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Extreme working hours
chapterposted on 30.03.2020, 00:00 by P Holland, Xiaoyan Liang
In recent years the issue of the perfect work-time has been debated. Much has been made of the Swedish experiment to reduce the working day to 6 hours (Savage, 2017) and focusing on the job fitting the person. Nevertheless, even in the face of increasing evidence of occupational health and safety problems associated with extended working hours, more organisations (including multinational corporations [MNCs]) have been pushing for extended working hours. This chapter explores the literature on extended or extreme working hours and why, in the face of the evidence, such practices are being extended. It then examines three case studies across different industries which lacked any pilot study to justify the extension of hours, or assess the fatigue and risk implication in high risk and dangerous industries. In the light of increasing deregulation the cases also highlight the ongoing importance of unions as a countervailing power to stand up to these attempt to challenge key terms and conditions of work.