France: adieu to the 35-hour work week
Pay attention to the first soundbite:
"Work is not the only thing in my life," she said, suggesting she might quit rather than work more hours.She'll quit, and do what? Go on the government dole?
France recently hit 10% unemployment. Imagine how much higher it would be if so many French companies didn't have to hire one extra worker for every eight that formerly worked 39 hours.
Amid soaring unemployment and stagnating wages, the reform is supported by jobseekers and even by factory workers, according to a survey that pollsters CSA published last month — and by 46 percent of the overall population, with 43 percent opposed.But...
Still, many French workers are loath to give up their shorter hours, even for more cash. Some 56 percent of salaried employees oppose the government's plan, according to the CSA survey, while 36 percent approve.They're not lazy. They're just afraid to compete against others who are willing to work.
On March 10, almost a million people took part in strikes and protests over the working time reform — as well as other threats to workers' benefits and public sector pay.