Cover image for Sharing the work, sparing the planet
Sharing the work, sparing the planet
Hayden, Anders, 1969-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Zed Books ; Toronto : Between the Lines ; Sydney : Pluto Press, 1999.
Physical Description:
xi, 235 pages : illustrations ; 23 cm



Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HD5106 .H35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Work time reduction is being increasingly discussed and experimented with in many countries, particulary Western Europe. This book argues that work time reduction can contribute to reducing ecological stress by emphasising free time over material consumption. It explores the obstacles and key questions and describes the numerous practical attempts to begin translating the idea into reality in Europe, Canada, the US, Japan and parts of the South.

Author Notes

Anders Hayden is Research and Policy Coordinator of 32 Hours: Action for Full Employment, a Toronto-based movement committed to a reduction and redistribution of work time.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Introductionp. 1
Growing, Growing, Gone?p. 4
Towards a Green Leftp. 10
2 Overconsumption, Efficiency, and Sufficiencyp. 13
Sustainable Growth to the Rescue?p. 16
The Eco-Efficiency "Revolution" and an Ecological Tax Reformp. 18
The Limits to Efficiencyp. 25
Towards a Sufficiency Revolutionp. 29
3 Working Less, Consuming Less, and Living More: The Ecological Promise of Work-Time Reductionp. 31
An Ecologically Sound Response to the Employment Crisisp. 32
An Alternative Vision of Progressp. 41
Time to Think, Time to Actp. 53
New Opportunities for "Simple Living" and Subverting Consumerismp. 55
4 Perverted By Productivism? Work-Time Reduction and an Expansionary Visionp. 61
Work-Time Reduction as a Stimulus to Economic Growth?p. 62
More Time to Consume?p. 67
Green Suspicion of Shorter Work Hoursp. 69
It Isn't Easy Being Greenp. 70
Avoiding the Pitfalls of Productivismp. 72
Strengthening the Ecological Merits of Work-Time Reductionp. 75
Finding Common Groundp. 76
5 Why It's So Hard to Work Lessp. 79
Business and the Bottom Linep. 80
Working to Survive or Working for More Toys?p. 86
Labour Unions as a Force for Changep. 90
Government Leadership in a Time of Neo-Liberalismp. 94
A Culture Consumed by Growthp. 95
The Overwork Ethicp. 98
Fear of Freedom?p. 100
The Commodification and Trivialization of Leisurep. 101
"Nice Idea, but It Can't Be Done"p. 102
6 Work-Time Policy and Practice, North and Southp. 105
Focus on the Workweek, or the Work Life?p. 106
A Tool Box for Reducing and Redistributing Work Timep. 107
Individual or Collective Choice? Voluntary or Legislative Action?p. 109
Canadian Policy and Practicep. 114
Work Time in the Southp. 126
7 Europe's New Movement for Work-Time Reductionp. 133
France: Legislation + Financial Incentives + Collective Bargaining = 35 Hoursp. 133
Germany: Labour's Collective Bargaining Pushp. 143
The Netherlands: Work-Time Reduction in Europe's New Economic Modelp. 149
Denmark: Leading the Way on Leaves for Social and Family Needsp. 154
Other European Nationsp. 157
Assessing the European Experiencep. 164
8 With or Without Loss in Pay? With or Without the Revolution?p. 167
Making Business Payp. 168
The "Magic" of Productivity Gainsp. 168
Financial Support from the Statep. 171
Working Less for Less Payp. 176
Work-Time Reduction in Globalized Capitalismp. 182
Notesp. 191
Selected Bibliographyp. 223
Indexp. 227