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A Wake up Call for the French!

Discussion in 'Political Discussion' started by PatriotsReign, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    And anyone else who thought it would be nice to be like France?

    "By a 70 percent majority, the 1,150 workers of a General Motors transmission plant on the edge of Strasbourg voted last month to forgo their annual bonuses, six days of vacation, and any salary increases for the next three years. Moreover, they endorsed a reduction in the workforce by 198 people, chiefly through early retirement.

    For French workers in particular, nourished over the years on a tradition of Marxist-inspired labor unions, 35-hour workweeks, and six-week vacations at the beach, the vote marked a sobering retreat and a recognition that things are not the same since the world economy went shaky two years ago.

    Ruhland’s reasoning, laid out over coffee in the factory cafeteria, closely resembled the arguments being put forward by President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government in another shift symbolic of the new economic realities in France: pushing back the legal retirement age from 60 to 62."


    A wake-up call for GM workers in France - The Boston Globe

    Wow! They REALLY had to give back 6 vacation days out of 30 (per year)? That's such a shame.....:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2010
  2. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    Well, personally PR, I'm glad the French are losing some of their 6 WEEK (gov't mandated) vacation. Especially considering that the gov't mandates a 35 hour work week.

    Talk about a lazy society! Imagine working 35 hours/wk and having 6 weeks vacation and then getting to retire at 60! No wonder thier system was doomed!:rolleyes:

    It's the perfect case-study to show the rest of us that there is no way such a system could be sustained.

    Thanks for pointing this out!;)
     
  3. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    It is standard practice in US hospitals,(non-union) to consider anything over a .8 full time. (.8 = 32 hours) It is also fairly standard practice to give employees 6 weeks of vacation after 15 years of service. The hospital I worked for also upped that to 8 weeks after 20 years.

    Last I checked virtually no one working in a hospital could be considered "lazy."

    Were the French really doing anything the US has not been doing all along?
     
  4. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    The answer is, the French ABSOLUTELY have been doing things the US has not done!!!!

    They made 35 hour work weeks and 6 weeks of vacation THE LAW!

    Imagine if US companies were forced to allow employees to work only 35 hours and have 6 weeks vacation!

    "Were the French really doing anything the US has not been doing all along?" :rolleyes:

    Were you serious?
     
  5. DarrylS

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    Couple of things come to mind..

    The article refers to "Marxist inspired trade unions", his vision took place in a construct of socialism..not capitalism.

    The number of vacation days are mandated by French Law..

    http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1004&context=lawfirms

    Lastly, labor contracts are negotiated by both sides... it is not as though the unions step up to the table and dictate what they want.. it is a give and take. Lately is has been more give than take...

    If something sounds to good to be true, it usually is...
     
  6. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey


    Nice non-partisan commentary Darryl. Didn't know you had it in you! You middle of the road pig!:eek:
     
  7. DarrylS

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    Not quite sure what you mean, however my response is a tad more intelligent than the pavlovian response of the right.. unions are bad... nothing could be further from the truth.. there are those who prescribe to the belief that Unions were effective in limiting the growth of communism in this country...

    In your rightie eyes you are looking at a foreign system that treats its workers much different than the way that way american workers are treated... you cannot view this anecdotal article alone without a context of how the world works for European workers.. oh wait a minute, the right can look at it anyway it fits their anti family agenda...

    Work Week and Vacation Variances: Interesting Thing of the Day

    This will make your head explode.. the whole paternity/maternity leave thing..

    USATODAY.com - U.S. stands apart from other nations on maternity leave

     
  8. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    France, and many other European countries, have chosen to have different things than the US does in terms of their employer/employee relationships. That's their prerogative, and I don't think it means they're lazy. It's a different view of the world.

    My own opinion is that it isn't the place of the government to dictate vacation time and other employee benefits, but I'll also admit there's a slippery slope and all positions on it are to some degree arbitrary.

    I do think it's clear, though, that many European employe regulations harm their economies. When you make employees more expensive, and you reduce employers' flexibility (many countries make firing employees very difficult and costly), it makes ompanies less inclined to hire people and it discourages global companies from having more substantial operations there.

    Getting OT, maternity/paternity leave was brought up. I'd ask, why should an employer pay an employee to work when they're not working for several months? I may be biased, being a small business owner, but why should I be forced to pay somebody not to work for me? If that's a benefit I choose to offer in order to attract employees, that's my choice, and it may be a way for me to differentiate myself.
     
  9. PatriotsReign

    PatriotsReign Hall of Fame Poster

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    #18 Jersey

    You may be right, maybe they're not lazy. But we certainly can't call them hard-working either.

    "We only work 35 hours, but we kick butt during those 35 hours!!"

    However, if you meant that maybe they don't value hard work, then you make a good point.

    If I suddenly came into mucho dinero, I know for a fact I'd quit working all together. When I hear people say, "I'd still work even if I didn't have to"...well good for you! Enjoy yourself!
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2010
  10. chicowalker

    chicowalker Pro Bowl Player

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    I'm not sure I'd even say that about valuing hard work, but look, we're trying to generalize across an entire nation. Or continent.

    I've worked with a lot of Eurpoeans, and there were clearly some stereotypes that were borne out. Those I worked with may not be at all representative, since I was working with them either when I was part of a global consulting firm or on cross-border M&A transactions -- maybe they're "type As" and a small part of the population. But what I saw was what I guess I would characterize as a focus on work when working but also on work not being the be-all, end-all. And the Germans, for one example, were far from what ANYBODY would call lazy -- yet they, too, liked taking nice, long vacations.

    I think it may just goes back to the mindset of what government's role is.

    (and btw, your example of having enough $ to retire comfortably came to mind for me as well. I certainly know people who work when they don't need to -- but that said, the only work they do is for comp that makes working worth it for them (6 figures / month), so I'm not sure even they are demonstrating more of a work ethic -- just that they can pick and choose the work they'll do and be very well compensated for it... hell, if I had the track record they did and could get that deal, I'd keep doing some work, too)
     
  11. PatriotsReign

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    #18 Jersey

    I guess if people wanted to pay me ridiculous money to do something every now and then, I'd do it. It would be an ego thing though.
     
  12. DarrylS

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    How do you know they are not hard worlking??? Personal experience?? Longitudinal studies?? or just guessing??
     
  13. PatriotsReign

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    #18 Jersey

    Any society that says we only want to work 35 hours and have 6 weeks vacation can't be hard-working. If we compare the worker productivity rate of France to that of the United States, it would reflect a much less productive society.

    When a country makes 35 hour work weeks and 6 weeks of vacation mandatory by LAW, it reflects upon the entire society. Now I'm not saying that a country that puts less emphasis or value upon hard work is any "less" or inferior to a country that does. I'm saying that they are lazier.

    If you work an average of 60 hours and I like to work 30 hours, then I'd be lazier than you. Pretty straight forward Darryl.
     
  14. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    Or maybe they just work better - and are capable of producing 60 hours of work in 30 hours.

    It IS possible to give two people the same amount of work and tell one that he has to finish it in 30 hours and one that he has to finish it in 40 hours and each will take exactly the amount of time allocated to complete his assignment.

    How many of us have not, at one point or another, managed to clean off our desk by Thursday evening in order to have Friday off? We all know it's possible to do - and I'm pretty sure that we've all done it.

    The dr. I used to work for was open 6 days a week - occasionally he would have a seminar to go to over a long weekend or he would want to close the office for two days in order to take a short vacation. We would still see the exact same amount of patients and do the exact same amount of work for the week - I would just schedule it a bit tighter and I would combine 2 or 3 days worth of paperwork and billing into 1 day. Our patient load and our work load did not decrease - the only thing that decreased was the number of hours it took us to complete it.

    I used to tell him all the time that if we did not mind working a little harder while we were there it would be entirely possible to make the same amount of money while working a shorter work week and thereby saving a significant amount of money in overhead - electricity, traveling expenses, heat/air conditioning expenses. Our amount of work would not change - only the time we allowed ourselves to complete it in would change.

    I would think that people who worked shorter hours actually worked harder than those who worked longer hours. The amount of time one puts on the time clock is seldom the same as the amount of work he/she is doing.

    I would also think that people who worked shorter work weeks would be happier, and therefore more productive, workers.
     
  15. PatriotsReign

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    #18 Jersey

    Why did you leave this out?

    Of course your scenario IS possible, but it's not the reality and facts prove your scenario false.

    Like I said last night, stop LOOKING FOR HOLES and start expressing your opinion.

    The worker productivity rate for US workers is much, much higher than it is for French workers.

    Poof...there goes your theory. But I already made this point.

    Seriously MrsP...you have some issues.

    And never, ever forget....

    PatriotsReign!
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  16. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    Perhaps in one sense of the word, yes: But consider this:

    The US figure is boosted by Americans working more hours per year than workers in most developed countries.

    Using a different measure of value added per hour worked, Norway comes out on top, followed by the US and then France.


    BBC NEWS | Business | US workers top productivity table

    Worker productivity measure the amount of work produced - but does not account for the number of hours worked to do so. It has nothing whatsoever to do with "laziness," either.

    And your claim that The worker productivity rate for US workers is much, much higher than it is for French workers is simply, outrageously, false. The truth is that it is a mere 50 Cents an hour higher.

    Norway, which is not an EU member, generates the most output per working hour, $37.99, a figure inflated by the country's billions of dollars in oil exports and high prices for goods at home. The U.S. is second at $35.63, about a half-dollar ahead of third-placed France.

    U.S. Workers World's Most Productive - CBS News


    Poof, indeed.

    My "issue" has to do with facts - not random spewing of opinion. Since I base my opinions on actual facts there seems to be no need for me to keep giving you your requested "opinion" since it should be obvious.

    But PR, it hasn't been proven, has it? Why would I remember it?

    People remember that which is demonstrated, not that which is said.
     
  17. PatriotsReign

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    #18 Jersey

    Then I think we need to define what "hard-working" means.

    Lets say we have 2 workers. Both work hard when they are working but one is willing to work 60 hours and the other doesn't want to work any more than 35 hours. Which one is the harder-worker?

    I realize this is an opinion, but I would take the person willing to work the extra hours because my definition of hard-working is willingness to do whatever it takes. I believe most business owners would agree with me and so would co-workers of the person who is only willing to work 35 hours...at least in the United States.

    BTW, I looked up productivity and the US was significantly more productive than the French on a per hour basis. But there are several ways to measure hourly productivity. I'm not sure which one you used, but there is another metric called Real GDP per capita and the US is 25% more productive than the French.

    ftp://ftp.bls.gov/pub/special.requests/ForeignLabor/flsgdp.txt

    Also, per hour worked is not a good metric because one may work 50 hours and another may average 22 hours. Anyone can work hard for 22 hours....
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  18. Mrs.PatsFanInVa

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    #24 Jersey

    And anyone can be lazy for 50.

    I guess we can agree to disagree, yes?
     
  19. PatriotsReign

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    #18 Jersey

    In general, I'll agree to disagree.

    But in the private sector, very few would last if they were lazy and getting paid for 50 hours.

    One other note we did not discuss is that it's much, much harder to fire a worker in France than in the US. So one would/could get away with being lazy for 50 much easier than they would in the US.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  20. BSR

    BSR In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't get what there is to disagree about? They work less in total and per hour, even if it is only by $.50. The claim that they are lazier stands up. They aren't working better, they are just working less.

    As for six weeks vacation, I wouldn't even know what to do with that time off. I take a couple of weeks off at most, but then again I work for myself and put in 60 hour weeks.
     

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