The Shorter Working Week in Engineering: Surrender without Sacrifice
AbstractThe paper examines the effect of the recent reductions in the working week of manual workers on the competitiveness of the engineering industry. The reductions, generally from 39 to 37 hours, were the result of a campaign by the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering Unions after the break-down of national bargaining. There were substantial provisions to offset the cost of shorter hours in a large majority of the agreements which were analyzed as the first stage of the research. This analysis was followed by a number of factory visits to obtain a management perspective on what lay behind the collective agreements and on their effects. The results of these visits were used in the design of a postal survey of factory-level managers. The survey shows that the managers expected that over half the costs of the reduction would be absorbed by productivity improvements and lower wage increases linked to the cut in the working week. The two-hour reduction added less than one per cent to expected manual labour costs when the response were weighted by factory size. Expected costs were less for larger factories in particularly turbulent circumstances (that is reporting a greater than average increase in competitive pressures and considering major changes in work organisation) and where managers judged that union resistance to change had declined. Indeed, in factories to which all three of these factors applied managers thought that the shorter working week would actually lead to a fall, or most no increase in labour costs.
Download InfoTo our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
1. Check below under "Related research" whether another version of this item is available online.
2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0113.
Date of creation: Jan 1993
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Baek, Ehung Gi & Oh, Wankeun, 2004. "The short-run production effect of the reduction of working hours," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 123-144, January.
- Kapteyn, Arie & Kalwij, Adriaan & Zaidi, Asghar, 2000.
"The Myth of Worksharing,"
IZA Discussion Papers
188, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Kapteyn, A. & Kalwij, A. & Zaidi, A., 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," Economics Series Working Papers 9932, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Kapteyn, A. & Kalwij, A.S. & Zaidi, M.A., 2000. "The Myth of Worksharing," Discussion Paper 2000-23, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.