France and Italy have passed legislation to reduce the working week from 39 hours to 35 hours without loss of pay. The governments will provide generous tax credits to the companies to ease the change and make sure they remain competitive in a tight global economy.
We are past due for a debate in every country on shortening the work week to 30 hours by the year 2005, to accommodate the new reality of the merging information age economy. New labour-saving technologies, after all, are supposed to free us for greater leisure.
Shortening the working week threatens the capability of industries to compete both domestically and abroad.