French employers' group chief hails 'revolutionary' deal
A deal struck last week on labour market reform between French employers and trade unions was "revolutionary", the head of the country's MEDEF employers' group
LONDON, January 22, 2008 - A deal struck last week on labour market
reform between French employers and trade unions was "revolutionary", the head
of the country's MEDEF employers' group said in an interview published Tuesday.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Laurence Parisot also said that, as a
result of the deal, a difference in the countrywide rate of joblessness would
be "perceptible in 2009".
"It is so new that many people struggle to see the newness of it," Parisot
told the business daily.
"But by its mere existence the accord is revolutionary. For the first time
there has been an agreement between employers and unions on something that
concerns the economy."
She said that the maturity on both sides in pursuing an agreement would
bode well for the future: "Our labour code and social thinking is founded on
the idea of inequality between employees and their employers. This agreement
signifies that between the (two) there is a relationship of equality."
Parisot predicted that the rate of unemployment would drop from eight
percent currently to five percent by 2010 or 2011.
"You do not change 100 years of conflict in 30 minutes," she said.
"People will see in the next two to three years that things have really
changed, even if there will be traces of the old culture in the coming months.
But I am convinced these are the last traces."