Monday, September 03, 2007

FRANCE: New Employment Law Sets Stage for Showdown

FRANCE: New Employment Law Sets Stage for Showdown

By Michael Deibert

Inter Press Service

PARIS, Sep 3, 2007 (IPS) - On a rainy day in an eastern Paris suburb, members of the Confédération générale du travail (CGT), one of France's two largest labour unions, told the assembled press corps at their union hall that the government of President Nicolas Sarkozy wanted to "disarm" French workers with a new law aimed at curbing transportation strikes.

Following Sarkozy's strenuous lobbying for the measure, the National Assembly passed a law last month, known in French as the loi sur le service minimum, seeking to ensure a minimum level of service during public transit strikes.

The law, the realisation of a long-held promise by the political right, requires notification by unions of a strike action 48 hours before any walkout, obligates transit providers to notify which trains and buses will be affected, and obliges them to reimburse passengers for any deviation from the announced schedule.

The law produced predictable uproar among employee syndicates.

Read the full article here.

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