It amazes me that the unions across the larger European nations continue to be a powerful and driving force in the workforce. Case in point, at least one million protesters showed up in France yesterday to demonstrate against the CPE First Job Contract proposal.
In an effort to reduce youth unemployment that is reaching 23%, the CPE First Job Contract would essentially put every employee under the age of 26 on a 2-year probationary period in which their employment could be terminated at any point for any reason.
What amazes me even more, though, is that the French have been completely ignorant to other countries that have been extremely successful in adopting similar programs. The young and highly disgruntled French workforce has been hijacked by the unions and persuaded to support initiatives that distract the larger issues for France to become more competitive on a global front. Unfortunately, what seems to be lost in translation is that not only would the First Job Contract actually create new jobs, but it would also enable French companies to become more flexible, potentially spur investment from multi-national companies to set up camp in France, and ultimately create a higher workforce standard enabling a more globally-attractive and skilled workforce.