The majority would like this text to serve to temper the harshness of the pension reform. A certain number of advances would be in debate. A way also to bring the unions back to the negotiating table.
The reform is hard, the efforts required are substantial… For a few days, the majority has given up on the idea of convincing the French of the balance of its project. She now wants to listen to them and respond with empathy. “We cannot put aside certain things that we hear in the demonstrations”, assured us, this week, a Renaissance executive.
Low employability of seniors? Suffering at work? To all these anxieties, ministers and deputies are now seeking to provide solutions in order to bring down the anger. And all converge on one and the same text which seems to be a remedy for all ills: the labor law which will be debated before the summer in the Assembly.
The low employability of seniors? “We should perhaps ban rolling departure plans in large companies” assured us recently Matignon who added “it could be in the spring labor law”. Pain at work? The same text could “provide for the establishment of a universal time savings account which would allow employees to do long training courses during their career or to retire earlier”, assured us, yesterday, a Renaissance deputy.
“Review the rules of social dialogue”
Others make even more daring proposals: “We could even review the Labor Code, imagine new types of employment contracts, with different hourly rates”, explained to us a party official who thus intends to respond to these French people who say they feel bad at work. And a Renaissance MP added: “perhaps we should even review the rules of social dialogue. We have entrusted too much to the national and the branches. We could leave more subjects to company agreements”.
The majority thus hopes to temper the effects of the pension reform, to put a little “sweetness”, likes to say the macronists, on a rather spicy text.
“When we say: “this reform exists to preserve our system” it is a defensive argument, but we must get the French to look to the future. The debate on work is a way of achieving this. We need this narrative, ”assures us a close friend of the Élysée. But he himself recognizes that the French will only believe it when they see these measures actually applied.
This invocation of the future labor law therefore has another purpose, to speak to the unions. A priori the latter are no more convinced than the French: “The government wants to cram everything into the labor law, but once the pension reform is passed, what obliges them to keep their promises? Nothing ! “, recently grumbled a well-informed trade unionist. “It’s a way for us to keep them at the negotiating table. If they want there to be things in this law, we have to negotiate it right now”, assured us a deputy who is a fine connoisseur of the file. The labor law would therefore be as much a candy for the general public as a bait for the unions.