Macron’s labor reforms shake up French workforce

Global Business

Macron's labor reforms shake up French workforce

Before Macron changed labor laws last year-a French company like Peugeot would have to prove it’s in dire financial shape before any job could be cut.

Now it just has to provide severance packages, and Peugeot is the first major French employer to make use of the looser labor regime to layoff 1300 employees.  Staff will be given money they can use to learn new skills or keep as a cushion while they job search.

CGTN’s Kevin Ozebek reports.

Still, tens of thousands protested leading up to the reforms which Macron made into law without taking it to Parliament.

One protestor, Jean-Claude Mamet talked about how this controversial reform turned him against the new president, “I voted for Macron but I joined the opposition. I am here because it is out of the question to modify labor laws without parliament properly checking it.”

Fabrice Angei of national trade union, CGT Union said, “What we’re afraid of is companies will use this procedure to get rid of older staff and replace them with young people on temporary contracts.”

But President Macron’s message is when it is easier for a company to fire, it is also easier for a company to hire.

The president’s labor reform push is too new to get credit for the falling unemployment rate, but businesses are responding.

For example, IBM said it will be using the new labor laws to cut some of it’s French staff to hire more highly trained people.

Parts of the French workforce do support the changes, but Macron only may be able to hold that support if in the long run these laws lead to more jobs than job cuts.

Paolo von Schirach discusses the state of the French economy

CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke to Paolo von Schirach, president of Global Policy Institute, about the French economy under President Macron’s labor reforms.