Europa trabaja más tiempo

La decisión de Francia de abolir en la práctica su semana laboral de 35 horas, al permitir que los empleadores aumenten las horas de trabajo (y los salarios) marca un cambio de rumbo en una tendencia de décadas. En los años 80 y 90, la mayoría de los países europeos redujeron las horas de trabajo; Alemania pasó de más de 40 a 38 horas por semana, el Reino Unido de 40 a 37, Dinamarca de 39 a 37, y Francia de 40 a 35. Hoy, sin embargo, cuando los europeos luchan con el alto desempleo y unos niveles de vida estancados, puede que se vean obligados a trabajar más horas para hacer frente a la globalización.

Las acciones de Francia ocurren tras los cambios en Alemania, donde algunos acuerdos salariales recientes tuvieron como resultado la ampliación de la jornada laboral. La diferencia entre los dos países es que en Alemania se aumentó las horas de trabajo sin compensarlas con aumentos salariales.

Siemens fue la precursora, pasando de 35 a 40 horas semanales. El gobierno de Baviera aumentó la semana laboral de 38,5 a 40 horas para los empleados mayores y a 42 horas para los más jóvenes. Cuando Daimler-Chrysler aumentó de 35 a 40 las horas de trabajo en su centro de investigación y desarrollo, cayeron los muros de contención y otros acuerdos de negociación entraron en esa línea.

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