“Census figures showing workers are putting in long hours are no surprise,” said Ross Wilson, Council of Trade Unions president today.
“The demands of work mean many workers are spending much longer at work than they want to and it is at the expense of their quality of life.”
Ross Wilson said the CTU biennial conference last year, attended by representatives of all the major New Zealand unions unanimously endorsed a ‘Get a Life!’ campaign, aimed at getting back a quality of life.
“Employer expectations of workers routinely working 45, 50 and even 60 hours a week are leaving people with nothing left for their families, communities and themselves,” he said.
Ross Wilson said the hours of work would be even longer if the unpaid hours of work in the community were included.
“That work is mainly done by women, who also have to juggle increased work demands from their employers with the demands of home and family.”
Ross Wilson said the CTU would be co-ordinating a campaign across all sectors to win back some quality of life.
The campaign will focus on achieving conditions like adequate time off, more ‘family friendly’ provisions and reasonable working hours in collective bargaining.
“Across the range of industries and jobs union members are saying the same thing: ‘we are tired of giving our whole lives to work and we want to Get a Life’,” he said.