What this article doesn’t happen to mention are whether [major] companies in France have posted record profits as many have in the US. True enough, many companies are reaping enormous profit from the situation of having fewer employees working longer for crappier salaries (and, often no paid overtime). That’s just NOT right! And, the comment at the end of the article about having a 35 hour week, yet pushing the old myth that people who work longer make more, needs to be acknowledged for what it is, and taken off the table as not viable.
It IS possible to have a healthier and more sustainable society by re-distributing work to more people across more flexible hours. We also, at the same time, should consider legislating at what cost corporations profit. Environmental accountability is starting to be discussed in some parts of the world. Social costs must be considered, as well.
Reposted from: euro|topics: 21/05/2008
Les Echos – France
The economic newspaper Les Echos joins in the current political debate about the 35-hour-week in France: “An economic impact that is difficult to assess and one of the world’s most complex labour laws: one can hardly say the 35 hour week, which yesterday celebrated its 10th anniversary, is a complete success. … Its defenders talk of a major social achievement, but companies have absorbed the extra costs at the price of increased productivity and stagnant salaries. Nonetheless, it would not be feasible to abolish this legal limit on working hours. Such a step would lead to insurmountable practical problems. Moreover, it would represent a break with France’s social history that seems neither possible nor sensible.” The author agrees with the government’s argument that the answer can only be more flexible working hours: “The only solution is to continue promoting work as a value and relying on the most effective principle: ‘Those who work more earn more’.” [20/05/2008]
No Time to Lose opens at Peacock Visual Arts on Thursday, June 12 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
More coming soon… but until then, an inspiring TED Talk by Carl Honoré, author of In Praise of Slow: How A Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed.