Mexico Ponders Shorter Workweek for Happier Lives

Mexico embarks on a historic journey to cut the workweek from 48 to 40 hours, aligning with global norms. A transformative shift that promises improved work-life balance and economic competitiveness.

Mexico Ponders Shorter Workweek for Happier Lives
Advocating for a shorter workweek in Mexico, a historic change after 50 years of debate. Image by Ernesto Eslava from Pixabay

In the heart of the Chamber of Deputies, the Open Parliament's first session kicked off this Monday with a mission to discuss the Reduction of the Working Day, a topic that promises to reshape Mexico's labor landscape. As we embark on this legislative journey, three pivotal axes emerge: Productivity and Labor Competitiveness, the Working Day in Mexico and Worldwide, and the Economic, Social, and Health Remunerations of the Workday.

The seeds of this momentous discussion were sown last April when a reform initiative was approved to reduce the working day and establish a model of five days of work for two days of rest. This paradigm shift will see the standard workweek in Mexico slashed from 48 to 40 hours. Deputy Susana Prieto Terrazas, the visionary author of this initiative, emphasized that it all began with an eye on the global working hours landscape. She astutely pointed out that Mexico, along with Colombia, finds itself in the rather exclusive club of countries that work the most in the world. It's a distinction that the nation might be ready to relinquish in favor of a healthier work-life balance.

“We are at a historic moment to achieve the passage of 40 hours and to benefit 57 million Mexicans with this new working day,” Deputy Susana Prieto Terrazas declared with a sense of hope and conviction.

But this discussion isn't merely about numbers on a clock; it's about improving the lives of millions. It's about fostering an environment where people can work to live, rather than live to work. It's about tipping the scales in favor of those who dedicate their time and energy to building the nation.

Representative Tereso Medina, a member of the PRI parliamentary fraction, underlined the significance of reducing the working day and expressed strong support for the cause. He assured the public that the proposals they bring to the open parliament will be focused on fortifying the implementation of this transformative change.

“Our country boasts a working day of over 40 hours, putting us a staggering 23% above the global average. The Confederation of Mexican Workers (CTM) has long been advocating for this historic shift. Back in 1973, the revered Fidel Velázquez laid the groundwork for the discussion to trim the workday from 48 to 40 hours,” Representative Tereso Medina pointed out.

And now, half a century later, this matter is back in the spotlight. Furthermore, the International Labor Organization has thrown its weight behind the cause, emphasizing the necessity of dialogue to secure this momentous change in favor of the workers.

As the Open Parliament unfolds, it's not just about reducing the number of hours on the clock; it's about ushering in a new era where work complements life, not overshadows it. It's about making Mexico more competitive on the global stage and prioritizing the wellbeing of its people. So, fasten your seatbelts; it looks like the Mexican workweek is on the cusp of a historic transformation.