4-day work week bad for workers, say employers

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Filipino cannery workers process sardines at the Mega Fishing Corporation in southern Zamboanga City on February 25, 2009. Mike Therence Koh, AFP

MANILA – A compressed work week will not be good for workers’ health and family life, the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) reiterated on Monday.

ECOP chairman Donald Dee told ANC’s Market Edge that while a compressed work week will have little impact on employers, making employees work longer hours will be detrimental to workers’ health.

Dee said ECOP members had already experimented with a 4-day work week 10 years ago and the results were not ideal for workers.

“In my case, I had workers who were fainting because they were so tired.”

Congress last week approved on third reading House Bill 6152, which allows companies to compress their work weeks into 4 or 5 days instead of the normal 5-6 days by having employees work beyond 8 hours each day. 

The bill’s proponents said the measure will allow workers to have a longer weekend and spend more time with their families. 

Dee, however, said that given the traffic situation in Metro Manila, the family life of employees would also suffer in a compressed work week scheme.

“What time do they have for their kids who are already asleep when they go home, who are still asleep when they leave the home?” Dee said. 

Labor group Kilusang Mayo Uno (KMU) also criticized the proposed 4-day work week saying forcing employees to work more than 8 hours a day is a violation of international labor standards. 

The Trade Union Congress of the Philippines meanwhile said the compressed work week bill was a good proposal because it could be done on a voluntary basis. 

TUCP said that before any change in the work week happens, employers and employees would first have to agree on the changes. 



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