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December 12, 2006



In the long term I agree - but do you think the fact that some worker-rights given by (won from) the state can hurt workers means that we'd be better off without those rights? Is the fact that it's expensive to fire workers means that those workers might be treated worse a reason to allow those laws to be repealled?

I'm not disagreeing or agreeing, just interested - most state-ordained worker rights were won after fierce battles or brought in to placate dangerous worker unity movements. It almost seems foolish to allow them to fall.


And a "Get stuffed" fund: you really should try to accumulate one of these. Otherwise, two tips for the bullied:-
1) You won't be the first - try to gather evidence on the other cases.
2) If he thinks he's above the laws and conventions of good behaviour, he probably exempts himself from a pretty wide spread of constraints. For example, may be stealing - always worth a look.


I can't get the link to work, so maybe they cover this, but why would stronger trade union membershp make any difference? Surely the same research would find that being a member of a union is pointless because management will monitor them more, harass them so they leave voluntarily etc etc?


The best protection against tyrannical bosses is to have a choice to leave a bad job.

The best way to do this is
a) have (6 months) money in the bank.
b) have a skill in demand.
c) have another income.

It's why I favour a CBI or Citizens Dividend. It makes it easier to leave bad jobs.


Also the fact that workers aren't voluntarily quitting, which always remains an option even under the tighest labour law, must imply they prefer the job to not having it and they prefer being harassed in order to make them quit than being sacked immediately.

angry economist (Glenn Athey)

Harassment is usually because the managers can't be arsed to go through the capability and warning procedures.

I have seen several people well shafted by the public sector recently.Also in the case of a shite working atmosphere and bullying, it starts to affect all staff. I also know several who have just handed in their notice and leave because they've had enough. They were decent at their job, but were fed up.

The bullyers and harassers, unfortunately, once they learn this style of management, push it out to all staff and not just the non-performing ones.

Unions are really useful if you are in a sticky situation or being treated badly - you get instant access to good advice and a lawyer. I always saw it as a form of insurance rather than something more radical. I've seen many union reps take a quite reasonable stance over the years. Its useful if your employer is incompetent, or just prone bulldozing over laws and contracts etc.


Chris - It's a good question. In the short-run,relaxing employment protection would lead to sackings with no immediate offsetting benefits; the gains of more hiring and less bullying or monitoring would only come through after years. The question of choice of discount rate then comes into play.
This suggests other forms of protection - of which a CBI should certainly be one - should be in place before employment laws are relaxed.


I don't think I've ever come across anyone else who advocated a smaller state and stronger trade unions. (A smaller state and common ownership, yes; the abolition of the state and the abolition of wage labour, yes. Trade unions, no.)


The easier it is to find another job, the less power the employer has.

Presumably, the more flexible the labour market, the easier it is to find another job.

The effect of emploment protection laws may be to make losing your job more disasterous, as well as less likely. In the meantime it seems you get more unemployed people, and more miserable employed people.

I wonder what the effects are for union leaders?

Laurent GUERBY

"stronger trades unions" that's wishful thinking, management will just harass worker so they don't join (proved effective just about everywhere), and trades union are created by employment protection laws anyway.

The article is just ridiculous, p3 "consumption of anti-depressant in France in 2000 amounted to 543 BILLIONS euros .. about 0.1% of GDP". I'm happy to learn that France GDP is 543 TRILLIONS euros from serious economists.

Simple solution to worker stress is speedy legal procedure, in France it is well known that work-related procedures are extraordinary slow.

Look for "maman chez Nissan" if you want a recent illustration: contested firing is scheduled to be heard and judged in TWO YEARS (in first instance...), when the worker put that story on her blog, she was condemned for libel in A FEW MONTHES.

Of course Etienne Wasmer model do not take this factor into account and is completely inadequate to model anything ressembling reality of the workplace.


There is absolutely no adequate empirical data in the study. It starts with stating that around 10% of French workers are said to have been victims of harassment, but does not attempt to compare this finding to other countries like the US.

Then it rests solely on data from Canada. I have worked in Canada and I know that the claim that private sector job security laws prevent employers from laying off workers is laughable. Absolutely ridiculous. The OECD statistics above confirm this.

The authors say that "Advance notice requirements are an important dimension of EPL: it reduces the discretion of employers as regards to dismissals, it is often an implicit severance payment if the worker is asked to stay at home during the period".

Advance notice requirements in Canada are between zero and four months. Four months is the figure for mass layoffs in large companies in Quebec. Individually, most workers have no more than one month. So you think an employer would rather spend monhts trying to bully a worker into quitting instead of simply dismissing them and paying four weeks' pay? How sadistic do you have to be to do that? It doesn't make any sense.

So we are told that it hurts workers to have the "privilege" of receiving a few weeks pay when being laid off, rather than just being dumped into the gutter any time at their boss's discretion. Now we know what economic science is for. I just wonder why CEOs keep accepting those severance packages (often representing several years's pay). Don't they understand that "severance packages are bad for CEOs"?

dean bronizewski

i would like some help please i have applied for many jobs i have 18 years expierince driving for the same company allways help them out work long hours and even work 7 days a week for them i find it hard to believe after applying for all these jobs and not even a phone call i fell i am getting a bad reference from my employee of 19 years but have no way of proving this could you please help me out thank you dean bronizewski 905 685 7465


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I think time is come to make the law of labor and stop the discrimination which will protect the labor law.


welcome to the bad dream world, its a different rhetoric .

too many companies /employers have absolutly know respect for there workers ..

companies treat there wroker as expendiable items or just rental tools to get rid of immediately after the job done, then lay off every one ..

in this type of environmone there is no loyality only disparagement and out rage ..

yes , some smart guy will think he can out preform the others and make a name and reputation for them self .you will be on the unemployment line just as the others ..one day more or less..

just when oo you top out .. what is your maximum ?

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