Summarized Working Hours — Super Exploitation of Workers

Summarized record of working hours in the Soviet Labor Code1 was allowed only by agreement with the Trade Union and only where, according to the production conditions, it was impossible to comply with the established 8-hour working day. Today, by the Latvian law, almost any capitalist can implement it only at his own wish in his enterprise.

What do summarized working hours mean in practice?

Your working hours begin and end at any time of a day, chaotically and unpredictably. Your working schedule may change every week and your work can last up to 24 hours continuously.

When the owner has a job, you have to work hard. When a standstill arises – you sit at home without the salary and wait when they call you.

How is this regime beneficial for the capitalist?

The owner avoids increased pay for overtime hours. You can work up to 24 hours a day, up to 56 hours a week, but if the total amount of time worked does not exceed the limit for a month, quarter or even a whole year, then you will receive for this overtime as for the normal working hours.

With a normal 8-hour working day, any hour worked beyond eight hours must be paid double2. In the case of summarized working hours, overtime is considered to be only hours worked in excess of the monthly or annual norm, depending on the terms of the collective agreement. The capitalist compensates for his downtime at the expense of the worker.

For example, with a normal 8-hour working day, a store seller working by 10 hours 4 days a week will receive a normal salary for 32 hours and doubled for 8 hours. The same seller, working on the basis of summarized hours, will receive payment for all worked 40 hours in as for normal working hours. Moreover, in certain weeks, the seller can work for 5 consecutive days by 11 hours and not get anything above the usual tariff for such a busy schedule.

How does this working schedule harm the worker?

Long working hours undermine your health. The problems with sleep, other health problems begin, medical expenses rise. Many start to use energy drinks and sleeping pills, in the worst case, alcohol.

The last hours of work are always the most traumatic.

Over fatigue reduces alertness and increases the risk of industrial accidents.

You cannot plan your personal and family life. Taking a child to school, kindergarten, attending cultural events, participating in social movements becomes problematic, and sometimes impossible.

The Workers’ Front of Latvia in its Programme declared the requirement to abolish the widespread of summarized working time. The struggle to exclude this clause from the collective agreement is the objective interest of all workers. Only by joint struggle can we improve our working conditions!