The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) Has Proposed a 35-Hour Workweek

Written By Manuel Poças

The Portuguese Communist Party (PCP) has proposed a 35-hour workweek.

Among the 4 law proposals that were presented by the political party on May 1st, there was a proposal for a 35-hour workweek across several sectors.

Paula Santos, the party’s parliamentary leader, stated that the “PCP will move forward with four legislative initiatives precisely to reinforce the rights of those who work, legislative initiatives that deal with the issue of working hours, because it is necessary to ensure that there are conditions for effective coordination between professional, personal, and family life.”

According to her, the national holiday (May 1st) was certainly, because of what it represents, “a day of great struggle for workers, in defense of their rights, for more wages, but also a fight against exploitation, injustice, and inequalities.”

Note that this holiday, which is a national and international holiday (although not in every country), marks and commemorates the International Workers’ Day. Hence, because of its significance, the PCP decided to propose a 35-hour workweek without any reduction in salary for both the public and private spheres.

The document states that this 35-hour workweek is already a reality for the Portuguese public administration and for many private companies. However, there isn’t yet a protective law that grants it for those who do not have it.

The current system seems to be outdated. The PCP believes that the advancement of science and techniques allow us to produce more, with more quality, increasing effectiveness and efficiency and, therefore, innovation and technology can and should be used to improve the life of workers.

Furthermore, the PCP states that the daily working day cannot be of 10, 12, 14, or even 16 hours, in addition to the very high pace of work that is imposed. This, of course, does not allow for a sustainable work-life balance. Hence, such regimes and mechanisms must be eliminated.

Following this line of thought, the political party also proposed a reinforcement of the rights of workers who work shifts or divided shifts (i.e. 3 hours in the morning and 3 hours in the afternoon, not being paid for the entire working day), or night work, limiting the use of these types of mechanisms to situations that are properly justified and not for the benefit of the employee.

These proposals from the Portuguese Communist Party intend to establish a path forward and a necessity to remove outdated and exploitative norms from the Portuguese Labor Code, which, in turn and hopefully, will allow for strengthening the rights of workers.

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