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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Registered: 06/15/02
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French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy
    #3739001 - 02/06/05 03:08 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=st...elabourprotests


French demonstrate to keep 35-hour work week


Sat Feb 5, 6:16 PM ET Business - AFP

PARIS (AFP) - Hundreds of thousands of French people took part in demonstrations across the country to protest against government plans to reform the 35-hour work week.

Organized by an alliance of trade-unions and backed by the opposition Socialist party (PS), more than half a million people took part in marches in 100 towns and cities -- with 90,000 joining the largest demonstration in Paris. Police put the overall figure at slightly more than 250,000.

The protests came as a bill to enable private sector employees to opt for longer hours makes its way through parliament. The bill is expected to pass its first reading in the National Assembly on Monday.

The key social change of the last Socialist administration, the mandatory 35-hour week has been attacked by President Jacques Chirac's centre-right Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) for putting up the cost of labour and helping create the country's stubbornly high unemployment.

However the left accuses the government of trying to turn back the clock, and jeopardising social progress via an ideological obsession with labour market flexibility.

Polls showed that nearly 70 percent of the public support or have sympathy with the protests, which come after three days of strikes in the public sector late last month.

The left-wing opposition is seeking to build on public discontent about low pay and joblessness to mount a concerted campaign against the government's economic policies, which it says are driven by the interests of business and not of ordinary workers.

However the left is itself divided about how hard to push the campaign. Many fear that it could merge with the growing opposition to the EU's proposed constitution -- which union and Socialist leaders are pledged to support at a referendum later this year.

"I see a lot of anger out there about the fall in disposable income, a lot of unhappiness about how the government won't listen, and a lot of people mobilising in the hope of a change of power in 2007," said PS leader Francois Hollande at a demonstration in the western city of Rennes.

"But that has nothing to do with the European constitution. It would be wrong to put the blame on Europe for what the government is doing today," he said.

Concern that opposition to the EU constitution is gaining influence over left-wing voters was increased this week when the country's biggest union -- the CGT -- voted overwhelmingly in its 120-member national council to defy its leadership and reject the treaty.

Under the government's reform of the 35-hour law, the number of overtime hours employees can work per year will be increased from 180 to 220. In addition businesses will be able to sign separate deals with the workforce for even more overtime.

Employees will also be encouraged to "sell back" the compensatory days off that they earn if they work more than 35 hours a week. Known as RTT days, these will be more easily convertible for cash payments or improved pension rights.

Despite the allure of extra pay, many French are reluctant to give up the extra time they can spend with their families thanks to compensatory days.

"Workers are very attached to their free time," said Murial Roque, 35, who works for the Pages Jaune (Yellow Pages) business information directory.

"I find that the interests of women regarding social advances and raising children are not taken into account," she said at the demonstration in Paris.

But the government says that generous social benefits cannot be maintained with everyone working fewer hours.

"In the long term, France can only pay for its social and economic ambitions by increasing the number of hours worked. At the moment working times here are lower than in all other members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)," the government said.

France suffers from an unemployment rate of around 10 percent -- almost double that of Britain -- and Raffarin recently promised to bring it down to nine percent, a drop of some 250,000 job-seekers, in a year.

The changes would not effect the public sector which employs nearly one in four French workers.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3739702 - 02/06/05 07:06 AM (11 years, 10 months ago)

Hey man, is it that hard to comprehend that people here appreciate being able to have more time on their hands to enjoy life rather than being continuously busy with work?

I have seen what happens when one becomes so overtaken by work that it deteriorates them psychologically and physically. I've especially seen this in the US and its ugly.

The 35-hour law was based on an economical ideal that if people have more time on their hands, they will be more involved in the country's economical development by increasing the money they spend. More free time equals more opportunities to spend right? The 35-hour law is now considered as something that is acquired, and that is why frenchies are not ready to let it be taken from them.

As to the economical success of this law, i'm not sure what the results are, but i think there hasn't been a noticeable change in the way the counry was developping before the law was voted, and after.

The government now realises that it has taken too much of a socialist direction, and wants to redirect the country towards liberalist capitalism. Ya, that's how most politicians that are leading want it to be, but they've just become money hungry capitalist pigs , and most people here are seeing just that. That's why I think there will be a majority of people voting socialist in 2007.

Hey, at least the government didn't try to increase its economical power using the american model of the fear startegy. Be scared, consume more, that's how it works no?


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: exclusive58]
    #3740022 - 02/06/05 09:49 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

I just like to rib the French.  :grin:  Ironically, my last name is VERY French.  If you saw it you would think I was from your country.

I say leave the people alone to do whatever they want to do.  A government doesn't need to "institute" a 35 hour week.  If people want to work that amount, that is their business.  If people want to work more or less, that is their business.


The 35-hour law was based on an economical ideal that if people have more time on their hands, they will be more involved in the country's economical development by increasing the money they spend. More free time equals more opportunities to spend right?

So, the economic output and overall health of an economy will improve with less productivity....??  Excuse me if I am a tad bit skeptical of that claim.

Us Americans work ourselves to death and barely have any free time.  Yet we still have enough time to spend all of our money(and to spend money we don't have  :lol:).


As to the economical success of this law, i'm not sure what the results are

I would be shocked if it was proven that economic output and activity increased with people working and producing less.


Edited by RandalFlagg (02/06/05 10:00 AM)


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Offlinezappaisgod
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: exclusive58]
    #3740054 - 02/06/05 10:05 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

"I don't wanna work, I just want to bang on the drum all day."


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Invisiblepsilomonkey
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Registered: 08/08/03
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3740242 - 02/06/05 11:38 AM (11 years, 9 months ago)

So, the economic output and overall health of an economy will improve with less productivity....?? Excuse me if I am a tad bit skeptical of that claim.

Less hours does not necessarily mean less productivity in a modern skill based economy. There will be an optimal point where you are getting the most out of people, working beyond that point yields rapidly diminishing returns in productivity, and damages health and quality of life.

Besides, we are not machines, why must we work at peak output all the time?


Us Americans work ourselves to death and barely have any free time. Yet we still have enough time to spend all of our money(and to spend money we don't have ).


The American 'work ethic' or consensual wage slavery IMO, is not something I would want to see over here. For me its about quality of life. I could almost double my gross income working for a slave driver bank, but the hours and stress involved is too higher price to pay, I would rather have quality of life over cash.

BTW: How many hours does the average American (if there is such a thing) work a week? And how much paid/unpaid holiday do you get?


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Invisibleblacksabbathrulz
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: psilomonkey]
    #3740312 - 02/06/05 12:09 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

psilomonkey said:
So, the economic output and overall health of an economy will improve with less productivity....?? Excuse me if I am a tad bit skeptical of that claim.

Less hours does not necessarily mean less productivity in a modern skill based economy. There will be an optimal point where you are getting the most out of people, working beyond that point yields rapidly diminishing returns in productivity, and damages health and quality of life.

Besides, we are not machines, why must we work at peak output all the time?


Us Americans work ourselves to death and barely have any free time. Yet we still have enough time to spend all of our money(and to spend money we don't have ).


The American 'work ethic' or consensual wage slavery IMO, is not something I would want to see over here. For me its about quality of life. I could almost double my gross income working for a slave driver bank, but the hours and stress involved is too higher price to pay, I would rather have quality of life over cash.

BTW: How many hours does the average American (if there is such a thing) work a week? And how much paid/unpaid holiday do you get?




Typically the work week is 40 hours, and most get about a month of paid holiday every year. (Working a job that pays well anyway, not something like mcdonalds)


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OnlineLearyfan
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3740337 - 02/06/05 12:23 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

*freedom demonstrators





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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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Offlineexclusive58
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Registered: 04/16/04
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3740347 - 02/06/05 12:28 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Typically the work week is 40 hours, and most get about a month of paid holiday every year. (Working a job that pays well anyway, not something like mcdonalds)





I thought americans have 2 weeks of paid vacations? Can anyone second that?
In france it's 5 weeks.


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Offlineunbeliever
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: blacksabbathrulz]
    #3740356 - 02/06/05 12:31 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

blacksabbathrulz said:
Quote:

psilomonkey said:
So, the economic output and overall health of an economy will improve with less productivity....?? Excuse me if I am a tad bit skeptical of that claim.

Less hours does not necessarily mean less productivity in a modern skill based economy. There will be an optimal point where you are getting the most out of people, working beyond that point yields rapidly diminishing returns in productivity, and damages health and quality of life.

Besides, we are not machines, why must we work at peak output all the time?


Us Americans work ourselves to death and barely have any free time. Yet we still have enough time to spend all of our money(and to spend money we don't have ).


The American 'work ethic' or consensual wage slavery IMO, is not something I would want to see over here. For me its about quality of life. I could almost double my gross income working for a slave driver bank, but the hours and stress involved is too higher price to pay, I would rather have quality of life over cash.

BTW: How many hours does the average American (if there is such a thing) work a week? And how much paid/unpaid holiday do you get?




Typically the work week is 40 hours, and most get about a month of paid holiday every year. (Working a job that pays well anyway, not something like mcdonalds)




Most jobs start out with maybe 2 weeks of vacation/holiday. But you likely couldn't take it all at once if you wanted. We do get a smattering of days off for certain holidays: christmas, thanksgiving, etc. I'm all for quality of life and I don't think working for the sake of working makes a lot of sense. I mean the whole system is that we work 40+hrs a week in order to earn money to buy things from the people we work for. So it's really all just a make work program to provide the needs/wants our particular society demands. So 40 hours, 35 hours or 5 hours, it's all a reflection of the pace and appetites of the society.


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Happiness is a warm gun...


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OnlineLearyfan
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: exclusive58]
    #3740361 - 02/06/05 12:33 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

exclusive58 said:
Quote:

Typically the work week is 40 hours, and most get about a month of paid holiday every year. (Working a job that pays well anyway, not something like mcdonalds)





I thought americans have 2 weeks of paid vacations? Can anyone second that?
In france it's 5 weeks.




To give us more vacation is to lower profits for American businesses. Money takes precidence over anything here. 5 weeks, huh? Must be fucking nice.





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Mp3 of the month: BLC - I Don't Wanna Go



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OfflineSeussA
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: exclusive58]
    #3740372 - 02/06/05 12:39 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Quote:

Hey man, is it that hard to comprehend that people here appreciate being able to have more time on their hands to enjoy life rather than being continuously busy with work?




Is it not ILLEGAL to work more than 35 hours a week, even if you OWN THE BUSINESS in France? I might be wrong, but this is what I have been told.

Funny that... people have more time on their hands to enjoy life and look for a job because of the huge unemployment problem.

> I thought americans have 2 weeks of paid vacations? Can anyone second that?

Standard in America is 40 hours in a work week with 2 weeks paid vacation each year. By standard, I mean this is what is most common, not what is required by law.


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Offlineexclusive58
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: Seuss]
    #3740422 - 02/06/05 01:08 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

Well technically if you are a wage-earner you aren't supposed to be working more than 35 hours a week, unless you own the business of course.

If you own the business and if you want your workers to work more than 35 hours, then the extra hours are supposed to be payed extra money.

But nobody really goes around in businesses to check if everyone respects the law. The thing is that most business owners don't want to make their wage-earners work over 35 hours because its too expensive, but I think that it is quite common that a worker and his boss make a deal together so that the worker can work more, but the owner doesn't have to pay more.


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Invisiblepsilomonkey
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Re: French demonstrators demand the right to be lazy [Re: Seuss]
    #3740431 - 02/06/05 01:12 PM (11 years, 9 months ago)

The European Work-time Directive sets a maximum normal working week of 48hours, and 20 days holiday a year (don't think it has to be paid though).

The UK is the only member nation I know off that allows written opt-outs if agreed between employer and employee.

If you are self employed you can work as much as you are physically able.


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