Plus ca change

Jun 20 2007 by Derek Torres Print This Article

When we last left our French friends, they were either celebrating or commiserating the election of new President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Time has move on, and so have the legislative elections. After two rounds of voting, the right-wing factions didn't quite make out as well as they hoped, which is welcome news for probably more people than the French themselves realize!

What does this have to do with the workplace? Everything! While many people skeptically welcomed the news of being paid for overtime (and not taxed on it), new labor proposals have actually shown a more schizophrenic approach to dealing with the French workforce.

On one hand, this pro-worker initiative (the aforementioned plan would help lower-salaried workers a lot more than it would middle management types) is countered with the revelation that they government will raise the minimum wage only by the legally allotted minimum.

The outcome of the legislative elections will also embolden the French workforce and their company representatives to criticize and protest Sarkozy's workplace policies when they feel they are not in their interests.

Not only should there be some interesting talk around the water cooler in France, but there should be a lot more sick days being used up as French workers gear up to take to the streets for their traditional protests any hint of change.