Date
23 November 2017
Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim believes that allowing workers to more time to enjoy life will lead to a healthier and more productive labor force. Photo: Bloomberg
Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim believes that allowing workers to more time to enjoy life will lead to a healthier and more productive labor force. Photo: Bloomberg

Carlos Slim calls for a three-day working week

Here’s an idea that many of us in the rat race are likely to agree with: Carlos Slim, the world’s second-richest man, believes that we should be working only three days a week.

Hooray!

But he also says instead of retiring at 50 or 60, we should continue to work for more years — say, until 70 or 75 — and around 11 hours a day.

Now, wait a second …

According to the Financial Times, the Mexican telecommunications magnate says his proposal, if adopted, would generate a healthier and more productive labor force. 

Speaking at a business conference in Paraguay, the Mexican telecommunications magnate said: “People are going to have to work for more years, until they are 70 or 75, and just work three days a week – perhaps 11 hours a day.”

“With three work days a week, we would have more time to relax; for quality of life. Having four days [off] would be very important to generate new entertainment activities and other ways of being occupied,” he said.

Slim practices what he believes in. At 74, he is still working full-time, although we aren’t sure how many hours a day and how many days a week.

At his Telmex phone company in Mexico, workers who joined in their late teens are eligible to retire before they are 50. But he has introduced a voluntary scheme allowing such workers to keep working, with the same salary and privileges, but for only four days a week.

Slim’s suggestion does make some sense. If you work less, you have more time to relax, you get more out of life, you live longer, and work better.

That would be great for the working class, but would other employers follow his suggestion?

It will be hard for capitalists to accept the idea that workers will get seven days’ pay for three days of work. That’s debunking the whole concept of surplus value, which, according to Karl Marx, is the source of profit in a capitalist society.

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RA/CG

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