The Shorter Working Week in Engineering: Surrender without Sacrifice
The 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.
To our knowledge, this item is not available for
download. To find whether it is available, there are three
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.
|Date of creation:||Jan 1993|
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0113. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.