Shorter Hours of Work

Archive Report

Union Drive for Shorter Work Week

Organized labor, concerned about automation and persistently high unemployment, is putting pressure behind a drive to shorten the standard 40-hour work week. Curtailment of working time is labor's traditional answer to joblessness; almost all progress toward the present eight-hour day and five-day week was made in periods of economic distress. Now labor officials, led by A.F.L.-C.I.O. President George Meany, are reviving the familiar argument that a shorter work week, without loss of take-home pay, would increase employment and mass purchasing power and thereby stimulate the whole economy.

The White House does not share this view. President Kennedy went on record in the 1960 election campaign against shortening the work week, and he has held to that position since he took ...

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