The Green Party voted at its annual congress on Saturday to include demands for a 35-hour work week in its manifesto for this September’s general election.
The party’s governing board had left the issue vague, arguing only for a shorter working week, but delegates in attendance pushed through a concrete proposal to limit the amount of time spent at work.
Board member openly opposed the move in a debate preceding the vote, arguing the cost to the exchequer would be excessive and would undermine further investments in the welfare system.
But the party’s dual spokespersons, Peter Eriksson and Maria Wetterstrand, rejected the notion that the vote represented a defeat for the party leadership.
“It’s exactly what we’ve proposed and the only question is why we didn’t include it in the first place,” said Wetterstrand.
By way of explanation for the omission, she added that calls for a 35-hour working week could seem unclear in light of the fact that the party's long-term goal remains to legislate for a 30-hour working week.
Wetterstrand also underlined that the first step in the proposed reform would provide support for parents with young children wishing to cut their working hours on a temporary basis.
The party also voted in favour of introducing an amnesty for illegal immigrants, reiterated its opposition to joining the eurozone, and called for the EU to become more democratic and less centralized.
With the Greens seeking to form a coalition government with the Social Democrats and the Left Party, the heads of both coalition partners put in an appearance at the congress on Sunday morning.
Social Democrat leader Mona Sahlin received a standing ovation when she and Left Party chief Lars Ohly took to the stage in Uppsala.
“When I look at our congress, yours, and the Left Party’s, I see hope for the future, belief in the future and willpower And we dare to say what we want ahead of the election,” said Sahlin. (TT/The Local)