22 October 2004
Labour Day a Time for Work-Life Balance
Labour weekend was a good time to remember that most workers still struggled to balance the demands of work with the rest of their lives, Council of Trade Unions secretary Carol Beaumont said today.
On the first Labour Day trade union members marched to celebrate winning the eight-hour day.
“But today, for thousands of workers, the eight-hour day seems unachievable as they struggle with unreasonable workloads or are forced to put in long hours to survive on low hourly rates.”
Unions have pushed for gains for all workers – whether they are union members or not – in the history of this country’s development. The most recent victories are paid parental leave, four weeks’ annual leave and increased ability to bargain collectively.
“But there is still plenty to do to win work-life balance for the majority of the country’s workforce,” Carol Beaumont said.
Work-life balance depended on the fundamental aspects of decent work being in place.
"Decent work is secure work, with reasonable working hours, good leave provisions, decent pay, supportive workplace cultures and access to quality, affordable child care."