Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Earning a Living Without Losing Your Life

A Decent Job Allows You to Earn a Living Without Losing Your Life

What's a decent job? posed that question to participants in a Paris demonstration last Wednesday that took place near the headquarters of the Medef - the French employers' association. Philippe Brochen, Libération, 07 October 2009

Between 3,000 and 6,000 people assembled last Wednesday afternoon near the Medef headquarters on Avenue Bosquet in Paris (VIIe) in the framework of the International and Interprofessional Day for the Defense of "Decent Work." It provided an opportunity to ask these demonstrators what, in their view, that demand corresponds to.

Elisabeth, 49 years old, France Télécom employee

"A decent job is a reasonable job, that is, one without unacceptable pressure, with standard hours, 35 or 38 hours a week ...."

André, 79 years old, a retiree from the SNCF [railroad]

"A decent job is one that allows you to earn your living respectably, without losing or destroying your life."

Louisa, 18 years old, high school student

"A decent job is one that pays a living wage. That's what's essential first of all, but it should also allow for personal fulfillment and development. .... It's also a job that's not precarious and where one is not in danger of being fired from one day to the next. It's a job with a reasonable schedule, reasonable, that is, with respect to one's personal, and especially, one's family situation. Individuals must not be taken for machines ..."

Marise, 56 years old, a hospital official

"A decent job means that one has the resources to do a good job, to be available for others and to earn a respectable living. At present, a nurse just starting out earns 1.400 euros net per month. Do you find that right, given the hours and responsibilities involved?"
Bernard, 65 years old, banking company retiree

"A decent job is one that contributes to personal development and the construction of a better world."

Catherine, 33 years old, a City of Paris agent for local development

"A decent job earns minimally 1,600 euros net. It's also a secure job that offers the potential for further training, and for taking initiative as well as the means to defend oneself when pressure is exerted."

Saïdou, 30 years old, a plumber and native of Mali who arrived in France when he was 21 years old, who holds a residence permit

"I have a decent job. I progress from one day to the next. I learn. I'm well paid. My plan is to gain enough experience and financial support to start my own business. I just have to be patient ..."

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