Labour Research August 2012

European news

Conference points way forward

A major conference of French unions, employers and ministers has set out a wide-ranging series of issues where the government hopes to reach conclusions over the next 18 months.

The plans include writing social dialogue into the constitution and looking at the presence of employee representatives on company boards; reducing insecurity in employment; extending training; and reforming social security finances.

The also include changing the way the minimum wage is calculated and action against excessive directors’ pay; new negotiations on gender equality; action on competitiveness; and changes to pay policy in the public sector.

If implemented, the proposals could represent a significant strengthening of employee rights. And they would mark a sharp contrast to the policies pursued by the previous president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

Unions remain cautious about the final outcome, but have welcomed the new government’s willingness to involve them.