France Asks for a Raise
Forget the 35-hour week. French workers have reverted to a more traditional demand: higher pay. The wage issue shot to the top of the political agenda this month, driven by public-sector workers who staged mass demonstrations. Last week, the government of Jean-Pierre Raffarin promised a 1% raise for the public sector, on top of the 1% already awarded for this year. Private-sector employers are furious, saying the hike will set a national precedent when they can ill afford it. "If we increase pay without increasing productivity, we'll be destroying competitiveness and creating unemployment,"...

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