Monday, September 11, 2017

Are French Workers Lazy?

Yesterday I quoted Miami resident Dave Barry's remark that his home generator reminded him of French labor unions: neither worked.

A terrible joke, you might think. And yet, speaking in Athens last Friday, the new president of France, Emmanuel Macron sparked a serious row by suggesting that French workers were lazy. He was especially directing his attention against those workers who opposed his policies.

You see, Macron is trying to push a series of economic reforms through the French parliament. The thrust will be to allow employers more freedom to fire workers and thus more flexibility in hiring. Macron believes, not without good reason, that these reforms will seriously decrease the French unemployment rate, for decades now hovering between nine and ten percent.

French labor unions are up in arms over this. Now they are not serious torqued by the fact that Macron called French workers ... lazy.

The Daily Mail has the story:

The French leader has added fuel to the fire with a lively speech in Athens on Friday in which he said he would not 'yield to slackers'.

Critics claim the former investment banker's comments were 'scandalous', suggesting he was out of touch with the population. 

The pro-business Macron is determined to make good on campaign promises to deepen the labour reforms - the unions have dubbed his draft legislation the 'XXL' version of the labour law - as a key to tackling France's stubborn unemployment rate.

On Friday, Macron, a former investment banker, warned that he would 'not yield anything, either to the lazy, the cynics or the extremes.'

The unions will be holding a mass strike tomorrow. We will see if Macron is any more successful than his predecessors.

1 comment:

Sam L. said...

I suspect he won't be successful, but it's worth a try.