Work time

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The Incorporation of the Proletarian Body

This post was triggered by one by Andrew, reflecting on the Peter Linebaugh talk at the Struggles in Common conference organised by the Provisional University. Specifically this bit:

“Austerity has been used as the reason to transform the way tax is gathered. In Ireland as elsewhere while a significant part of tax has always been flat rate, levied regardless of income, that proportion has soared. The introduction of the so called 'property tax' (actually a home tax), the introduction of bin charges and soon to come water charges mean that we know need to find a couple of thousand euro to pay these taxes regardless of our income. The effect is that of the enclosures, if we had found ways to subsist without waged labour or keeping it to a minimum this is now eroded as we have to find the cash money to pay these taxes. Before you might perhaps have been able to live frugally without selling your labour through cultivation of a large suburban garden or allotment, exchanging labour with others and the occasional odd job. That is a 'good life' fantasy extreme that few could actually live under (but some did) but at a lesser level many could exchange living frugally for working fewer hours.”

Work, laziness & the new enclosure in a time of austerity

I heard the historian Peter Linebaugh speak at the Struggles in Common discussions in Dublin yesterday and it triggered some thoughts on one of the key talking points of austerity, the need to make sure everyone works harder. Its a point you hear again and again on talk radio and which is made in internet debates whenever talk of cutting public services comes up. Even those working in public services often feel the need to agree that there is too much 'dead wood'. Yet at the same time increased automation means that there is less need for labour that there used to be. What is happening here?

Working hours: Who is "we" paleface

"It’s just another manic Monday
Wish it were Sunday
That’s my fun day
My I don’t have to run day
It’s just another manic Monday"

(The Bangles)


Working Eight To Eight

It was Budget Day last week. I wrote this blog while finding it difficult to concentrate what with the sense of impending doom.

In the weeks leading up to today's budget the government had been in talks with the representatives of most of the Irish unions on how best to cut public sector pay.

A Journey of Undiscovery

Or the frustrations of social research

In Europe the pilots are arguing in favour of shorter hours on the basis of health and safety. In contrast, I came accross a report of surgeons in the UK represented by the Royal College of Surgeons in England were using health and safety of patients to argue against working time reductions. This is what they want



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