Labor group cites possible adverse effects of 4-day work week on workers

Published November 17, 2019, 4:36 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Analou De Vera

The Federation of Free Workers (FFW) on Sunday opposed the proposal to adopt a four-day work week as it may cause an adverse effect on the health and safety of workers.

Federation of Free Workers logo (FFW Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Federation of Free Workers logo (FFW Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

“[The] FFW opposes increasing the regular eight hour work a day by law as it can take a toll to majority of our workers,” said FFW President Sonny Matula in a statement.

“Though [it] may be tolerable for [a] few days, working for 10 to 12 hours would be detrimental to workers in the long run,” he added.

Matula said that the proposed measure will not be good for workers who are doing “heavy muscle work in construction and jobs that rely on physical stamina” such of those who work as masons, bus drivers, and those who are lifting heavy loads.

“Working 12 hours plus traffic of five hours, or a total of 17 hours a day for four straight days a week will take a toll on the body. This is dangerous to the health and occupational safety of workers,” he said.

The labor leader also emphasized that the proposed measure may also lead to family and child care problems.

“Workers also may run into family and child care problems [in] working longer hours a day, even though a three-day weekend is quite tempting,” said Matula.

“If at present of eight hour work week, one arrives at home at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. because of heavy traffic on the road, an increase of two or four hours will make child care difficult or no longer possible,” he noted.

Recently, House Minority Leader Bienvenido Abante Jr. said that private firms should consider in implementing a shortened work week as it may help in easing traffic congestion in major thoroughfares.