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Time for a four-day week, says John McDonnell

JOHN McDONNELL trumpeted calls for a four-day working week today, insisting its “time has come.”

The Labour shadow chancellor was speaking at an event ran by the New Economics Foundation (NEF) and Tribune magazine calling for a reduction in working hours.

He expressed fear that the rise of irregular working hours is “damaging to our social fabric. We used to work to live — and now we live to work. People are just working too long, and it’s not working.”

Mr McDonnell announced that Labour has commissioned historian Robert Skidelsky to create a report into shorter working hours, with his recommendations forming the basis of Labour’s new policy.

NEF chief economist Miatta Fahnbulleh said: “The challenges of automation and calls for a Green New Deal have brought new urgency to the short working week debate.

“There is a new imperative to reduce working hours in a way that is inclusive and practical, but also ambitious.”

Tribune editor Ronan Burtenshaw told the Star: “It’s a pleasure to be able to speak about a shorter working week on the centenary of the 40-hour strike in Glasgow.

“It’s time to pick up the baton of a shorter working week once again.”

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