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Macron Faces 'Hot' Autumn as Labor Reform Talks Enter Last Leg

Macron Faces 'Hot' Autumn as Labor Reform Talks Enter Last LegMacron Faces 'Hot' Autumn as Labor Reform Talks Enter Last Leg

The French government will begin Tuesday a final round of talks with trade unions and employer groups on liberalizing the country's strict labor laws, taking President Emmanuel Macron a step closer to implementing one of his signature reforms.

Injecting more flexibility into France's labor market was one of the central planks of Macron's election campaign, part of his bid to drive down unemployment of 9.5%, RFI reported. The former investment banker wants to give employers more power to negotiate conditions with workers at the company level, rather than being bound by industry-wide agreements negotiated by trade unions.

Macron also wants to cap the compensation awarded by courts in dismissal cases.

The government has promised to offset concessions to employers with greater financial security for workers. While companies will, for instance, find it easier to lay off staff during a downturn, jobless workers will receive higher payouts. Many of the more contentious proposals are still under discussion, however, such as allowing employers to bypass unions in putting changes to a workers' ballot and allowing multinationals whose French operations are struggling to lay off staff, even if the group as a whole is profitable.

 

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