It’s getting crazy in France

It’s getting crazy in France

Do you work in an office? Look around your floor, on any given day, how many of those sharp-suited and VO5-ed younger people are interns. Or roughly, what percentage of your co-workers are contractors, interns, apprentices or full time employees?

This is a poster for a big French building society which is blowing its trumpet and claiming that its employment practises are going to build a richer, healthier, more stable society.

The claim that they are so proud of is that last year they signed up more long-term interns (under-paid, over-qualified young people who work without job security sometimes in rolling internships that can last years) than they did full-time employees.

Last year the bank took on almost twenty-thousand cubicle-fillers of which only seven-thousand got a full-time contract. And they’re proud of this!

Talk about legislation back-firing. The charges sociales imposed by the French government have created a company culture where the long term strategy is to shift all risk on to individual contractors and get rid of all employees.

Can you say sustainable?

Supporters like Loic are pleased as punch about Sarko, but it’ll be interesting to see if he can make any kind of difference to this. Being a card-carrying member of La Gauche Antilibérale I am naturally suspicious of big business and my guess is now that they have collectively tasted freedom from any kind of social responsibility it seems unlikely they will return to the old days.