In case you missed it, they’re rioting again in France Posted by: McQ
on Thursday, March 16, 2006
Just thought I'd mention the fact that they're at it again in France. This time its about jobs. Well that's partly true. It's about refusing an employer the right to fire someone from their job:
French police used teargas and water cannon when violence erupted as students turned up the heat on Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin over a jobs law on Thursday, while his government struggled to defuse the crisis.
Stone-throwing protesters clashed with police at the end of a march by several thousand university and high school students in Paris and later outside the Sorbonne university. A kiosk was set ablaze and several shop windows were smashed.
Protests across France have gathered in momentum since hundreds of thousands of protesters turned out on March 7 against the law, which critics say reduces job protection for young people. The protests have been largely peaceful so far.
Student leaders said 300,000 to 600,000 marched across France and that 64 of the country's 84 universities were hit by the protests. Officials reported 247,500 protesters nationwide.
"CRS = SS!" chanted protesters at the Sorbonne, comparing the riot police to the leading Nazi troops. At least eight riot police were injured in the unrest and several dozen youths, many of them hooded or masked, were hauled away by police.
The protests could hurt the conservative Villepin's hopes of running for president in 2007. He says the law will help reduce unemployment among the young, now running at 22.8 percent, more than twice the overall national rate.
Right. Of course "conservative" in France is akin to Democrat in the US.
And, of course, for the rest of the French, unemployment is at a wonderfully low 9.6%.
As we all recall, the government of France promised to reduce the unemployment rate (at 40% in some neighborhood) among immigrant youth to quell the last riots.
So what are these protests and riots all about? Well it seems that Villepin had the temerity to actually push a law through Parliament which appears to favor employers. Apparently that's a mortal poltical sin in France:
Some students daubed "Anti-CPE" on their faces, a reference to the so-called "First Job Contract" that allows employers to dismiss workers under 26 during a two-year trial period without having to give a reason.
Student and union leaders have spurned an offer of talks over the law from Villepin, who railroaded the measure through parliament. They say he must back down.
"I am open to dialogue within the framework of the law and to improve the First Job Contract," said Villepin.
But Villepin has vowed to stand firm over the law. "I will do it to the end because I believe in this measure," Villepin said in an interview with Paris Match magazine.
If I read this correctly, a permanent job from which one cannot be fired has become another assumed 'right' enjoyed by the masses in egalitarian France.
And they wonder why they have 10% unemployment in an economy which seems to be doing very well for the rest of the world despite rising energy prices.
The Owner’s Manual, I don’t see how you’d need suicidal employers to make it work. No employer is going to commit himself to a high turnover rate, it doesn’t make business sense. All this law does is allow employers a probationary period, where they can get rid of the dead weight.
Now, I will grant that the law isn’t fair because it only applies to those under 26, but to say that the law is completely unworkable is false.
You don’t need two years to see whether an employee is fit, Steverino. You know within a month. Being fired without cause a year, say, into your employement is caprice and bad management. Employers won’t do it voluntarily. That’s why this won’t work.