每日英語跟讀 Ep.K514: Macron Tries to Get France to Work
The sign on the window of Red Rhino, a popular barbecue restaurant in central Paris, has been up for a month: “Closed until further notice due to lack of personnel.” Bus and train service has been cut back in the tourist city of Lyon amid a dearth of drivers. In the Loire Valley, tons of vegetables went unharvested in the summer as thousands of picking jobs were left unfilled.
Economic activity has fitfully revved up again in France and across Europe since the end of COVID-19 lockdowns, only to be knocked back by the effects of Russia’s war in Ukraine. Even so, employers in numerous industries remain desperate to hire, with a range of businesses still not finding the workers needed to operate at capacity.
All of which has prompted France, Europe’s second-largest economy, to seek a variety of solutions — all of them politically combustible.
President Emmanuel Macron’s government is proposing a fast-track legalization for migrants in the country illegally who want to work in sectors facing staff shortages.
For added measure, the government is moving to tighten France’s famously generous unemployment system, with its lengthy benefits, in a bid to cycle jobless people more quickly back into the workforce.
The plans have met with resistance from different ends of the political spectrum. Lawmakers from France’s rising far right say a growing influx of migrants must be brought under tighter control and that French nationals should be given priority for jobs. The country’s powerful labor unions are warning that measures to cut jobless benefits risk pushing the unemployed toward poverty.
For thousands of businesses that form the backbone of the economy, the double-barreled approach has become necessary to help fix to what appears to be a permanent shift in workplace dynamics since the pandemic, as European workers in droves switch jobs or decide not to return to strenuous work that demands early or late hours on relatively low pay. Over half a million people in France resigned in the first three months of the year, the highest level in 15 years, France’s statistics agency reported.
“Our society after the pandemic has a different outlook,” said Thierry Marx, a Michelin-starred French chef who is the president of UMIH, France’s influential trade association of restaurants and hotels. “People are saying, I don’t want to have a sacrificial relationship to work.”
法國頗具影響力的餐廳與旅館同業公會「旅館餐飲職業產業聯盟」主席、法籍「米其林」星級主廚馬克斯說，「疫情之後我們社會出現一個不同的觀點，如今人們會說，我不想為工作犧牲奉獻」。Source article: https://udn.com/news/story/6904/6909797