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Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:11 PM

UK Guardian: US v France: where is it best to be an employee - or an employer?

American businessman Maurice 'Morry' Taylor Jr has written a letter damning French working practices.

'"I've visited this (Goodyear) factory several times. The French workers are paid high wages but only work three hours. They have one hour for their lunch, they talk for three hours and they work for three hours. I said this directly to their union leaders; they replied that's the way it is in France.

"Sir, your letter suggests you would like to open discussions with Titan. You think we're that stupid? Titan has money and the know-how to produce tyres. What does the crazy union have? It has the French government.

The letter raises the issue of cultural differences between French and American working practices, highlighting the very different attitudes to workers' rights between the two countries. Only 11.3% of American workers belong to a union, a 97 year low, in a country that has seen a gradual erosion of workers' rights over the past few decades, as the economy has shifted toward part-time and temporary - and frequently low-wage - jobs.

In addition, the US is the only industrialised country in the world that does not have statutory requirements on employers to provide paid holiday, with the average American enjoying a mere two weeks off a year. A quarter of the population have no paid holiday at all. France, in line with many European countries, stipulates a statutory holiday entitlement of 25 days per year.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/blog/2013/feb/20/france-us-worker-rights-titan-international

This rant from a US tire manufacturing company highlights the difference between workers' rights between Europe and the US.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:13 PM

1. Two unhealthy extremes.

 

Workers enjoy far too luxurious benefits in France, but aren't treated well enough in the USA.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:18 PM

2. Yes, because what this guy says about workers is true? Seems to me that this is the same

RW crap we hear every day. I have worked and owned an enterprise in France for 15 years. While workers have a lot more rights than in this country, what this column describes is pure cliche.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:20 PM

3. What are these 'far too luxurious benefits' that workers in France have? n/t

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Response to pampango (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:23 PM

4. "one hour for their lunch, they talk for three hours and they work for three hours"?

 


That just doesn't sound very practical.

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Response to OceanEcosystem (Reply #4)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:57 PM

7. All we have is a quote from a rich guy who owns a tire factory that this is true of union workers

in France. I certainly do not take his word that. You may accept his word if you wish.

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Response to pampango (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:32 PM

5. Six weeks vacations, right to representation when they are fired (délégués du personnel),

right to union representation above a certain number of workers, paid family leaves, ...

But the three hours to speak is crap, or Goodyear is a poorly managed company.

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 01:34 PM

6. Interesting comments following the essay. n/t

-Laelth

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Response to pampango (Original post)

Wed Feb 20, 2013, 02:16 PM

8. Working hard is highly overrated as a pastime.

In my experience as a wage earner (about 45 years) the harder you work the more work is given to you by the bosses.

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