Employers Alliances in France and Europe

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URL = http://en.cerge.eu/


Yvon Poirier:

"In French called «Groupement d’employeurs». http://en.cerge.eu/

This started in France about 15-20 years ago. They have a specific legislation in France about this. This has moved on to other European countries, for example in Austria.

I happen to know this fairly well since the President of the European Resource Center (CERGE). France Joubert, who you might have met, also presides European Pacts for which Martine Theveniaut (who you and Mike Lewis know).

France Joubert, is a former Union (CFDT) worker. As a unionist, he was confronted with part time workers, precarious jobs, etc. In his region in France (Poitou Charentes), he instigated this way of moving people from precarious work to full time jobs.

To summarize. The idea is getting together fairly small private employers to create a non-profit legal entity. Often, these small businesses cannot afford full time staff for different tasks. And on the other hand, there are jobless or part time people who want regular full time jobs. There is also seasonal needs like in agriculture or in tourism.

The legal entity hires staff who then work for example, two days a day with one employer, and three with another. Or, it can be fulltime for 3 months, and then work for another employer. The employer is billed and the employee is paid by the non-profit. The wages are low to start (maybe 15-20% more than minimum wage). However, for highly technical jobs (like computer programs), the pay is increased because of the skill factor. The rate is then close to the market rate.

After time, some employees move on to other jobs, for example becoming full time staff at one of the employers. But some stay on.

I have heard France make presentations. The last was at the last World Social Forum in Tunis. Other examples of jobs. He told the story of a person in a small town who was a part time soccer coach (like 15 hours a week). At the same time, he had other skills. He had three part time contracts with no employer as such. He became full time staff and then continued the same line of work. But as an employee. For pension funds, social security, insurance, etc., this is much more interesting.

France also mentioned that law provides that all the employers in the group are responsible in a solidarity manner towards the employees. For example, in one of the employers went bankrupt and could not pay the bill for work done, the others are collectively responsible and need to foot the bill.

As he said at the WSF, «in a way, we are forcing private employers to do social economy»."