French Revolution

A proposed 35-hour workweek infuriates bosses

When it comes to demonstrations, few countries can match France for style or frequency. Piqued farmers fill Parisian streets with fruit and vegetables to protest low prices; striking truckers shut down major highways until their demands for better working conditions are addressed. And last week, another howling, angry mob jammed a cavernous exhibition hall in Paris to vent its outrage over a proposed change in French labor law. Only this time the participants were senior executives and business owners.

The patrons are furious over the government's plan to lower France's legal workweek to 35 hrs. from 39. From a central stage...

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