FRANCE: One Year with Pay

The governments of all Western industrial nations face a socioeconomic dilemma: in order to fight inflation and the social disruption that it causes they must restrain demand—and risk triggering a recession that would stir even more social unrest. Last week France went further than any other nation has gone to defuse that danger. At the urging of President Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the Patronat, or federation of French employers, agreed with the country's five major unions on a new plan that in effect will guarantee a full year's pay to any French worker laid off for reasons beyond a company's control.

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