> It's all very well to "connect the crisis to the underlying capitalist
> system." The proof, though, comes in whether one presents a program
> for BOTH responding to the current crisis within the constraints posed
> by that system while at the same time moving beyond those very
> constraints. That is the difference between calling for a program of
> work-time reduction and wool-gathering about the need to replace the
Fat chance that a neoliberal like Obama will be for work-time reduction although it is resonating elsewhere:
Venezuela revives plan for six-hour workday
Wed Oct 15, 2008
CARACAS, Oct 15 (Reuters) - Venezuela has revived a popular plan to cut the workday to six hours, just weeks before regional elections in which socialist President Hugo Chavez is expected to lose control of some cities and states.
Labor Minister Roberto Hernandez, a former Communist Party leader, said he will ask Congress this year to approve the reduction from eight hours ahead of a labor law overhaul in the oil- exporting nation in 2009.
The six-hour workday was first proposed as a sweetener in a reform package that would have allowed Chavez to run for re-election indefinitely and given him more powers. The package was rejected in a referendum last December.
At the time, Chavez said the workday plan would create 150,000 jobs. But business leaders characterized it as a heavy-handed measure that would slow investment.
The referendum was narrowly defeated and was the first time Chavez had lost a major vote since he was elected nearly 10 years ago. It has emboldened a fractured opposition ahead of elections for mayors and governors next month.
Chavez allies now dominate the South American nation's states and cities.
The president is popular for redistributing oil wealth to the poor but widespread corruption, crime and rising prices are likely to cost the outspoken U.S. critic some posts.
Chavez has nationalized large swathes of Venezuela's economy, including oil projects, steel works and a telecoms company. The state is now the OPEC country's largest employer.
Several unions are renegotiating labor contracts with the government and demanding higher wages and better working conditions. (Reporting by Frank Jack Daniel; Editing by Xavier Briand)