Work less, consume less and thus save the planet: This is what hundreds of participants on Saturday’s “Strike for Future” day of action propagated at demonstrations in over 25 locations across the country.
Around a thousand people took part in the peaceful event in downtown Zurich. Among other things, the participants drew attention to it with a bicycle demonstration and a rally in the Münsterhof.
Around 500 people gathered on the Bundesplatz in Bern in the afternoon, as a reporter from the Keystone-SDA news agency found on site. They braved the cold, windy weather with chants like “Power to the people”.
In Lausanne, this brought around 500 people onto the streets, in Geneva around 250. 70 to 80 demonstrating criticisms in Lucerne, patriarchy, racism, the climate crisis and the gap between rich and poor had one cause: colonialism and capitalism.
There were also action days in Basel, Thun, Winterthur, Zug, Delsberg, Vevey, Neuchâtel and La Chaux-de-Fonds.
Stop the overexploitation
The motto of the national day of action is: “Let’s take our time back”. The current type of work represents an overexploitation of people and nature. In speeches, the meaningfulness of work was questioned against the background of climate-destroying overproduction.
According to the demonstrators, reduced working hours would not only help the climate, but also accommodate feminists and employees in general. One argument is that with more free time, the care work that is mostly done by women today can be managed.
With less work, people would have “more time for each other, more time for the planet”, as in Zurich at a transparent stand. The Unia union agrees that a reduction in working hours is necessary for healthy people and an intact environment.
The productivity gains should also arrive at the assumed. According to Unia, Switzerland has the longest working hours in Europe at 42 hours per week. Working less protects the environment, because people with more time could live more resource-efficiently.
Lowest common denominator
The events were organized by the “Strike for Future” association, trade unions and feminist and social organizations. Shortened working hours represent a lowest common denominator for them, as they stated.
In contrast to manifestations of the climate movement, the number of participants on Saturday was moderate. On the part of the organizers in western Switzerland, Thomas Bruchez admitted that mobilization after the Covid 19 pandemic was difficult. In addition, there is the war in Ukraine, which rightly attracts a lot of attention.