Mass layoffs produce big winners and losers. Most workers who remain are financially unscathed, even though their employer is struggling. Wages are actually expected to increase 3.5 percent in 2009. Those laid off are left with no salary and, because the job market is so brutal, risk losing their homes and being unable to put food on the table.
One way to reduce the need for layoffs would be to cut back on hours, spreading the available work among more employees. This was an idea that had considerable currency in the Great Depression. In 1933, the Senate passed a “30 Hour Bill” that would have barred from interstate commerce goods made by workers employed more than 30 hours a week.
More from the New York Times here.
For still more on the idea, visit the folks at Take Back Your Time, who work hard (but not too hard) to "to challenge the epidemic of overwork, over-scheduling and time famine that now threatens our health, our families and relationships, our communities and our environment."