Skip to comments.French 'don't want to put in extra hours at work'
Posted on 09/03/2008 12:42:37 AM PDT by bruinbirdman
President Nicolas Sarkozy's key electoral promise to allow the French to "work more to earn more" has hit a major snag: most have no desire to put in extra hours to raise their wages, a poll has found.
With the economy floundering and the French consistently complaining that falling purchasing power is their main worry, only a quarter are prepared to work more to raise their standard of living.
Almost six out of ten have no desire to increase their working hours, according to a poll in Le Parisien newspaper.
Some 13 per cent would like to work less, even if that means seeing living standards drop.
The figures were published as new legislation diluting the 35-hour working week comes into force this month.
Companies can now negotiate with unions or directly with employees wishing to work longer hours up to 48 per week. In theory, workers receive 25 per cent more for overtime, but the polls suggests that not many intend to take it.
Executives, whose working time is measured in days per year rather than hours, are even more reluctant to work more than their current ceiling of 218 days. Under the new legislation, they can now work 235 days and in some cases 282 days, with a 10 per cent increase per extra day.
Mr Sarkozy's apparent failure to instill the will to work more came as the expected growth of the French economy was revised sharply down yesterday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to one per cent for 2008, after an earlier prediction of 1.8 per cent.
However, unlike Britain, the country is not technically in recession, which the OECD defines as two successive quarters of year-on-year negative growth.
The French government had been predicting growth of up to 2 percent.
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
The company my father works for was previously French-owned. He said that in order to fire someone in France, they need govt approval first and have to pay them their salary for a significant period of time after termination.
I’m on their side on this issue.
Try getting Americans under 30 to work OT.
If this is true in France then it is likely true anywhere people are not starving.
Some workers likely fear the overtime will become required or "understood required."
22 years old here.
50+ hour work weeks while attending a top 10 university; 70+ nonstop (with occasional 80 hour weeks) through the summer.
Last year while interviewing for jobs I always had to repeat that part:
“You mean 50 hours during the summer.”
“No, school year. 70 summer.”
(But yes, in 90% of cases I agree with you regarding my generation. 99% if we’re talking about the bratty, Daddy’s-credit-card-carrying, trust-fund-hippies at my school.)
Runaway French best seller: "Hello Laziness, the art and necessity of doing the least possible at work."
Been there and done that! Working overtime and working hard is overrated. My mother came to this country and worked her a$$ off for years and she got cancer for her troubles. I rather travel and see the world than work in a cubicle for the sake of being seen as a hardworking American.
It bugs me that the name of a fish has become a verb, and come to have the same definition as similar-sounding word! The French? Who cares?!
Can I assume you’re being paid for this OT? I worked / did school about 60 hours a week when I was your age. And at 26, with a full-time salaried position, I can assure you that I work as little OT as possible, and usually do 45 hour weeks. Why? Because I’m salaried, and getting extra “thank you’s” aren’t worth my time.
I did... for a number of years. Heck, even @ 33, I was working up to 30 hour OT/week!
I think this is a salaried vs. hourly issue. When I was paid hourly, I worked all the OT I could. But now at a salaried position, it doesn’t make sense for me to bust my butt for no extra pay.
I’m with you. I was salaried for 5 years and hated overtime, but then my company started cutting down on the number of job titles, and dropped me back down to hourly pay.
When I was promoted to a salaried position 6 years ago, I was given a 15% pay raise. However, without getting paid for my overtime, I took a $6,000 pay cut for the year.
Now, with overtime, I have seen a dramatic increase in pay. I expect that when management sees how much I cost when they have to pay me overtime, they will again promote me to a salaried position.
At the time I was being paid hourly, so I worked every hour possible. My senior year I changed jobs and was sad to take a double-digit cut in my hours.
I’m not saying everyone should be obligated to spend their life on the job, I’m just saying that the idea of clocking in at 9 and stepping foot out the door at 5:00 on the dot shouldn’t be a goal...”real” jobs (aka career paths) almost always require you to put in extra in order to get things done. It’s like playing lawyer-ball with your boss; the type of person quoting a HR handbook and saying “that isn’t in my job description” isn’t going anywhere...his co-worker takes on the responsibility and pretty soon it is part of his job description because he’s earned a new one (and a paycheck to match).
Depending on the career you may stack a ton of hours in the first couple of years (investment bankers with their notorious 80 hour analyst schedules before they land their partnership position, doctors in their residency, etc), or it may be that way until you’ve made the money to move to a more laid back industry. Execs at very high caliber firms and founders of growing startups aren’t spending their days golfing, they’re pulling into the parking lot while it’s dark and leaving while it’s dark.
I work next to guys in their 3rd and 4th year making sums of money you wouldn’t believe if I told you over the internet...and they come in maybe 5 hours a day. But that’s because they’re very very good thanks to two years of total dedication. I hope to achieve the same thing, which is why, 8 months into the job, not having received a paycheck yet, I don’t complain about my 10-11 hour days.
The point, after all my rambling, is that France epitomizes the opposite of every part of the distinctly American drive to succeed. “Old Europe” is the perfect description, because they’re a bunch of complacent, decaying bodies punching the clock and voting themselves more unearned entitlements (and then wondering why those being looted to provide said entitlements are fleeing).
No kidding! I would rather have been born filthy rich and not had to work at all. Working for a living is highly overrated.
Who is surprised by this? The French, like most of Europe, can’t even be bothered to make children. They are destined to live as servants to their muslim masters. It takes 18 years to make a person, and it is not a process that can be sped up, or worked around. Europe (and Japan for that matter) are doomed. Thankfully, we get to see it happen to them first. Perhaps we’ll resist.
The bottom line is "upward mobility" and the opportunity for same.
Some have no desire for the effort to make it happen, others do not have the ability to make it happen. But in the United States of America the opportunity is there for everyone as it is not anywhere else in the world.
I don’t know how to post the image, but here’s the link: http://despair.com/effort.html
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