Why reforming the labour code matters
I have written about these issues a great deal, way back in a previous life, and I am thoroughly delighted to see that the new French president (not overwhelmingly known for being a right-wing radical) is keen to reform the Code du travail.
No, it’s not about taking rights away from anyone, or making it easier for bad bosses to mistreat anyone. It’s about removing the straightjacket that’s keeping people (employers, employees, artisans, artists, entrepreneurs, stay-at-home moms with a side hussle) from trying things, failing at things, and succeeding at things.
The French labour system is vastly different from the North American union model, and it’s dangerous to draw too many comparisons. But on the Canadian front, I have said for years, and I maintain to this day, that with one simple change you could jumpstart the entire economy (not that it’s dying, but bear with me) and make it exponentially more effervescent — in a good way.
That change? Making union contributions voluntary instead of mandatory. That’s it. Within five years, you’d see major changes, most of them positive (except for a few union officials here and there who might find themselves looking for a new gig). I wish one day someone has the guts to try it. Like, say, a young, popular, charismatic non-right-winger. We wouldn’t happen to have anything like that around here, now would we?