Colombian presidential hopeful Rodolfo Hernández, who surprisingly advanced to the runoff against leftist Senator Gustavo Petro, has announced some of his plans in case of being elected, which include extending the working day to 10 hours and reducing lunch breaks to half an hour.
Following these statements, Petro accused his rival of wanting to lead people to slavery.
Hernández's ideas also included Colombians getting to know the sea and prison inmates working for their food, but the candidate keeps launching controversial initiatives.
His latest proposals regarding a working day came through a Facebook Live appearance. Flanked by his running ate Marelen Castillo, Hernández stressed it was good for people to go to work at 6 am and leave between 4 and 5 pm.
What you have to do is to get up at 4 am, Hernandez told Castillo, who has a background in chemistry and biology. Colombians, we can really work from 6 in the morning. It is not to arrive to drink red wine and talk straw, talk on the cell phone, go to the bathroom, no: working at 6 in the morning until 4 or 5 in the afternoon, let's see, said Hernandez.
A regular working day in Colombia spans eight hours a day and 48 hours a week, but as per a bill recently passed in Congress, it will be reduced to 42 hours by 2026, starting in 2023.
The candidate of the League of Anti-Corruption Rulers insisted his working-hours scheme would be good for productivity and to not increase the traffic jams. Hernández, an engineer by trade, also suggested Colombians willing to have longer lunch breaks could do it on weekends.
We are going to work for Colombia from six in the morning to four or five in the afternoon, it is to be defined, so that the four calendar years become in time almost six. That is to say, they pay us four years and we convert that time working with that intensity, they are going to see from the first moment the transformation, the impact that all this bureaucracy that does not want to change, that does not want to leave, is going to receive, he further explained.
Hernandez's proposal has not been welcome. The 10-hour working day is nothing more than the exploitation of the worker as it was done in the nineteenth century, the era of savage capitalism. There is a certain economic leadership with its candidate, who wants to take people to a new slavery, Petro said on social media.
Other social media users replied that the candidate wanted slavery and hunger for the people, given that more working hours are not synonymous with productivity.