24th February is the TUC’s ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day’, a call for workers to avoid unpaid overtime on that day. The Unison flyer I saw for it said that in the UK workers did 2 billion unpaid hours last year, a bit less than 20 years ago. The flyer also advocates some reforms intended to limit working hours. I don’t know how many people will make an effort to ‘Work their proper hours’ on the 24th – I haven’t heard anyone talking about it. And of course it’s all a bit gimmicky and unambitious. But hopefully it’ll get a few people thinking, at least.
At my work, we used to have what was called ‘job and finish’.
Some postal workers would come in early or decline to take official breaks so to sort up their mail for their delivery route, to be the first out with many taking their own car rather than Royal Mail vehicles hoping to be the first to finish and go home.
Such flexibility was removed when individual work-loads increased. The result was that all mail was delayed with postal workers obliged to work to their official finishing times.