WASHINGTON, April 18 (UPI) -- Americans are now working more and getting paid the same, creating more productivity but less personal time than people in other countries.
France recently signed a contract with one of the largest workers unions to stop employees from engaging in work related communication from 6 p.m. to 9.am. They are not the only ones attempting to help create a work-life balance in the age of technology.
Sweden is experimenting with shortening the work week to 35 hours. They are starting the experiment in the town of Gothenburg, where they are splitting into two groups -- one will work 8 hour days and the other 6 hour days at the same pay rate.
In Australia, the minimum wage is about US$15.15 which is about double the $7.25 minimum wage in the U.S. Other countries are giving up to 50 days of time for parents to spend with children under the age of 8 or for mandatory vacation time.
Though the U.S. is the country that introduced the 40-hour work week and the concept of a weekend, it is falling behind in trying to make sure that workers are getting the time and money they need for their work. Americans are working more than ever but getting paid the same, resulting in corporations making record profits.
The U.S. also saw unemployment benefits for millions of Americans expire when Congress failed to pass an extension, and there is no movement toward a minimum wage increase.