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France: Law driven restructuring

As Belgium, France balances the right given to management to decide whether restructuring and lay-offs must be implemented or not by an obligation to inform and consult workers’ representatives.

 
Companies and works councils are the main actors. Until very recently, trade unions were not legally entitled to play a role during the information and consultation process but, as in Germany, trade unions counselling and training of works councils are important when it comes to deal with restructuring.
 
Given the importance of law and the right of works councils to sue employers, the judge is an important back stage actor of those processes.
 
Recent innovations follow two different directions: a law focusing on anticipation has tried to boost negotiations at company and group level, and an experiment giving a one year contract (contrat de transition professionnelle), active support for workers laid-off and looking for a new job is under way in six towns.
 
 
Case studies:
 
Downsizing at the ADDA factory in Poix-du-Nord
 
Changes in the aeronautics sector – the case of Airbus in Midi-Pyrénées
 
Cap Compétences: collective management of the risk of redundancy within an “extended enterprise”
 
Takeover of a private clinic by a public hospital in a medium-sized town restructuring and improvement of job quality
 
Restructuring of the industrial plant belonging to Alcatel Business in Illkich-Graffenstaden (Alsace, France)
 
Changes and the local area: The Tarn case
 
The factory closure by a large French group