The official work week in Norway is 37.5 hours, although most small business owners, entrepreneurs, professionals and many others work a lot longer than that. The Greens Party wants to gradually cut employees’ work weeks down to just 30 hours, in return for foregoing pay raises.
The Greens (Miljøpartiet De Grønne, MDG) wrapped up their national meeting in Lillehammer over the weekend by hammering out a party program that made some labour advocates cheer and others roll their eyes. Shorter work weeks, down to six hours a day, also came up at the recent trade union confederation LO’s congress, but was voted down and viewed by critics as unrealistic. MDG thinks it’s realistic indeed, will enhance family life and cut both consumption and commuting.
Other positions adopted at MDG’s meeting called not only for a phase-out of the oil industry over the next 15 years but also a phase-out of all fossil-fuel vehicles in Norway. The party voted to promote construction of high-speed trains between Norwegian cities and Oslo-Copenhagen, ban plastic bags and other plastics that won’t decompose and impose one meat-free day at all public-sector canteens.
The party also wants more, not fewer, wolves in Norway and wants to introduce punitive fines or other forms of punisment against countries that fail to uphold the international climate agreement struck in Paris.