France+Mar+10 - Employment Relations and Labor Movements in...

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Employment Relations and Employment Relations and Labor Movements in France Labor Movements in France March 10, 2011
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Political Context Political Context Fifth republic since 1958; founded by Charles de Gaulle Government: Broad presidential power Two chamber Parliament: French senate and French National Assembly Current President: Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP) Since 1981, alternate right and left governments, as well as a periodic “cohabitation” between a right/left government and a left/right President
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Political Context (cont.) Political Context (cont.) Political Parties Union for a Popular Movement – UMP (right) Socialist Party - PSF (left) National Front (far right) Communists - PCF Union for French Democracy – UDF (centrist) Huge number of splinter parties Political parties have incompatible goals
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Economic Context Economic Context Modern industrialized economy Higher level state planning than other Western countries High portion of state ownership High tax burden Social benefits include pregnancy allowances, child allowances, free health care including prescriptions, and free education through university level High level of unemployment
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Source: IMF
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Source: IMF
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Source: IMF
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Ideology Ideology Not well compatible Unions: strong anti-capitalist ideologies Employers: extremely anti-union and paternalistic
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Employers Employers Large employers have had a more important role since the late 1950s; SMEs are usually family business with strong paternalism Highly united in the main confederation MEDEF (former CNPF) MEDEF: diverse membership; negotiation on certain broad issues (not on wages and working time) Three levels of employer associations: national, industry, and regional No explicit political support; but frequent financial support to right parties
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Employers (cont.) Employers (cont.) Objective: increase flexibility Numerical flexibility: aims at reducing costs by adjusting the quantity or volume of labor; includes the use of temporary and contract labor, subcontracting, short-term contracts, layoffs, retrenchment, shift working, variable working time, and other practices which reduce employment security and the number of workers Functional flexibility: aims at improving performance by enhancing employees’ ability to perform a variety of jobs and participate in decision-making; includes teamwork, job rotation, multiskilling, work in multi-tasks and multi-sites, and pay for performance
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Unions Unions General characteristics Pluralism, multi-unionism, rivalry, fragmentation
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France+Mar+10 - Employment Relations and Labor Movements in...

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