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Left Front keen to propose a new law against profit-driven lay-offs

Translated Thursday 31 January 2013, by Richard Pond and reviewed by Henry Crapo

In an echo of Tuesday’s mobilisation by the "Licenci’elles" [campaigning women who have lost their jobs] of employees with industrial disputes, the Left Front’s members of parliament announced their intention to put forward a bill "prohibiting not only profit-driven lay-offs but also those [ostensibly] based on economic grounds and which are nothing of the sort".

André Chassaigne, chair of the Left Front’s parliamentary group, said: "This bill will provide the basis for our interventions against the jobs agreement signed jointly by the employers and three minority trade unions" (when Parliament is asked to implement the agreement in employment legislation). "We are determined to fight this proposal," Chassaigne emphasised. He made a link between the jobs agreement and "the goings-on organised by the management of PSA [Peugeot] at Aulnay, which perhaps recall an era when management used to call upon thugs to put down social movements". "In both cases, these are new powers that they want to give to the bosses and these are social rights that they want to diminish."

The Left Front’s bill stipulates that "alternative proposals by trade unions must be studied before any announcement regarding planned reductions in employment, and that the unions may seek the audience of a magistrate as soon as such reductions are announced."

André Chassaigne’s announcement comes in support of a demonstration by employees struggling against management. There are hundreds of them, from Sanofi, Goodyear, Pergeot and so many others who marched along the Champs Elysées in support of Virgin employees before making their way to the Employment Ministry at the National Assembly to demand a law like this one. Pierre Laurent, the Communist Party’s national secretary, who had come along to give his support, lauded the "coming together of all these movements to demand a law against profit-driven lay-offs".

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