The gradual reduction in weekly working hours in the first half of the last century, which culminated in the widespread adoption of the 'standard' working week by the 1960s, was grounded in a concern for health and safety and for the preservation of time outside of paid labour.
Over the last few decades, however, this progressive standardization of working time has given way to a diversification and individualization in working hours as employers have responded to the competitive pressures of globalization by requiring that productivity be enhanced through changes in working-time schedules.
As we enter the new century, a common goal has emerged: the removal or liberaliZation of restrictions on unsocial hours and on the variation of working hours. This books draws together an international team of contributors to examine the process.
Jon . Messenger is a Senior Researcher with the International Labour Office (ILO), Switzerland.
'The authors provide valuable international comparisons on working time that can be used by trade unionists campaigning on ... vital issues.' - Labour Research