Some 4,000 trade unionists from several EU countries have been marching in Strasbourg ahead of a European Parliament vote this Wednesday on the working time directive. They’re against stretching out the maximum. Many insist that stand-by time must be counted, highlighting the dangers incurred when a worker goes short of proper rest.The EU governments reached a compromise earlier this year, which included extending permanent staff rights to temporary employees after 12 weeks on the job. There is a serious body of opposition to Britain’s controversial opt-out from the maximum 48-hour week for Europe’s workers. This could force the whole package back to the drawing board.