Europa arbeitet länger

Frankreichs Entscheidung, die 35-Wochen-Stunde abzuschaffen, indem man den Arbeitgebern gestattet, die Arbeitszeit bei vollem Lohnausgleich zu verlängern, markiert die Umkehr eines Jahrzehnte alten Trends. In den 1980er und 1990er Jahren wurde die Arbeitszeit in den meisten europäischen Ländern verkürzt: In Deutschland von über 40 auf 38 Stunden pro Woche, in Großbritannien von 40 auf 37, in Dänemark von 39 auf 37 und in Frankreich von 40 auf 35 Stunden. Jetzt geht die Reise in die andere Richtung. Die Europäer werden länger arbeiten müssen, um mit der Globalisierung fertig zu werden.

Frankreich folgt den Veränderungen in Deutschland, wo die Tarifverhandlungen schon im letzen Jahr zu einer Arbeitszeitverlängerung geführt haben. Der Unterschied zwischen den beiden Ländern ist allerdings, dass die Arbeitszeit in Deutschland ohne Lohnausgleich verlängert wurde.

Siemens war der Vorreiter und verlängerte die Wochenarbeitszeit von 35 auf 40 Stunden. Die bayrische Regierung verlängerte die Arbeitswoche von 38,5 auf 40 Stunden für ältere Staatsdiener und auf 42 Stunden für jüngere. Als DaimlerChrysler die Arbeitszeit in seinem Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentrum von 35 auf 40 Stunden pro Woche anhob, war der Damm gebrochen, und weitere Tarifabkommen schlossen sich dem Trend an.

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