Long weekend bill hits a snag

Plans to introduce monthly three-day weekends are running into complications, as industry and advocacy groups began squabbling over details Sunday.
The plan, which Kulanu MK Eli Cohen is pushing as a way to simultaneously increase leisure time and boost productivity, would cut the average number of worked hours each week down from the current 43 (the OECD average is about 40). Many of the disagreements arose over who would cover the cost of the lost work.
“Anyone who thinks the solution is to put the burden on the workers is wrong and is misleading others,” said Histadrut labor federation Chairman Avi Nissenkorn. The country’s largest and most powerful labor union would not hesitate to call a general strike if the bill tried to extend regular working hours in order to compensate for lost time on the weekends.
From the other side of the spectrum, Shraga Brosh, president of the Manufacturers Association of Israel, said that companies would struggle to make up the productivity losses of a full Sunday’s worth of work each month.
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