Workers in this country do an average of seven hours six minutes extra work a week, and should take home an extra £4,800 a year if they were paid the average wage for those unpaid hours.
The response of the TUC since 2005 has been to declare one day in February ‘Work Your Proper Hours Day' and on that day calls on employees to use it to remind bosses of their extra unpaid work by taking a proper lunch break and going home on time for this one day a year. Employers should also use the day to say thank you to staff for their unpaid work, perhaps by buying them lunch or an after-work coffee or cocktail.
This sort of spineless approach is typical of the unions that will bend over backwards to ensure that they don't upset the bosses too much. We should be going home on time every day and be campaigning for a shorter working week. Instead we still work the longest hours in Europe, and many workplaces are gripped by a culture of long hours and staying at your desk. Many companies now ask workers to register on to a computer log for a piss break!
The TUC General Secretary, Brendan Barber, someone who went straight from university to student union president to work for the TUC, said, “We do not want to turn Britain into a nation of clock watchers, and few mind putting in extra effort from time to time when it is needed, but it is too easy for extra time to get taken for granted and then expected every week.”
Well we've got news for him – some of us do mind that we are being screwed twice over by the bosses. It's time to put a stop to it and for us all to work collectively to make sure that they don't get any more out of us than we can