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TUC CONGRESS 2021 Four-day working week motion passes without opposition

‘The trade union movement has sent a clear message that workers are long overdue a reduction to their working week,’ UCU general secretary Jo Grady says

DEMANDS for a four-day working week with no loss in pay were backed by delegates at the TUC’s annual Congress today.

The University and College Union’s (UCU) motion, passed without opposition at the virtual event, called for a three-day weekend with no reductions in wages so workers could make the most of more leisure time. 

The union said the move echoes labour movement demands in the 19th century for “eight hours for work, eight hours for rest, eight hours for what we will” and that people deserved nothing less after the coronavirus crisis. 

The motion, supported by the Communication Workers Union and rail union RMT, stressed that working hours in Britain are among the highest in Europe, warning they had increased even more during the pandemic.

The successful motion now commits the TUC to launching a public campaign for a longer weekend alongside a programme of political lobbying.

A working group of trade union representatives should also be set up to discuss how to implement the policy in each sector, the unions said.

UCU general secretary Jo Grady said workers in Britain are often “exhausted by the end of the working week, too tired to enjoy their free time or build quality new memories with their loved ones. This isn’t right.

“The trade union movement has sent a clear message that workers are long overdue a reduction to their working week and I am looking forward to discussing how we can deliver it with trade unions in each sector.”

Congress also supported UCU’s motion on climate justice which called for climate education to be embedded across the education system and within trade unions by 2030.

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