PARIS (Reuters) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday suggested a series of measures aimed at boosting households’ purchasing power, the top concern for French voters.
He laid out the following proposals during an interview on French television, and measures relating to pay dependent on accords being reached between employers, unions and workers.
* Some firms could be made exempt from the 35-hour work week limit in return for wage rises. In sectors where wage negotiations did not take place, the government could re-examine any reductions in social charges that had been granted.
* Employees who want to work Sundays should be able to do so on double pay.
* Employees should be allowed to opt to be paid for working more than 35 hours, rather than getting time off.
* Public servants who worked overtime should be eligible for the same benefits that applied to private sector workers.
* Pushing for reductions in prices in large supermarkets.
* Those who rent accommodation should no longer be required to pay a guarantee; the practice of requiring several months of rent to be paid in advance, on top of the guarantee, should be reduced to just one month of rent in advance.
* Indexing rises in rents to general consumer price inflation rather than moves in construction sector prices.
* Organizing mid-December a conference with unions and business to set agenda for labor issues to be tackled in 2008
Reporting by Swaha Pattanaik and Jon Boyle; Editing by Ibon Villelabeitia