Four-day workweek proposal

The MCESD is proposing a four-day workweek pilot project. If this were made the norm and the traditional five-day week scrapped altogether, would businesses soar? Would productivity take a hit? How would government employees be affected? If the working world continues on its current track, the four-day workweek is on its way in. But while we wait to see how it all pans out, it is a good time to start experimenting.

In 1930, during the Great Depression, economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that we would all have a 15-hour workweek within 100 years. As an attractive fantasy to beleaguered workers throughout the century, the idea never quite left the public consciousness. Even Richard Nixon, during his vice presidency in 1956, predicted that the four-day workweek was coming in the not too distant future. And business mogul Richard Branson supports the shift to a shorter workweek.

A shorter workweek could take various forms. There is the four-day week, where working hours can be reduced by 20 per cent. There are different models. Everyone at the workplace might take the same day off, or people choose the structure that works for them, like taking two afternoons off. Or one might just reduce the workweek by a certain number of hours, from 40 down to 36, for example. The most common is removing a portion of the total work time for the week. Most importantly, salaries and leave entitlement remain the same.

I will not give a final verdict on whether a shorter workweek is worth it or not. However, what businesses usually fear doing most is what they most need to do. Yet, there will always be those who love what they do, and, for them, even working 18 hours a day, seven days a week is not work at all. It is just fun.

Mark Said – Msida


This billboard (right) appeared on the main Mġarr Road, Gozo some months ago and is still there as I write.

Who sponsored such a billboard? Who invented such a say? How does anyone know anyone who is contemplating suicide on September 10? Presumably, for the other 364 days of the year it is OK to commit suicide and it should not be prevented.

Am I missing something?

Terry Bate – Għajnsielem

Vile statements

The looming election seems to have persuaded the PN and its allies, Repubblika, as well as PN opinionists who regularly write in the Times of Malta and its sister paper, The Sunday Times of Malta and the Church’s Newsbook, to escalate the tone of their destructive, ultra-negative, anti-government campaign.

An ex-PN candidate wrote that “Labour should thank God that the Maltese people have such a low-level of education”. Meaning that if our people had a higher standard of education, they would always vote for his PN! He forgot that the same voters with supposedly such a low-level of education, had kept his PN in power for 25 years, 15 years of which under his father-in-law as prime minister.

But the most astounding, hateful and surreal claim was made by the person who aspires, in his dreams, to become Malta’s prime minister in the unforeseeable future, namely, Bernard Grech, who, one must keep in mind, had boasted of telling foreigners whenever he went abroad that he was “Greek” since he “was ashamed to call himself Maltese”.

This pseudo-politician, when referring to the Labour Party, said, and I quote his exact words in Maltese: “Dan hu partit ta’ kriminali, li jużaw il-liġi biex joqtlu n-nies.” In English: “This is a party of criminals, who use the law to kill people”.

Apart from the fact that Grech’s statement does not make sense since I know of no law which can “be used to kill people”, this utterly despicable statement again confirms that the “temporary” leader of the opposition is losing control even of himself. The body language when uttering those words exposed a man fighting for his political existence, knowing what awaits him if he suffers an electoral defeat similar to those suffered by his three predecessors.

Eddy Privitera – Mosta

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