [archive] ? « L'hôpital et les 35 heures [archive] », Emmnauel Cuny (neurochirurgien), 4 décembre 2007, dans Les Échos ? Un hôpital qui n'est pas malade de ses 35 heures, article sur le site de Radio-France, janvier 2005 : http://www.radiofrance.fr/reportage/dossier/index.php?aid=100000135&arch=1&formtype=dossier&rid=100000053 [archive] ? «Peu d'entreprises ont précédé Hewlett-Packard dans la remise en cause des 35 heures», Nathalie Brafman et Sophie Landrin, Le Monde du 11 novembre 2005 ? site service public [archive] ? « À partir du 1er octobre, les heures supplémentaires devraient rapporter davantage [archive] », Le Monde, septembre 2007 ? contreinfo.info [archive] ? Rapport du Conseil d'analyse économique: Temps de travail, revenu et emploi [archive] ? Michel Rocard, « Ce qu'ils en pensent [archive] », Nouvelle Gauche, 2009. Consulté le 31 janvier 2010 ? Le Monde, 7 octobre 1997 : « La S4J est la formule la plus créatrice d'emplois. » ? http://www.francetv.fr/2012/blog/le-perchoir/video-de-la-semaine-quand-la-droite-voulait-experimenter-les-32-heures-115500 [archive] ? La gauche est morte, vive la gauche ! Presses de la Renaissance, 2001. Pages 98 et 99 ? Pierre Larrouturou, Crise : La Solution interdite, Desclée De Brouwer, 2009. ? P. Larrouturou, « P.Larrouturou : La S4J créerait 1,6 million d'emplois [archive] », lemonde.fr, 2007. Consulté le 9 mars 2010 ? Pierre Larrouturou, « Une autre Europe. 2)Négocier un Traité Social [archive] », Nouvelle Gauche, 2003. Consulté le 2 février 2008 ... Bibliographie Jean Bounine, Vérité sur les 35 heures, 2002, Éditions du rocher (ISBN 978-2-268-04432-3) Pierre Larrouturou, Pour la semaine de quatre jours : sortir du piège des 35 heures, 1999, Éditions La Découverte (ISBN 978-2-7071-2961-1) Dossier « L’esprit d’entreprise au pays des 35 heures » de la Revue internationale de Psychosociologie, Volume XIII, 2007/3. [lire en ligne] Articles connexes Réduction du temps de travail Temps de travailj Économie de la France Loi des 8 heures Sophisme d'une masse fixe de travail Heures supplémentaires Partage du travail Liens externes La réduction du temps de travail - Économie et Statistique, no 376-377 juin 2005, Insee « La réduction du temps de travail 1997-2003 : dynamique de construction des lois "Aubry" et premières évaluations » - Économie et Statistique, 2004, Insee [PDF] « La baisse de la durée du travail entre 1995 et 2001 » - Insee Première, 2003, Insee [PDF] ... Dernière modification de cette page le 6 mars 2013 à 18:37... -->


3/05/2013 – News bits about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around in 50 years will have long made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Delays Grow for [=>from?] Travelers to Tomatoes as US Cuts Hours, by Todd Shields and Jeff Plungis, Bloomberg via BusinessWeek.com
    A U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official inspects trucks entering from Mexico at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego. (photo caption)
    SAN DIEGO, Calif., USA - Customs inspectors trimmed working hours at the nation’s second-busiest container port and lines more than doubled at some of the largest airports as U.S. spending cuts began slowing transportation links.
    The disruptions stemmed from a Homeland Security Department decision to reduce overtime, an initial consequence of budget cuts that took effect March 1 and may lead to furloughs next month.
    The changes will mean fewer federal workers at airports, harbors and land borders, making it harder for passengers and produce to clear customs, officials said.
    The Federal Aviation Administration today indicated that it intends to issue furlough notices to “all its employees,” Doug Church, a spokesman for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, a labor union, said in an e-mailed statement. In a month there will be fewer controllers in towers, and increased delays for travelers, Church said. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta warned of furloughs in a letter to agency employees on Feb. 11.
    Importers of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, squash, cucumbers and other fruits and vegetables are bracing for long lines at border crossings, said Lance Jungmeyer, president of the Fresh Produce Association of the Americas. Shipments may surge as weather and markets change, and companies rely on customs agents being present when needed, he said.
    ‘Terrible Time’
    “They need to have flexibility, and without overtime you don’t have flexibility,” said Jungmeyer, whose Nogales, Arizona-based trade group promotes Mexican produce in the U.S. Plans for furloughs next month add to the industry’s concerns, he said.
    “April’s still a terrible time,” he said. “The peak season for fresh fruits and vegetables from Mexico continues through May.”l
    The Department of Homeland Security is cutting overtime at the Transportation Security Administration, the agency responsible for screening airport travelers, and at Customs and Border Protection, the unit charged with safeguarding borders, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said at a meeting of the International Air Transport Association in New York City today.
    “Assuming sequestration continues, we will not be able to pay TSA workers overtime,” Napolitano said. “With respect to Customs, which has to clear people coming into the United States, we will be required to furlough, one day out of every 14, all 21,000 CBP officers who staff our ports of entry in addition to reductions of overtime and a hiring freeze.”
    Peak Times
    Napolitano said that peak wait times at major airports may double to four hours, and advised airline executives to be prepared to adjust schedules to anticipate longer lines at security checkpoints.
    “There may come a time when the wait times are such you need to analyze connecting times,” Napolitano said. “We can see a time where there will be a lot of missed connections. I’m not trying to alarm you. I’m trying to educate you.”
    Under the budget cuts known as sequestration, the U.S. is trimming $85 billion from federal spending in the remaining seven months of the current fiscal year. The across-the-board cuts were designed to be so painful that they would replaced by Congress and the administration of President Barack Obama before their March 1 implementation.
    The cuts may stay in place for weeks as both sides negotiate over a fresh deadline of March 27, when the government’s authority to spend money expires.
    Long Beach
    At the cargo port in Long Beach, California, the nation’s second-busiest after the nearby Port of Los Angeles, customs crews were starting an hour later than typical and quitting half an hour earlier from March 1, according to Art Wong, a spokesman. About $140 billion in goods move through Long Beach each year, according to the port’s website, and the two facilities together handle about a third of U.S container imports.
    “They were using overtime, and now they have less overtime to spread around,” Wong said in an interview. “So they just squeeze the hours.” 
    It wasn’t clear what effect U.S. staffing reductions may have had on operations at the port of Los Angeles, Phillip Sanfield, a spokesman for the facility, said in an interview.
    The lack of overtime may curtail radiation and X-ray examinations of containers, the San Dimas, California-based Foreign Trade Association said in a Feb. 25 note to its members. That means cargo that arrives late in the day will spend an extra night in port, the group said.
    ‘Cuts Necessary’
    Managers at the Long Beach and Los Angeles ports “made it clear, certain types of cuts may be necessary,” Erik Smithweiss, president of the trade association, said in an interview.
    Undocumented immigrants and cargo will likely flow across the border with Mexico and into the U.S. as border patrol agents take a pay cut amounting to 35 percent from furlough days and missing overtime, J. David Cox Sr., national president of the American Federation of Government Employees union, said in an e- mailed statement today.
    “Agents will be instructed to stop working at the moment their straight shift ends,” Cox said.
    Customs and Border Protection is reducing rather than eliminating overtime and the length of the automatic cuts isn’t known, so “it is difficult to project the impact of the reductions,” Jenny Burke, a Washington-based CBP spokeswoman, said in an e-mail.
    Illegal immigration, drug smuggling and border crime may rise as spending cuts reduce hours for border patrol agents, said Shawn Moran, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council, representing 17,000 non-supervisory agents. Officers may have to take as many as 14 days of unpaid time off and see their typical work hours cut to eight from 10 as overtime is scaled back by Customs and Border Protection, Moran said.
    To contact the reporters on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net; Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net
    To contact the editor responsible for this story: Bernard Kohn at bkohn2@bloomberg.net

  2. Small businesses prepare for customer furloughs, by Jessica Jaglois, (3/04 late pickup) WWBT NBC12 via wwbt.com
    FORT LEE, Va., USA - Thousands of Fort Lee employees could face furloughs in the coming months, which would impact area businesses in Petersburg and Hopewell.
    The federal spending cuts mean thousands of civilian employees will be making spending cuts of their own.

    Things deemed "unnecessary" are usually cuts for families on a budget. For women, that means beauty services like hair, nails and tanning.
    Most of the customers at Hopewell's Tan 'n Time comes [sic] from Fort Lee, both civilian and military. Owner Blakely Cannon is preparing now for a possible hit to her business.
    "I know that extra expenses are the first things to go," said Cannon. "So we start doing free upgrades, we run bigger promotions, we discount things more."
    More than five-thousand civilian employees at the military base will be furloughed. Each worker will be out 22 days total, which equals a 20-percent pay cut.
    However, Cannon remains confident. Her business has already survived high gas prices and a recession. She said the sequester will just be another hurdle for her to jump.
    "I think we'll do ok," said Cannon. "Only time will tell. It's just another thing we've got to take one day at a time."
    Even if a sequester resolution happens, the mandatory furlough days could still be included. Notices to the employees that will be furloughed are expected to go out starting later this month. The furloughs are expected to begin April 22nd.

  3. Snowstorm Claims House Workweek, by Emily Cahn EmilyCahn@cqrollcall.com, RollCall.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The House will wrap up legislative business earlier than expected this week, in an effort to ensure that members and their staff have time to get home safely in the middle of a powerful winter storm headed for the District.
    Although the House was originally slated to be in session through Thursday, it will instead finish its legislative business by 1 p.m. on Wednesday,
    when the worst of the winter weather is expected to hit the Washington, D.C., area. Forecasters predict that between 3 inches and 8 inches of snow will fall in and around the District beginning early Wednesday, with heavier amounts expected north and west of the city, where many staffers live, and where Dulles International Airport in Virginia and Baltimore-Washington International Airport are located.
    Instead of gaveling in at noon, as previously planned, the House will convene at 10 a.m., and will begin consideration of the rule for the fiscal 2013 continuing resolution. The chamber plans on voting on the rule and final passage of the CR and hopes to be done between 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., the last vote scheduled for the week.
    House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s office also is encouraging House committees to begin their hearings and markups early and wrap them up as quickly as possible in an effort to get members and their staff out of the office early enough to miss the worst of the winter storm.
    The Senate — which is slated to be in session Wednesday — has yet to announce whether it will wrap up its legislative business early. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office did not return request for comment on the Senate’s legislative plans.
    Unlike executive branch agencies in the District, Capitol Hill does not follow the Office of Personnel Management’s closure orders. Instead, individual members of Congress make the call of whether or not to order their staff into work for the day.


3/03-04/2013 – News bits about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around in 50 years will have long made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Proposed law would help Ohio companies avoid layoffs, supporters say, by Andrew J. Tobias, 3/04 WHIO Dayton via whiotv.com
    COLUMBUS, Ohio, USA — Ohio businesses would able to prevent layoffs and instead temporarily reduce their employees’ hours while letting them keep benefits and collect unemployment, under a bill proposed in the House.
    The program — SharedWork Ohio — is similar to initiatives in 25 other states, including two nearby: Michigan passed its version of the program last June, and Pennsylvania created a SharedWork program last March.
    SharedWork would allow Ohio employers looking to cut costs through layoffs to instead temporarily reduce all employees’ hours by 10 to 50 percent. Meanwhile, employees could collect up to half of their missing wages through unemployment compensation until the company decides to ramp up production again.
    Proponents say SharedWork would allow workers who would otherwise be laid off to keep their jobs and health benefits, while saving companies the time and money they would use re-training new workers. Companies would also save money on the higher unemployment taxes that accompany layoffs.
    “The bittersweet side of this will be it will be most successful when our economy is doing the poorest,” said State Rep. Mike Duffey, R-Worthington, one of the bill’s sponsors. “But that’s the point, right? It’s supposed to soften the blow so that husbands and wives don’t have to go home and say ‘Honey, I lost my job today.’”
    During good times and bad alike, SharedWork would help smooth out cyclical layoffs in industries — particularly manufacturing — that traditionally ramp up and scale back production to match market demand, Duffey said.
    How would it work?
    One example of how SharedWork Ohio would work is that an employer considering laying off 20 percent of the workforce could instead opt to cut an eight-hour Friday shift out of the 40-hour work week.
    Impacted employees would keep their full benefits such as health care, while collecting the equivalent of four hours of pay on Friday through the unemployment system.
    “It’s kind of a no-brainer,” Duffey said.
    A largely identical bill, also sponsored by Duffey, cleared the Ohio House last year by a 81-15 vote with bipartisan support. But the measure stalled while legislators awaited guidance from the federal government over how to implement the program.
    “It’s a rare labor issue that’s good for both employers and for employees, as well as the state of Ohio,” said Ohio Sen. Bob Peterson, R-Fayette County, one of the two sponsors of the senate version of SharedWork.
    Initial start-up costs of the program — about $2 million in computer programming costs to allow the state to administrater SharedWork and payments to workers whose hours are reduced — would be funded by the federal government until 2015. After that, the program would be funded by the existing state unemployment compensation system.
    The SharedWork bill is unusual in that although it has Republican sponsors, it originated with Policy Matters Ohio, a liberal-leaning public policy group that advocates for workers issues.
    “This is a proven layoff aversion tool,” said Hannah Halbert, legislative liaison for the Policy Matters. “We know that it works in other states to help employers manage these downturns… It really helps stabilize the workforce for a lot of employers and for a lot of employees.”
    The initiative also has the support of several major business groups in Ohio. Officials with Kenworth Truck Company, the largest employer in Ross County (Chillicothe), have lent their support to SharedWork Ohio.
    “I think it’s a great way to allow that flexibility, and not just force an employer to lay employees off,” said Chris Ferruso, Ohio legislative director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
    “It’s another tool to help businesses weather an economic downturn and help their workers remain employed,” said Anthony Seegers, director of labor and human resources policty for the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.
    An unanswered question is how many employees could be affected by SharedWork. In 2009, 11,000 employees in New York participated in SharedWork, while in Texas in 2010, about 24,600 employees did.
    Duffey said factors that will dictate how widely-used SharedWork will be in Ohio include how willing employers are to adopt a new idea, and how effectively state officials and business groups market the program’s benefits.
    The highwater mark for SharedWork’s popularity is in Rhode Island, where 16 percent of businesses participated in the program. That included companies from a wide range of sectors including banks, car dealerships and manufacturers.
    Duffey credits the program’s success in Rhode Island to aggressive promotion and publicity in state newspapers.
    “Not everyone’s going to choose to do it, and it’s not going to be any more difficult to do layoffs than normal … but we want to give another option to folks,” Duffey said.

  2. Sequestration furloughs to hit Virginia/Maryland/DC hardest, by Karin Hernandez, 3/03 (3/02 late pickup) Examiner.com
    [Let us guess ... cuz that's where most federal employees are? Well that's also where the cowardly congressmen who created this crock are, so here's hoping the employees make them feel their pain.]
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - So the worst has happened, and the U.S. government failed to avert the budget calamity known as the sequestration. Effective immediately, major automatic across-the-board cuts will be taken, but these cuts will not impact all people equally. According to an article in the New York Times on March 2, half of the cuts ($43 million) will have to come from defense spending.
    President Obama has said that he will not allow the cuts to directly affect military personnel, so that leaves the cuts to be made from spending on national security operations and other military costs.
    First up are the Defense Department furloughs, which will begin as soon as late April if Congress does not settle the situation by then. New Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel laid out steps that are already being taken, including thousands of unpaid furloughs for civilians, with pay reduced by up to 20%.
    And the area that will be hit the hardest will be Virginia/Maryland/Washington, DC, with nearly 150,000 potential employees to be furloughed.
    The area’s non-DOD workers will also suffer significantly, as it is estimated that nearly 20% of the Virginia/Maryland/DC area’s GDP is made up of federal spending on wages, salaries and procurement.
    Add together the DOD furloughs and the private contractor job losses from spending cutbacks, and the employment situation in the nation’s capital looks grim.
    Oh, and don’t forget about the 10% cut in benefits for the long-term unemployed.
    While much of the nation yawns over the sequestration situation, it is doubtful that those in the DOD are sleeping easy.


3/02/2013 – News bits about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around in 50 years will have long made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Furlough Solidarity: Officials and Lawmakers Offer Voluntary Pay Cuts, (3/01 late pickup) GovExec.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - A handful of lawmakers and federal executives who are exempt from taking forced, unpaid leave due to sequestration have pledged to stand with the downtrodden and the furloughed.
    [Now this is what Timesizing Not Downsizing is all about!]
    The following is a list of people in government whose pay is unaffected by the automatic, across-the-board cuts, but who have discussed taking pay cuts if other federal employees are furloughed:
    Ashton Carter, Deputy Secretary of Defense: Carter told a Senate committee he would cut his own salary by 20 percent if his employees face the equivalent pay reduction through furloughs.
    Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill.: Duckworth said in a statement she will take an 8.4 percent pay cut to match the reduction on most discretionary programs.
    Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.: After Carter volunteered to have his salary cut, Graham said, “We should follow your model. We should have our pay docked and the president should have his pay docked.”
    Sens. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Bill Nelson, D-Fla.: The two senators have issued a joint statement saying they will introduce legislation to make congressional salaries vulnerable to sequestration cuts. “The federal workforce is looking at furloughs that would result in a sizeable pay cut -- and there’s absolutely no reason members of Congress should exempt themselves.”
    [Nancy Pelosi take notice! - see last paragraph]
    Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md.: Mikulski took to the Senate floor to call for congressional pay cuts to match federal employee furloughs.
    Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C.: The non-voting representative from Washington, D.C., said she will donate a day’s pay for each day federal employees are furloughed -- matching the highest number of furlough days by any agency -- to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund.
    Not all members of Congress favor a pay cut. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., recently said, when asked about the possibility of a trimmed salary because of sequestration, "I don't think we should do it; I think we should respect the work we do."
    [Wha-a-at? Shame, shame on Pelosi! That overlays greed with callousness and adds insult to irresponsibility! What "work" has this Congress DONE? What tough decisions have they not put off? What wealthy thieves have they jailed? What bailed-out bonuses have they clawed back, or idle trillions in the onepercent have they grad-taxed into recirculation? She's part of a do-nothing gang and now she has the gall to diss everyone else's work - let's kick HER tail out of Congress ASAP, female or no female! Another Democrat in name only - with Dems like this, we might as well have GOPs who will tear down everything to build a few much higher-gated communities and a lot more prisons and bring us to a boil faster so us "frogs" take notice and make all the urgent changes before we're cooked dead.]

  2. Furlough Watch: Potential Agency-by-Agency Impacts of Sequestration, (2/28 late pickup) GovExec.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration now scheduled to hit in two days would have serious implications for federal workers, including mandatory unpaid furloughs for hundreds of thousands of employees, beginning in April.
    [Better hourcuts for all than jobcuts for a few, and a few more, and...]
    We have compiled a list of possible agency-by-agency effects,
    should Congress and President Obama fail to reach a deficit reduction agreement in time to avoid the cuts. We will update the list as more information becomes available...
    Agriculture Department: Food Safety and Inspection Service employees would be furloughed for approximately two weeks, the White House said in a Feb. 8 fact sheet.
    Broadcasting Board of Governors: The agency does not anticipate needing to furlough employees this year, according to a memo obtaind by Government Executive. BBG is required to reduce spending by approximately 5 percent, or $37.6 million, by September 30, the memo said. It will do so by freezing hiring, eliminating bonuses, postponing technical upgrades and reducing broadcasts.
    Defense Department [see Defense in above story]: Secretary Leon Panetta on Feb. 20 informed lawmakers that sequestration would force the Pentagon to put the “vast majority” of its 800,000 civilian workers on administrative furlough. The furloughs would begin in late April and would occur one day a week for up to 22 discontinuous work days.
    Education Department: Secretary Arne Duncan testified Feb. 14 before the Senate Appropriations Committee that he expected furloughs. “The sequester would … likely require the department to furlough many of its own employees for multiple days,” he wrote in a Feb. 1 letter to the committee.” The letter did not provide an exact number of employees who would be affected.
    Environmental Protection Agency: Employees could be subject to as many as 13 furlough days, according to a Feb. 26 internal message from acting Administrator Bob Perciasepe. "We are working to minimize the burden on employees and maintain our ability to do our job," he wrote. "Decisions are not final yet, but one of the ways in which we are trying to soften the impact is by evaluating the furlough need in phases." For instance, the agency is looking into requiring four furlough days before June 1, and then reevaluating the budget situation to see if further furloughs are necessary.
    Federal Aviation Administration: Almost all 47,000 workers would be furloughed for one-to-two days per pay period, according to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and FAA head Michael Huerta. Air traffic control towers at 100 airports would be closed, and midnight shifts at many smaller airports would be dropped. This could lead to 90-minute delays during peak travel times for flights to major cities, LaHood and Huerta said in their Feb. 22 letter to airline industry groups and unions.
    Federal courts: 20,000 employees could be furloughed for 16 days.
    Government Accountability Office: Plans to avoid furloughs, according to The Washington Post. But, the sequester would affect hiring, employee benefits and travel and contract spending, according to Feb. 26 testimony from Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.
    Government Printing Office: Will save money by scaling back technology and other investments, but “if necessary, a furlough of GPO's workforce may also be implemented,” acting Public Printer Davita Vance-Cook testified before a House subcommittee on Feb. 26.
    Homeland Security Department: Law enforcement personnel would face furloughs of up to 14 days, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in a Feb. 13 letter to House lawmakers. She did not provide a specific number of employees affected but said it would be a “significant portion” of the department’s front-line law enforcement staff.
    Housing and Urban Development: Secretary Shaun Donovan told the Senate Appropriations Committee furloughs could be necessary. “Specific plans are still being reviewed and finalized, but we believe that furloughs or other personnel actions may well be required to comply with cuts mandated by sequestration,” he said in Feb. 14 testimony.
    Interior Department: Secretary Ken Salazar has warned about furloughs of thousands of employees. The National Parks Service plans to furlough permanent staff if other cost-savings measures fail.
    Internal Revenue Service: Employees could expect a total of five to seven furlough days by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, acting Commissioner Steven T. Miller said in a memo to employees. The furloughs would begin "sometime in the summer, after the filing season ends," he wrote. Employees would have no more than one furlough day per pay period.
    Justice Department: Would furlough hundreds of federal prosecutors, according to the White House. FBI Director Robert Mueller has said $550 million in cuts to the bureau “would have the net effect of cutting 2,285 employees -- including 775 agents -- through furloughs and a hiring freeze,” according to the FBI Agents Association. The Office of Management and Budget on Feb. 27 said Justice had already sent out formal furlough notices.
    Labor Department: Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris told employees in a Feb. 20 email that "not all agencies will be able to find the savings required" and these agencies will be forced to "place staff on unpaid furloughs."
    National Institutes of Health: Director Francis Collins said during a Feb. 25 conference call with reporters that the agency would "do everything we can to avoid furloughs." He said that furloughs would barely help the agency manage a 5 percent cut since a bulk of the budget was spent on grants and funding for research. Areas that could face the axe include travel and conference spending, Collins said.
    National Labor Relations Board: Has issued formal furlough notices, according to OMB.
    NASA: 20,500 contractors could lose their jobs. The agency has not notified federal employees of any furlough possibility, but a spokesman told Government Executive on Feb. 25 that “all possible effects” of sequestration are “still being assessed.”
    Nuclear Regulatory Commission: Has ruled out furloughs or salary cuts.
    National Nuclear Security Administration: Acting chief Neile Miller said it might not become clear until a month into sequestration whether the agency's employees will have to be furloughed as a result of the across-the-board federal budget cuts.
    Small Business Administration: The Small Business Administration will rely on staff cuts made through early retirements in 2012 to avoid furloughs, according to an Associated Press report.
    Smithsonian: Does not anticipate furloughs.
    Social Security Administration: Remains “uncertain” about reducing its employees’ hours, which would save about $25 million per furlough day, according to a Feb. 1 letter to Congress. It will instead try to reach the reduced budget level through attrition.
    Treasury Department: Acting Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin told the Senate Appropriations Committee earlier in February that the department would try to avoid furloughs by instituting hiring freezes, and reducing spending on support, travel, training and supplies, but noted that if the sequester takes effect, “most Treasury employees would face furloughs, which would have a cascading effect on employees’ families as well as on the economy at large.” The Internal Revenue Service would be particularly hard hit, he said (see separate IRS entry).
    Veterans Affairs Department: Mostly exempt from sequestration.


3/01/2013 – News bits about the timesizing alternative to downsizing, reinvented thousands of times every day in every recession by mainly mid- and small-size companies, but still an afterthought when any economy that's still around in 50 years will have long made it first and foremost - ( [commentary] by Phil Hyde ecdesignr@yahoo.ca unless otherwise initialed ) -

  1. Manifest destiny - Furloughs Come to Main Street, by Nancy Cook ncook@nationaljournal.com, (2/28 late pickup) NationalJournal.com
    Automatic spending cuts will affect federal workers wherever they live—even thousands of miles from Washington.
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - Washington is the capital of the federal workforce, so it’s understandable that furlough fright is strongest here. What will happen to the tide of commuters coursing along K Street or Rock Creek Parkway every morning? But for federal agencies, the sequester is manifest destiny. The U.S. government’s workforce is scattered across the country, and the automatic spending reductions that begin Friday could affect employees all the way to New Mexico, Texas, and Alaska. Any pay cuts will ripple through the broader economy, create yet another drag on growth, and hurt state and local government coffers.
    [But won't create nearly as great a drag on growth as job cuts. From Furlough Fridays to Furlough Fright - gotta luv the Phanciphul Phrases!] 
    Only 320,000 of roughly 2.1 million federal jobs—15 percent—were located in the greater Washington area as of September 2012, according to the Office of Personnel Management. The other 1.78 million report in large numbers to jobs in California, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. These men and women work at military bases, at regional offices for Social Security and the Labor Department, as border-patrol officers, and at national labs.
    On average, the typical federal worker is 46 years old and earns $75,000 per year. The law says that workers can be asked to take up to 22 unpaid days off. Between now and the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30, that would mean a 20 percent pay cut per worker, says Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight, a macroeconomics forecasting firm. “That is enormous for people,” he says. “They’ll have to cut back.” They’re likeliest to tighten the belt on entertainment, transportation, food, household supplies, and other types of consumer spending.
    Just ask 33-year-old Ryan Gibson about the imminent threat. The officer in the Homeland Security Department’s Customs and Border Protection unit is based in Detroit. His wife is a schoolteacher. They’re a middle-class family with two children, ages 8 and 5. In his spare time, he likes to see movies or catch a Tigers game, but he says furloughs will force him to change his spending habits. He doesn’t look forward to the prospect of having to choose be­-tween an occasional trip to the movie theater and the fee for his son’s hockey team. “I’m holding out hope that we won’t have to deal with this,” Gibson says in a telephone interview. “The only guidance we’re hearing is that we’re going to have a have a 14-day furlough. It’s frustrating … because we don’t have any answers.”
    The sense of uncertainty is bad enough for federal employees across the country, but their job cutbacks could also take a bite out of their local economies. First, reduced spending on consumer goods would lower states’ and municipalities’ income-tax and sales-tax revenues. “I pay Detroit city taxes out of my paycheck,” Gibson says about his hometown, where the unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in December. 
    Second, sequester cuts would reduce federal spending on contracts and salaries. Roughly 13.3 percent of the local gross domestic product in Alaska, for instance, comes from federal procurement and salaries, according to an analysis by the Pew Center on the States. Other state economies that depend on federal contracts and salaries for a significant share of economic growth include New Mexico (12.8 percent of the state’s GDP), Alabama (8.9 percent), and South Carolina (7.4 percent). Overall, states rely on federal grants for about one-third of their revenue, meaning that even a small falloff can have big reverberations.
    “The fact that federal government activity plays a large economic role puts some states in a tough position when they’re trying to plan and budget,” says Anne Stauffer, project director for the Pew Center on the States. If the federal government employs a large percentage of workers in a state, it’s hard to estimate how much the state government will be able to collect from them in taxes. And, of course, states could take an additional hit in cuts to federally funded programs for education, mental health, and child-care assistance.
    Worst of all, the threat of these furloughs and their possible effect on local economies arrives just as states are beginning to recover from the recession. While the furloughs won’t cost federal workers their jobs or drag the country back into a recession, sequestration will slow economic growth by as much as 0.6 percent in 2013, according to Macroeconomic Advisers. The furloughs are just one of the ingredients of the across-the-board budget cuts.
    The trickiest part of furloughs is that their full impact won’t be known until summer. If they don’t begin until April—a possibility, as agencies are still sorting out what the sequester will mean for them—analysts say monthly economic data should begin to show the fallout in July and August. “The economic effects of sequestration will not be widespread at first,” says economist Mark Zandi. “But over time, as you move into the summer months, the economy will start moving more slowly.” And the slowdown will be national, mirroring the profile of the cuts, not just centered in Washington.
    This article appeared in the Saturday, March 2, 2013 edition of National Journal.

  2. IRS holds off furloughs to spare tax season, by Jennifer Liberto, (2/28 late pickup) CNNmoney via money.cnn.com
    WASHINGTON, D.C., USA - The Internal Revenue Service will wait until the end of tax season to furlough its employees.
    IRS acting Commissioner Steven Miller told employees Thursday that they will have to stay home without pay for between 5 and 7 days this year, but not until the beginning of the summer.
    "We expect that every one of us would take no more than one furlough day per pay period, beginning sometime in the summer, after the filing season ends," Miller wrote in an internal memo to employees obtained by CNNMoney.
    The deadline for filing income taxes is April 15. By delaying furloughs until the summer, the IRS is ensuring it has enough workers to analyze and process tax returns and refunds for taxpayers in a timely fashion.
    [Whoah! a new argument FOR furloughs, ASAP (and against taxes).]
    On Friday, $85 billion worth of federal budget cuts will kick in and dozens of agencies -- from the Federal Bureau of Investigation to the Pentagon -- will be forced to furlough workers to save money.
    For taxpayers, the news that the IRS will be staffed through the summer should come as a relief. Earlier this month, Treasury Department Acting Director Neal Wolin had warned in a letter to the Senate that the impending furloughs would mean the IRS would be forced to complete fewer tax return reviews.
    Not everything is smooth sailing though at the IRS, which currently has a hiring freeze in place. The agency will continue to cut costs for travel, training, facilities and supplies, Miller said in the memo.
    "None of these developments is good for the agency, for employees or for taxpayers," said Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union.
    Kelley said the union is on the verge of starting bargaining talks with the IRS to work out the details of the furloughs.




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