This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

French Unions, Employers Reach Deal On Labor Rules

PARIS (AP) â¿¿ French unions and business leaders agreed Friday to loosen up some labor protections after months of negotiations seen as key to reviving the country's economy.

President Francois Hollande hailed the agreement Friday night and ordered his government to turn it into a draft law. But it's unclear whether the measures agreed upon will be enough to bring down 10 percent unemployment or revolutionize labor relations in Europe's No. 2 economy.

The government had championed the negotiations, arguing that the cost and complication of hiring in France is hurting its global competitiveness.

France's leading employers' group, Medef, said the agreement will make it easier and faster for companies to scale back staff during a downturn.

It will also make it more expensive â¿¿ and less attractive â¿¿ for employers to string workers on successive temporary contracts instead of offering a long-term job.

In a nod to union demands, it also includes easier access to new job training, and guaranteed access to supplementary health insurance for workers. France has universal state health care that covers basic needs, but many French workers also have supplemental insurance that allows more freedom of choice in medical care.

It will also give workers' representatives more of a voice in company boards.

Medef hailed the agreement, saying it would ⿝ reduce the length of procedures, reduce legal uncertainty, and contribute to diminishing the fear of hiring," especially for small and medium companies. Optimistically, Medef said the agreement "marks the beginning of a culture of compromise after decades of a philosophy of social antagonism."

The talks began in October among the five leading labor unions and three employers' groups. French media reported that the three more moderate unions signed on to Friday's agreement but the hard-line ones didn't.

Hollande, whose popularity has plunged because of his inconsistent handling of the economy, was hoping hard for an accord that would make Hollande's method of slow consensus-building â¿¿ instead of bold, top-down measures â¿¿ more credible.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 17,102.04 +50.31 0.30%
S&P 500 1,973.63 -4.59 -0.23%
NASDAQ 4,424.7040 -7.4420 -0.17%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs