Okayama Economic Review
Published by the Economic Association of Okayama University

法と労使関係 -フランスの35時間労働制をめぐる金属産業の労使間協定とカードル問題-

In 1998, the French socialist Government stipulated the first law on the 35-hour working week, which fixed the conditions for a company receiving a reduction in social security payments. That is, the company had to conform working hours to the legal 35 hours a week by concluding a union-management agreement. In this paper, we show the strategies of the French Employers’ Association of the Metal Industry (UIMM) facing such a situation by analysing its agreements concluded with unions. The first issue treats the reaction of the UIMM, which aimed to sidestep the impact of the 35 hours law, but had to make a concession facing the critique coming from the socialist Government. Second, we explain what the French ‘cadres’ are, and the UIMM’s strategy to accord a qualification of the cadre to lower hierarchy of managers for assuring sufficient working hours of these people. This is because the 35-hour working week is not applied to the cadres. Third, we show the modifications of the union-management agreement after the right-wing Government amending the working hours laws, stipulated by the left-wing Government. Showing the dynamic relations between laws and union-management agreements, we can explain the dynamics between the law as a rule of the game and the behavior of the players, i.e. the employers’ association and the unions, as well as the importance of the union-management relations in deciding labor conditions even in the France.