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I can't answer about the sole reason, but it's true the largest gain for employers in the 35-hour deal was increased flexibility in working hours -- within the day, the week, the year.

Otherwise, Royal seems to be stating the obvious : the weakest among employees suffer more than the strongest. Women in personal-service jobs get a rawer deal from hours flexibility than do big-company administrative staff, for example. Royal isn't precise about what should be done to rectify this (not a return to the 40-hour week, afaik).

It's mostly strategic communication. As ThatBritGuy said yesterday, she's doing a Hillary. Going out to the right to widen her base, counting on the left to follow, albeit grudgingly. I don't like it one little bit, but -- in France at least -- it's likely to be efficient. Royal is looking more and more like the inescapable centre-left (... an angel hovers as I wonder if I should have written "left" ;)) candidate for next year.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 03:22:42 AM EST
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The funny thing is that she criticises the 35-hour week from the left, and gets praise for it from the business press - just like her comments about Tony Blair (which essentially said that he had a much more keynesian /traditional left policy of spending on education and healthcare) were seen, wrongly, as support for neo-liberalism.

  • on the one hand it is smart to get that kind of support from the "mainstream" elite opinionmakers

  • on the other hand, is this a way to "capture" her for the third way blather in public perceptions, which could sour quickly if she sticks to her lefty economics.

Interesting...

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 03:53:25 AM EST
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