Dutch employers' group pushes easier firing
28 March 2008, AMSTERDAM — The Dutch metal industry association has proposed dropping employment protection for people aged up to 23.
28 March 2008
AMSTERDAM — The Dutch metal industry association has proposed dropping employment protection for people aged up to 23.
De Koninklijke Metaalunie said on Tuesday that employers may be more willing to hire young people if it is also easier to dismiss them. The concept could be evaluated after two years on the basis of facts rather than emotion, it said.
The proposal comes as nationwide strikes in France on Tuesday hit public transport and airports. Some postal workers, teachers and media employees were also planning to take industrial action, Reuters reported.
The strikes are an attempt to force French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin to shelve a new law that makes it easier for employers to fire young workers. Similar public protests last week led to violence.
The French government argues the Contract for First Employment (CPE) will cut unemployment among young people, currently running at 23 percent. Trade union and student leaders counter it will create a generation of "throwaway" workers by making it easier to dismiss employees in the first two years.
The Dutch Metaalunie said the reaction of the unions and students in France was "exceptionally intemperate". It said there is too much emphasis on dismissal element, while relaxing the law on dismissal is a correct and good instrument to help people get work.
Employers in the Netherlands have long sought an easing of the labour laws. But the medium and small-scale businesses association MKB-Nederland is not keen on the way the Metaalunie, one of its members, has tied the issue to the controversy in France about firing young workers.
MKB's coordinator of social policy, Alfred van Delft, said it would be better to have a fundamental discussion on the easing employment protection in general and the compensation sacked workers should receive.
Trade union FNV Bondgenoten described Metaalunie's idea as "inauspicious". The greying of the population makes it vital for the metal industry to remain attractive for young people, the union said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news