Friday, March 31, 2006

Chirac's Announcement on Job-Law - Confusion Remains.

Chirac said tonight that he would go ahead with the controversial labor law that would make it easier to fire workers — but he offered some concessions in the hope of calming protests and strikes.

1) He said he would reduce a trial period during which employees could be summarily dismissed from two years to one

2) The law would require employers to offer reasons.

If he signs the law tomorrow, how can it not be applied in its original terms? I am no expert on the constitution but this is not very clear. In any case, the opposition (the socialist Party and the Unions) continue to call for a major strike and demonstration on Tuesday.

It looks like the law will be signed but not applied (yes, I know this is ridiculous) and a new law will be debated in Parliament to replace the one that will not be applied. Wow...

Sarkozy has his own interpretation - that Chirac said the law is "suspended". How confusing...

One of the argument used by the unions - that the law is discrimnatory has been rejected by the Constitutional Council. In any case, I think that 'morally' speaking, it is no more discrimnatory than affirmitive action.

The Conservative government at the same also makes a moot point by saying that if this law is not signed, no reform will ever be possible in France. That is a way of highjacking the debate. The failure of this government to sell the law and negociate BEFORE the law is voted does not mean that reform is impossble (see our post on The Economist about the failure of the French political leaders to explain reality)


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