Tags: EU | France | President | Economy

Macron Tries to Sell Plan to Reform France's Labor Market

Macron Tries to Sell Plan to Reform France's Labor Market

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 07:38 AM

PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron is holding meetings with unions and business organizations to discuss reforming the country's labor market, which many blame for France's sub-par economic performance over recent years.

Government spokesman Christophe Castaner told France 2 television that Tuesday's meetings aim at opening a "dialogue" but that the "unions must understand the need for changing lines."

During his presidential campaign, Macron pledged to make reform of the labor market a top priority as part of an effort to boost job hiring. French unemployment has hovered around 10 percent for years.

Macron's proposed reforms, which include moving France's collective wage bargaining from the industry to the company level, have prompted concerns from unions fearing they would weaken workers protections.

Macron's plan may hinge on legislative elections next month.

Unions have called on the government not to rush to reform. Macron vowed to implement his labor plan by the end of summer, through a special procedure involving decrees, on condition the government gets parliamentary approval.

The head of the CGT union, Philippe Martinez, called on a "loyal" negotiation between the government and the unions, suggesting the reform's agenda might not be as quick as previously announced.

Laurent Berger, the general secretary of the CFDT union, said Macron seemed "determined ... but at the same time receptive."

Following his meeting with the president, Berger said a tight deadline wouldn't give "enough time to the necessary concertation on weighty issues."

Labor minister Muriel Penicaud will have the daunting task of supervising the reform. She notably worked as vice president, in charge of human resources for food group Danone.

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French President Emmanuel Macron is holding meetings with unions and business organizations to discuss reforming the country's labor market, which many blame for France's sub-par economic performance over recent years.Government spokesman Christophe Castaner told France 2...
EU,France,President,Economy
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2017-38-23
Tuesday, 23 May 2017 07:38 AM
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