Friday, March 24, 2006

France: Protest Job Bill


After a weekend of protest, where 1.5 million people took to the streets. The labor unions have called a general strike to protest what they call, a new dangerous law.
The law would allow employers to fire people under age 26 without cause within two years of being hired.

Read Jerome a Paris's Blog in The European Tribune. It refutes the neoliberal arguments, found in the international press. The press portrays the government and big business as forward thinking, while portraying the victims as protectionist and selfish.

Thank you Histologian. Please visit this well written Greek leftist blog.
RENEGADE EYE

17 comments:

Unsane said...

John Howard of Australia is also introducing new industrial relations laws which allow a busines which employs less than 100 employees to sack employees without reason.

Already, the spirit of this new law has permeated Perth, with many people being sacked and yet not told why. When "reasons" have been given, they are pretty lame indeed. They include: "Wasn't teaching my son how to do his homework." (employee replied: "I was--but it takes a little longer to teach him how to do it BY HIMSELF.) "The employee said a swear word in my presence." (employee claimed: I would never have said something like that!" And "Employee was too slow -- we wanted someone faster!" (those who know employee claimed: That employee is a black belt in Frestyle martial arts, and has a mind and reflexes which are superquick! If that particular employee is slow on the uptake, then we don't know who could possibly have been quicker!)

Oh well -- the new legislation, as far as I know, is called Work Choices.

Mike B) said...

Go French workers! Fire your bosses! Who needs the fucking parasites anyway?

sonia said...

It's a strange law. Why 26 years-old ? Why 2 years ?

In most countries that have similar laws, it generally applies to everybody (young people aren't discriminated against) and the period in question is closer to 3 months.

2 years is way too long...

Brian said...

Yes, big business is always forward thinking and always has the best interests of their employees foremost in mind.

olive said...

Wish we could get 1.5 million young people to show up for a rally/protest... boomers won't live forever.

latour said...

This law will do one thing only: make it really easy for companies that employ young workers to do crappy jobs for low wages (McJobs) to avoid unionization. They already will use every dirty trick in the book to prevent their workers form organizing, and this will just make it easier. Young agitator? Fire his ass and shut up about it. You don't have to give a reason, so you don't have to be caught in a lie.

That's the whole point of this law, to prevent young people from organizing, and to prevent those who work the lowest paying jobs in the coutnry to demand their fair share.

beatroot said...

I am glad that French students can actually get mobilised around such an issue - I can't imagine British students doing the same.

But in mainland Europe there is a probmem.

With liberalised economies like the UK, unemployment is much less - 5% - than France - 10%. In mainland Europe mass unemployment is now built into the economy by about 10-12 percent.

True - there is a very good French welfare system which looks after the unemployed very well.

But mass unemployment is a crime as big as freeing up the labour law.

Don't support a system that legitamizes people being out of work in such numbers, and then encourage them to get used to it.

There is dignity in labour. There's not much dignity on welfare, no matter how good it is.

Scottage said...

It's not so different then the right to work laws seen in a few states, and yet no one even cares here. Can you say apathetic?

Unsane said...

There is dignity in labour. There's not much dignity on welfare, no matter how good it is.

Very essentialising of you!!

Yet, many of the workplaces I have been in have made welfare look very attractive. At least I can walk away, if I am on welfare. I don't need to be exposed to constant belittlement, snide remarks, brow-beating, and day to day disempowerment.

latour said...

amen to that, unsane!

beatroot said...

Believe me, welfare might seem quite a gas for a couple of months, but when you have a family to support and you are getting dark looks from the wife (You lazy bastard) it won't seem so glamorous for long.

And the 'digfnity in labour' bit was a slogan from the British labour movement and many others, for a long time. It comes from the Jarrow hunger marches of the 1920's I think (something my dad's family told me about in the north east of England). So I don't know if that is 'essentialist' or not - it's just true.

sonia said...

if I am on welfare. I don't need to be exposed to constant belittlement, snide remarks, brow-beating, and day to day disempowerment

People who don't enjoy those pleasures, should simply create their own companies, and hire other people (either to get even by belitteling them in turn, or by setting a good example of how to treat workers properly)...

In an ideal world, everybody would work for himself. No bosses, no workers, just small-c capitalist enterpreneurs competing for government contracts and private clients...

roman said...

All workers who depend on that weekly paycheck to support their families need some reasonable protections. Why? Because GREED and AVARICE are common and natural human characteristics that seem to reach ultimate heights of potency in most so-called "succesful" entrepreneurs.
This relationship between success and the disregard for the rights of the worker is a natural by-product in a truly free (capitalist) enterprise system. I cannot blame the French for protesting this "chipping" away at the workers' protections. It is a matter of human dignity.

Umer A. Chaudhry said...

In Pakistan, you need to give a 15 day notice and obtain a 'No Objection Certificate' from the government before calling a labour strike. In case you don't abide by the law, a case under the 'Anti-Terrorism Act' is filed against you.

It's a pleasure for me to learn that the students and workers of France, a land of change, have united against the 'free-marketeers'.

Unsane said...

People who don't enjoy those pleasures, should simply create their own companies, and hire other people (either to get even by belitteling them in turn, or by setting a good example of how to treat workers properly)...

In an ideal world, everybody would work for himself. No bosses, no workers, just small-c capitalist enterpreneurs competing for government contracts and private clients...


Well, I'm workin on creating that ideal world for myself as we speak.

In order to aid me, however, I wonder if you would do me the pleasure of being my slave?

The work is not hard in itself -- you just have to be subject to endless amounts of contemptuous behaviour on my part.

Also, I promise to pay you very little.

Mike B) said...

Under capitalism, your skills are mere commodities subject to the laws of supply and demand. You produce the wealth your employers live on and they pay you a wage--the price your skills are fetching on the labour market. If there are too many of you out there selling the same skills, your price will go down.

Young French workers are in this predicament. They are in the streets because the polytricksters who make the laws of the French State are trying to make these workers accept laws which would in effect take more of the wealth which their class produces away from them. That's what those benefit take-aways are all about. It's a class struggle over what to do with the mountains of wealth which the employed sections of the working class are creating. The rightists want to divert more of it back to the employing class by cutting their tax burden and the leftists want the workers to live at least as comfortably as they have been.

Those who oppose wage-slavery understand this. Those who wish to abolish wage-slavery want the producers to control/socially own and democratically manage, the whole god-damned pie.

And then, there are those who believe that small "c" capitalism can be made to stop its historical trajectory to grow into corporate capitalism....

Big fish eat little fish in the game known as "survival of the richest".

The workers remain little fish as long as they believe that they can fight corporate capital as mere individuals. What the bourgeoisie don't like to see is workers organized as a class demanding that the wealth they've created be spent on the needs of the proletariat. That's scary for them, because that's when the workers are powerful, when they're organized as a class for themselves.

Anonymous said...

First Employment Contract (CPE)?

The measure, known as the First Employment Contract (CPE), is the centrepiece of a law that was rammed through the conservative-dominated parliament in February by the government of Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

To adopt the law, which is due to come into force in the coming weeks, the government used an article in the constitution which allows it to curtail parliamentary debate, a move which further angered opponents of the measure.

Under the CPE, companies with more than 20 employees will be allowed to fire employees aged under 26 at any point during the first two years of their contracts.

Last year, smaller companies were granted the right to give similar contracts to employees of all ages.

No justification need be given to those laid off from such contracts, and the financial compensation will be less than that currently provided to people on existing short-term contracts.

Despite the word "first" in its name, the CPE does not only have to apply to a young person's initial job contract. Employers are allowed to give several such contracts to the same person.

Defenders of the system claim it will encourage employers to take on more young people; youth unemployment in France is around 23 percent nationwide, and much higher in some poor neighbourhoods.ods.ods.

Critics point out that the measure will further increase precarity for young people, who already face enormous obstacles in getting onto a stable career ladder.

You can also post your comment at France Protest forum http://franceprotest.com/ .

http://franceprotest.com/