THE PROMISE of technology was that leisure time would increase. That hasn’t happened, at least not in the manner expected.
The number of hours at work has decreased over the decades but not at the rate expected. Europe has seen a significant drop but the U.S. and Canada are relatively steady at about 34 hours per week.
Why is the promise of technology realized in Europe and not North America? In a word: unions. When the Great Recession of 2008 hit France, instead of laying people off, workers shared jobs as negotiated by their unions. In Canada and the U.S., the choice was stark: either you had a job or didn’t.
David Charbonneau is a retired TRU electronics instructor who hosts a blog at http://www.eyeviewkamloops.wordpress.com.