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  1. #1
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    French students flex their muscles

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4850604.stm

    Revolt is in the air in France and, as usual, students in the streets rather than politicians in parliament, are leading the charge against an embattled government.

    French students are angry about a new law - pushed through parliament last month - which makes it easy for employers to sack young people


    Click link for rest of story.
    --------------------------------------------------------------

    Does anyone have any idea what that is all about? Maybe it's a French policy...but our young people in occupations get sacked daily! You either perform or you are out of a job.

    We have teachers who get a 'tenure' after 3 years....but that's proven to be a major fiasco. No matter how sorry the teacher is....they have to keep them anyway. If they have problems...they simply shuffle them off to another school.

    Maybe Twinkles know what the story is here.

  2. #2
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    Basically the law means that young workers have to pass a probation period before they are actually hired. Which means that if they don't work they don't get hired. They want to be permanently hired whether they do any work or not. (at least that's how I read it).

  3. #3
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    The thing with probation is that there is no need for a work-related issue for a person to get sacked.

    If you are peeing in the frying pan that is an issue. Malperformance is of course not protected by law in France (unless you are a politician, but that is a different matter).

    But slaving away for 2 years, without any malperformance, and get sacked without reason and without possibility of compensation, you are screwed. Perhaps it is not too dissimilar to US practices, but that is exactly one of the things many people do not like about US social security, and labor rights.

    Think of the effects on social security and the purchasing power for bigger items, such as cars and houses. Those would disappear. And of course, the chances of more jobs being created as a result of the law are close to zero, if not zero itself. Inequality would increase drastically, which is supposedly exactly what the law tries to prevent...
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  4. #4
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    So this would effect those who are on a internship with a company and then not being guaranteed a hire or adequate financial compensation?

  5. #5
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    The internship would be quite long (2 years), without any legal protection with regards to job security. In short people are transformed in corporate fodder. The companies themselves are anything but in crisis.

    There is even a risk that you won't get hired, after the two years, because then you have at least a bit of legal protection. Better to hire someone new, without the protection. Now, as an employee it is impossible to try and have a decent life with zero job / financial security.

    In fact productivity per hour in France is already substantially higher than in the US. Although the French do not slave for 50 weeks a year, with only two weeks vacation.

    It would affect anyone below the age of 26. And what happens when the legal position of the staff is weak, if not non-existant? It offers opportunity to the management to excessively exploit personnel - by simply threatening sacking, if you do not comply with ...

    Furthermore, because no reason has to be given for sacking, it becomes totally unclear what one has done "wrong." Even if the "wrong" itself would be illegal according to French law. If the reason is that you refused to slave for 50 hours a week (against French law), and the boss were required to give a reason, the sacked employee could bring a case to court. Under the new law, that is impossible.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  6. #6
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    Oh, please that is bull.

    We have an unemplyment rate of 9,6% and it's young people who get most affected by it.

    Before explaining the downturn of this law, how about saying what a CDI - contract for an undefined period of time, meaning a secure job - costs a company? The health insurance, the pay, the social charges, the paied vacations (5 weeks legally, but up to 8 weeks and more if you add the RTT), the interest they negociate for you if you want to buy a house, the deposits they make for you, etc. etc.

    It is huge!! I mean Blair is a total liberalist ( democrat) compaired to Chirac, if you can believe that.

    I'm not saying that companies cannot afford it, but they sure think 5 times before getting someone a job.


    Stikes are a FASHION in France and it is so lame! What do bureaucrats have to do with students? Do you know that there was no newspaper printed on the 27th, schools, museums, undergrounds were closed, all the administration stopped? This a menthality problem.

    French people loooove to complain. They got used to a certain living and don't accept anything less. Well... we'll see how that turns out!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for explaining it Twinkles.

    Only in France would the people get upset enough to only work 30 hours a week and still want to come out of college with job security and a whole LOT of benefits no one gets here.

    You usually don't get insurance, retirement package, etc. here unless you've worked somewhere 30-90 days. If you get it earlier...it's because they need to position filled real bad and are using it as a draw to get people to apply! As far as I know, NO COMPANY helps a person get a house here. That's your own problem.

  8. #8
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    It is amazing, I listen to the conversations my collegues are having - the company actually proposes them different type of advantages - if you want to get a house, if you want to save, to buy the company stocks, if you invest in a retirement plan.

    EVERYONE has access, people with not even one year of ancienity included.

    I'm telling you, if you get this type of contract, you've just gotten the big ticket !

  9. #9
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    here, every job you start, you have a 3 month probation period. that means that for that 3 months, you better do your job or you can get fired without notice. benefits usually don't start for anyone until they've passed the probation period so it'll start at 3 months.

    i find nothing wrong with that at all. It gives the person the chance to prove themsleves and it protects the employer as well with wasted costs.

    To think that someone should have job security after completing college or university is rediculous. everyone needs to work hard to get to where they want to be. what makes them so special? to get to the top, one must start at the bottom and work (actually work!) their way up.
    Life is what you make of it. Make it happen.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinkle
    Oh, please that is bull.

    We have an unemplyment rate of 9,6% and it's young people who get most affected by it.
    Or the French could become as productive as their American counterparts. Then unemployment would disappear. :roll: Unemployment is the price some people pay for their economy.

    How would this law create new jobs? It serves to reduce internal spending power, and with that make certain that the internal market of France itself becomes smaller.

    No capitalist economy in the face of the world, has ever reduced unemployment to zero. In fact, some countries even imported people from across the world to do the jobs that would not be done otherwise. Many Moroccan, Turkish and Italian people ended up in the Netherlands that way. Now, companies have discovered outsourcing: let people in India, Indonesia, and China slave for 16 hours a day for a dollar if they are lucky, to make your fancy bags, shoes, and what not.

    I'm not saying that companies cannot afford it, but they sure think 5 times before getting someone a job.
    With profit margins higher than they were ever before, chances are that they can indeed afford it. Or are the wages per head of personnel already in the millions of Euros?
    Don't forget that all these benefits help improve productivity per hour. It is about true, that for every 4 hours a Frenchman works, an American needs to work 5 hours to produce the same thing.

    What do bureaucrats have to do with students?
    Counterquestion with regards to Romania, under Ceaucescu: what did the Romanian people have to do with Ceaucescu? There is a relationship, in both cases. In one case the people are ignored, the other case, the students.

    French people loooove to complain. They got used to a certain living and don't accept anything less. Well... we'll see how that turns out!
    People everywhere are good at complaining. It is not just France. And people who complain that the French complain, are doing the same thing as well.

    IT will be interesting to see how things turn out, especially as Sarkozy and de Villepin are embroidered in a battle for the candidacy for the Presidency of France.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  11. #11
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    Or the French could become as productive as their American counterparts. Then unemployment would disappear. :roll: Unemployment is the price some people pay for their economy.
    French economy isn't rousy. Actually, West European economy isn't that well either. This law permits companies NOT to pay so many taxes when they emply someone.

    How would this law create new jobs? It serves to reduce internal spending power, and with that make certain that the internal market of France itself becomes smaller.
    There isn't such a law that "creates employment", Vautrin! If there was, I'm sure Africa would have used it by now.

    No capitalist economy in the face of the world, has ever reduced unemployment to zero. In fact, some countries even imported people from across the world to do the jobs that would not be done otherwise. Many Moroccan, Turkish and Italian people ended up in the Netherlands that way. Now, companies have discovered outsourcing: let people in India, Indonesia, and China slave for 16 hours a day for a dollar if they are lucky, to make your fancy bags, shoes, and what not.
    I have NO idea wha you point is.


    With profit margins higher than they were ever before, chances are that they can indeed afford it. Or are the wages per head of personnel already in the millions of Euros?
    V. I love you, but you suck in Economy. If a comany that's on the the stock market doesn't have the rate of growth expected by the market, then the price of its shares are dropping. That company may be as solid as a rock, but it can be destroyed if it's not growing fast enough.

    Of course, we are not to complain big companies, but it is a viscious cercle. So in order to have the much expected growth, they must cut down costs. Every company's biggest cost is the work force.


    Counterquestion with regards to Romania, under Ceaucescu: what did the Romanian people have to do with Ceaucescu?
    Sorry, I don't see the link.

    There is a relationship, in both cases. In one case the people are ignored, the other case, the students.
    People being ignored... my arse, LOL. I'm sure that all publishing houses unions are crying their eyes out for the poor young students. As I see it, what they do is take advantage of a situation, they can put pressure on the gouvernment to squise more and more and more benefits. That and a paid day off work.


    People everywhere are good at complaining. It is not just France. And people who complain that the French complain, are doing the same thing as well.
    That is a truism. There isn't such a thing as an CDI in England if I'm not mistaking. I don't see people int the streets protesting because of a labour law. In any civilized state. It's in their culture. All young Frenchmen deam of another May '68! Well, that's gone and it's never gonna happen again.

    No other country has a similar history!

    IT will be interesting to see how things turn out, especially as Sarkozy and de Villepin are embroidered in a battle for the candidacy for the Presidency of France.
    Frankly, I don't care about the outcome. If the law passes, I get work more easily. IF it doesn't, when I get a job, I'll have a better work contract.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinkle
    There isn't such a law that "creates employment", Vautrin! If there was, I'm sure Africa would have used it by now.
    Please, inform Prime Minister de Villepin of the fact. He uses the employment argument to gather support for this law.

    If a comany that's on the the stock market doesn't have the rate of growth expected by the market, then the price of its shares are dropping.
    Only if stockholders actually sell the shares. Apparently, if companies do not have unrealistic expectations, with regards to profit, they will fail. This simplification confuses the paper economy with the real economy.

    Of course, we are not to complain big companies, but it is a viscious cercle. So in order to have the much expected growth, they must cut down costs. Every company's biggest cost is the work force.
    Nonsense, the generalisation does not hold. That really depends on the industry. And whether that is labor intensive. Chip-factories, (for computers) are completely different from creating shoes.

    Counterquestion with regards to Romania, under Ceaucescu: what did the Romanian people have to do with Ceaucescu?
    Sorry, I don't see the link.
    Apparently, the Romanians had no reason to have an issue with their dictator, as the dictator did not care about the people. Which is exactly what bureaucracy also assumes about its subjects.

    That is a truism. There isn't such a thing as an CDI in England if I'm not mistaking.
    Yes, who can forget about the Great Miners Strike. The strikes that were defeated by Thatcher herself? The strikes that are going on in various fields right now, and have occured in the past few years?

    I don't see people int the streets protesting because of a labour law. In any civilized state. It's in their culture. All young Frenchmen deam of another May '68! Well, that's gone and it's never gonna happen again.
    It will happen again. Even before I set foot in France again. And I am not exactly trying to avoid the country.

    Frankly, I don't care about the outcome. If the law passes, I get work more easily. IF it doesn't, when I get a job, I'll have a better work contract.
    Given your age, it will hardly affect you at all Twinkle. In fact, it will make it a bit harder, as you will have at least some form of legal protection, unlike the 23-year old with the same diploma. Now you may be in the luxurious position that that is a rare occurence, and that you are in marketing, but still.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  13. #13
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    To sum it up, this is how I see it:

    if your wife cooked, did laundry, clean the house beside going to work and then all of the sudden told you she's not doing that anymore, you feel that the world is crushing upon you.

    Well... as I see it, France has to step up and give some of its benefits up. Of course, they scream and shout , they don't like it.


    Also, V. you think that giving better solutions to companies not to pay so much when employing a worker will not necessarily create more employement.

    OK. Maybe you're right. But what's your solution? Nobody said it is the perfect law. But it is an option. If you are good at what you do, you will be kept, you will find work. CPE or no CPE!

  14. #14
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    Twinkle, no matter how high the profits, French companies, certainly those that live on exports, would prefer Indonesian sweatshop conditions for the French population. However, I have the impression that most of the people in France don't think that is the way to go.

    Profits are higher than they were ever before, and those same companies still complain that the labor is too expensive? What about lowering prices of their products to sell more, which they can easily do, if they make such high profits? You can't make a profit if you are selling below the cost of the product, so that certainly is not happening ...

    Or is it insane that if you pretend to abide by the laws of capitalism, as almost every company does, with regards to costs, that the same laws also apply when selling your product?

    Why is it that the people have to pay for the refusal of French companies to abide by the "laws of the market" themselves?
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin

    Why is it that the people have to pay for the refusal of French companies to abide by the "laws of the market" themselves?
    Please give me examples of other countries whom have labour contracts like the CDI. It is great if you're an employee, but a pain in the arse if you're the employer.

    I will make some research for you to explain exactly what these benefits are.

    Please do the same for England or USA.

    Companies will ALWAYS make more money than the paycheck they give to their employees. It is supposed to go that way.

    L'Oréal has ALL of its factories in France or in Switzerland. I bet you that China is a much better market, yet not all companies go there.


    We want more employement. On the short term, the CPE will create 70.000 jobs. The unemployement will decrease by 0,5%.

    I may be repeating myself, if the CPE is BAD, what's the solution? In France, the unemployement rate is over 22%! Meaning one in four young people. The truth is, that if you want to make a change in this country, you can't. People are most reluctant to any type of change. That's why the USA will continue tu be the first economic power forever and ever, to my big sorrow.

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    There is a large difference between 22% and 9,6% which is it?

    Companies will ALWAYS make more money than the paycheck they give to their employees. It is supposed to go that way.
    Of course. But if profits are higher than they were ever before, the cost of labor cannot be increasingly high - else profits would have gone down, not up. The whole excuse does not make sense.

    Unemployment is the price for capitalism. Ever wondered why bureaucrats are using computers now, instead of paper records in the way they used those 100 years ago? Matters of efficiency. And supposedly, saving labor means that less labor is needed to produce the same service.

    Which is in fact what is the problem for the French population. As I said before, if the French laborer was as productive per hour as their American counterpart, the whole unemployment issue would disappear.

    Unemployment has no solution, because of the premisses of capitalism itself. The only thing that can be tried, and probably without complete success is the sharing of labor. As you pointed out a lot of labor is done in the world, without it being paid. That is essential for capitalism, in fact.

    And no, the US has had most of its hegemonial time. It has lasted for almost one hundred years (if not more), and if the US will prove unable to block essential supplies to China and India those two countries are prime candidates to take over the position of the US.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vautrin
    And no, the US has had most of its hegemonial time. It has lasted for almost one hundred years (if not more), and if the US will prove unable to block essential supplies to China and India those two countries are prime candidates to take over the position of the US.
    Good! Then maybe they can start pitching in...


    Americans privately give at least $34 billion overseas—more than twice the US official foreign aid of $15 billion at that time:

    International giving by US foundations: $1.5 billion per year
    Charitable giving by US businesses: $2.8 billion annually
    American NGOs: $6.6 billion in grants, goods and volunteers.
    Religious overseas ministries: $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.
    US colleges scholarships to foreign students: $1.3 billion
    Personal remittances from the US to developing countries: $18 billion in 2000

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merika
    US colleges scholarships to foreign students: $1.3 billion
    And do you expect that all those students from Nigeria, Mali, Kazakhstan et cetera return to their country of origin, after completing their studies? I doubt it.

    Just as in the Netherlands we are trying to attract a lot of students from Indonesia, China etc. We are even forced to take some classes in English, despite the fact that English is not an official language in the Netherlands. I have no problem with that, but it is simply bizarre. And legally dubious.

    But government policies with regards to science are considered by many to be so crappy, that Dutch students are looking for alternatives, such as pursuing a career in the UK, the US, or Canada. And it would be foolish to blame them, as the infrastructure here, has almost become medieval.

    Religious overseas ministries: $3.4 billion, including health care, literacy training, relief and development.
    And how are you going to convert Africans and Asians if you keep your missionaries in the US? Or do you think that the message alone suffices - it would merely be some weird commercial for some religious group. And a fruitless attempt.
    The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. - Rabindranath Tagore

    Keep true to the dreams of your youth. - Friedrich Schiller

    The only philosophy which can be responsibly practised in face of despair is the attempt to contemplate all things as they would present themselves from the standpoint of redemption. - Theodor Adorno

  19. #19
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    They aren't just 'religious groups' Vautrin...these are people who really love and care for the folks they minister to. They give up a great deal of comforts and often lay their life on the line. I have a cousin who is a missionary in some bugged filled outpost in South America. To him....it's all about helping their quality of life....not just about spreading the gospel. It takes an act of great love and I'm just happy God never called me to do it.

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