Working time reduction and climate crisis

Online Conference

Source: Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office

The Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Brussels Office, a member of transform! europe, organises this online event focusing on the role of working time reduction when addressing climate change.


The shorter working week has always been at the heart of the labour movement. The eight-hour movement extended beyond borders and ensured that today we enjoy things like the weekend and the eight-hour day. After decades in the political wilderness, the shorter working week is fast becoming one of the major political issues across Europe: now it is not only about workers’ wellbeing, equality and the reduction of unemployment – now it could be about saving the planet, too!

Research has demonstrated that shorter work hours are associated with reduced carbon emissions, however the relationship is complex. At our 2020 conference, we want to discuss the potential contribution of working time reduction to the socio-ecological transition, its role in initiatives addressing climate change and its place in approaches to the European Green New Deal. The public conference brings together key actors from campaigns on the reduction of working time, policy-makers, and climate initiatives from across Europe.

Practicals details

  • Online Conference via Zoom
  • The conference will be held in English
  • Date and hours of the conference:

Thursday, October 22th (13:30-19:00)
Friday October 23th (9:00-13:00 & 14:30-17:00)

All the hours in the programme are in UTC+2 (CEST)

  • The invitation link and codes will be sent by email the day before the conference.
  • Please fill the registration form to sign in to receive all the information by email.

About the organiser

The European Network for the fair sharing of working time was set up by ATTAC Germany (ArbeitFairTeilen Group) and the Collectif Roosevelt (France), and today includes numerous organizations such as trade unions, NGOs, citizens’ movements and associations, scientists, policy makers and members of the European Parliament from 15 countries. The conference is supported by the Brussels Office of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung.



Thursday, October 22th 2020

13:30–13:45 Welcome and opening

13:45–14:00 Introduction

  • General introduction by Margareta Steinrücke, Attac AG Arbeitfairteilen (Germany)
  • Welcome address by Andreas Thomsen, Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung (Germany)
  • Presentation of the roundtables and the agenda by Adrien Tusseau, Roosevelt Network (France)

14:00–16:00 Recent examples of initiatives and experimentations of the WTR in Europe

  • Moderation by Margareta Steinrücke, ATTAC Germany
  • Germany: Results of the IG Metall campaign on working time reduction by Sophie Jänicke, IG Metall
  • Iceland: Presentation of the experimentations by Gudmundur Haraldsson ALDA
  • Belgium: 4 days week experimentation in the Saint Josse Ten Noode Townhall by Maxime Nys, CGSP ACOD
  • Open debate with all participants

16:00–16:30 Break

16:30–18:30 The place of the working time reduction in a post growth society

  • Moderation by Philipp Frey, Zentrum für Emanzipatorische Technikforschung (Germany)


  • Juliet Schor, Professor of Sociology, Boston College (United States)
  • Will Stronge, Think Tank Autonomy (United Kingdom)
  • Beate Zimpelmann, Professor in Politics and Sustainability, Hochschule of Bremen (Germany)
  • Open debate with all participants

18:30–18:45 Conclusion of the first day and information about the next roundtables

Friday, 23 October 2020

08:45–09:00 Welcome and opening

09:00–11:00 The place of the working time reduction in the Green New Deal propositions and initiatives for climate: how to help people in the transition to the WTR?

  • Moderation by Alexandra Arntsen, Nottingham Business School (United Kingdom)


  • David Adler, Coordinator, Coalition Green New Deal For Europe
  • Martin Schirdewan, Member of the EU Parliament, GUE/NGL Group (Germany)
  • N.N., Member of the EU Parliament, S&D Group (France)
  • Open debate with all participants

11:00–11:30 Break

11:30–13:00 The French Example: Behind the myth: effects and consequences of the 35 hours 20 years after

Moderated by Adrien Tusseau, Roosevelt Network (France)

  • Anne Eydoux, Senior lecturer in economics Cnam, Lise-CNRS & CEET (France)
  • Open debate with all participants

13:00–14:30 Break

14:30–16:30 Coalition of Trade Unions and NGO to promote working time reduction:

  • Moderation by Aidan Harper, News Economics Foundation (United Kingdom)


  • Sean Sweeney, Trade Unions for Energy Democracy (TUED)
  • Esther Lynch, Deputy General Secretary, ETUC
  • Katharina Stierl, Students for Future (Germany)
  • Rachel White, 4 day week Campaign (United Kingdom)
  • Open debate with all participants

16:30–17:00 – Conclusion of the conference

  • Summary of the events and information about the next projects of the network
  • Where to find us? Who to contact to join the network?
  • Conclusion