Airbus (EAD.PA) is considering extending its workweek to 40 hours from 35 hours without compensation as part of the European planemaker's restructuring plans, German magazine Focus reportedThis seems like the rare example a company changing the amount people work (and changing lowering their nominal hourly wage, essentially) instead of laying people off. Now, to be fair, they're also planning massive layoffs, so they can probably get away with giznanking the non-laid off workers. The article goes on with some delicious Frenchiness:
First of all, do "French Business Leaders" still exist in France? I remember reading a Mankiw or MR post that claimed that a millionaire moves out of France every single day. And Aa minimum workweek? Brilliant! Give that man a prize.
French business leaders have strongly criticized the country's 35-hour work week, saying it has curbed growth and failed to stimulate employment as its authors had hoped.
Socialist presidential candidate Segolene Royal has promised to review the 35-hour work week with the aim of "reducing negative consequences for workers and employees."
Conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy says the 35-hour week should be retained but viewed as a minimum, not a maximum, with people free to work more or longer if they want.
NB: I believe (strongly), in the tradition of Robert Frank, Dan Gilbert, et al, that capping the workweek is something that should be taken very seriously. But the French seem to do it for all the wrong reasons...