Thursday, May 25, 2023

"Russia Rejects 4-Day Week, Proposes Extra Day With No Pay"

Shades of Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko's negotiating style.

Although he was famously known as "Mr. No" for his preferred negotiating stratagem; from time to time he would mix things up by completely ignoring any progress or agreements that had been achieved and resetting talks to a starting point even more discordant than they had originally been.*

Because he would go over each and every little niggling point, many Western diplomats came to hate being in the same room with him.

From, May 24:

The initiative aims to recover economic losses bought on by international sanctions, but workers won't get paid more. 

As nations around the globe start warming to the idea of a 4-day work week, Russia is heading in the opposite direction, with the Russian labor ministry officially granting employers the legal right to ask workers in for an extra day.

According to a letter to the labor ministry from a leading business group, the initiative was proposed to deal with the escalating fallout the country is facing from international sanctions and the cost of its invasion of Ukraine.

The policy relies on the consent of employees, but with extra hours worked not being financially accounted for, and Russia's track record with workplace practices being chequered at best, it's uncertain whether the average worker will actually have much of a say. Here's what we know so far....

*On the other hand he used to say he preferred 10 years of negotiations to one day of war. During the time he was Foreign Minister, 1957–1985, the West and the Soviet Union managed to keep that genie in the bottle, though the world got very, very close to war during the Cuban Missile Crisis when Gromyko was ordered to lie to President Kennedy and did so straight to his face.