Target 35: The Case for the 35Hr Week by Jack Jones (1976)

Transport & General Workers Union Pamphlet

 

Trade unions have always existed to secure better conditions of employment and a higher quality of life, thus a shorter working week is a high priority at any time.

A resolution for the 35-hour working week was unanimously adopted by the TUC in 1972; the idea was preceded by Tom Mann organising strikes for the 8-hour working day in 1889. This pamphlet described the seriousness of growing unemployment, the displacement of workers due to automation and the lack of future prospects in work for the younger generations. It also analysed how shorter working weeks, as trialled in some European countries, generally seemed to increase levels of employment and encourage efficiency. In his summation, Jones set a target that by 1979, all industries should adopt no more than 35 working hours in a week.