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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Campaign For a 4-Day Work Week

I heard a story on the radio this morning about a groundswell of companies studying the advantages of changing to a 4-day work week due to high gas prices. I did some research and found that, while there doesn't appear to be an actual full-scale campaign underway to get all U.S. workers switched to a 4-10 schedule, many companies are taking it on themselves, or trying to get lawmakers in their city or state interested.

The 'Industrial Workers of the World' website says that there have been no reductions in the average U.S. work week in the more than sixty years, since the Fair Labor Standards Act was passed. They say changing to a 4-day work week would not only cut gas consumption by 20%, but also cut pollution from carbon emissions, improve worker morale, cut energy prices to light and heat/cool buildings, and promote time spent with families, thus strengthening the American family.

The Town Manager of one Phoenix suburb is lobbying for the change for all local government workers. Closing Fridays would mean the town would offer extended hours Monday through Thursday, such as 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. And a recent story done by KING 5 News out of Seattle says several petition drives for a shortened work week are circulating on the internet. They say there are already a handful of cities in Nevada, California, Arizona, and Florida experimenting with the idea. Marion County Florida recently switched to a four-day work week for county workers and expects to save $250,000 in energy costs this year alone.

What is your company's policy? I think I'm going to start my own campaign and start lobbying for a 4-day work week here at SRTC. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, let me know if you work for a progressive company that already does this.

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Kootenai Metropolitan Planning Organization (KMPO) is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Kootenai County, Idaho. Federal law requires urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people to have an MPO. KMPO was formed in 2003, to provide coordinated transportation planning within Kootenai county for the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and the Coeur d'Alene tribe.

KMPO's Board of Directors oversees KMPO for Kootenai County, ID. KMPO's Executive Director and Staff are responsible for day-to-day operational and administrative needs.