Tag Archives: working class

South Korea | South Korea cuts its work limit from 68 hours a week to 52

South Korea has lowered its maximum working hours from 68 hours a week to 52 hours. The legislation, which went into effect Sunday, received overwhelming support in the National Assembly in an effort to limit the time employees spend on the job..

South Korea has the third highest number of hours worked of 37 countries tracked by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, with the average person in South Korea working about 2,024 hours in 2017, or approximately 38.9 hours a week.
Mexico clocked the most time on the job with an average of 2,257 hours (about 43.4 hours a week) in 2017, and Costa Rica worked the second most with 2,179 hours (41.9 hours a week). On the other end of the spectrum, Germany and Denmark worked the least, with an average of 1,356 and 1,408 hours, respectively, in 2017, or 26 and 27 hours a week.
“Enforcement will be interesting,” Ellen Kossek, a professor of management at the Purdue University Krannert School of Management, said of South Korea. “I think it’s a good move in the right direction. I do know that they’re very worried about declining fertility rates as an economic problem. They’re also worried about health.”
The law first requires implementation by companies with more than 300 employees. Smaller companies must do so in 2020 and 2021.
Broader campaigns to improve work-life balance include turning off the power at Seoul City Hall on Friday evenings to encourage employees to go home.

New Transnational Unionism: Review of ‘Choke Points’

by Theo Vynnychenko Kenji

New Transnational Unionism: Review of ‘Choke Points’ eds. Alimahomed-Wilson & Ness (2018)

Introduction

At a time when rightwing nationalism appears increasingly to be the only voice for the embattled union movement in the global north. At a time when there is a widespread misconception of union obsolescence given the historic ebb in working class organization. At a time when the left is confused and vague as to how it ought to deal with the immense transformations of global capitalism currently taking place with the rise of containerization, outsourcing, e-commerce, and the like. Choke Points, is a volume that gets straight to the heart of the problem and identifies ways that workers in the twenty first century can organize to take advantage of strategic nodes on global value chains.

France | European Workers Conference (Paris, 12 and 13 May 2018)

Final Declaration

Meeting 25 years after the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, we, workers (1), youth and labour movement activists from Belarus, Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, the Spanish State, Switzerland and Turkey, meeting in Paris on 12 and 13 May 2018, have responded to the appeal issued by activists from France, Germany and Italy, which said:

Is Your Job Bullshit? David Graeber on Capitalism’s Endless Busywork

by Dayton Martindale

David Graeber had a hypothesis. The anthropologist grew up working-class in New York, and while his scholarship garnered accolades, he’s never felt at home in the world of academia. From his time as a professor at Yale (ended prematurely, he believes, due to his anarchist activism) to his current gig at the London School of Economics, he kept running into professional managers who didn’t seem to do much. Over drinks, some confessed they actually didn’t do much; they spent a few hours a week working and the rest browsing cat memes.

Ukraine | Fascistic Ukraine government attacks communists, squashes May Day preps

by John Wojcik

April 25, 2018

In an attempt to thwart pro-worker demonstrations planned for May Day in Ukraine, government “security services” broke into Communist Party buildings in that country yesterday, according to press releases sent out of the country by the party. The party statement said the government security forces acted on information provided by Svoboda (Freedom).