What can we expect from the social conference on low wages scheduled by Elisabeth Borne this Monday?

On Monday, October 16, 2023, Elisabeth Borne will inaugurate a social conference discussing the issue of low wages. What can we expect from this meeting aimed at rekindling dialogue between the government and social partners? Explanations.

In a context of everyday life marked by inflation for the French, the meeting had been announced at the end of August 2023 by Emmanuel Macron following the Rencontres de Saint-Denis with the main political party leaders. A social conference « on careers and sectors below the minimum wage » will be organized in the fall, stated the President.

Un rendez-vous avec les partenaires sociaux

We’re there. On Monday, October 16, 2023, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne will inaugurate a social conference on low wages.

The meeting will take place over a full day at the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese) in Paris, with a plenary session in the morning, workshops in the afternoon, and a closing plenary, as stated by Les Echos.

According to Challenges, six trade unions (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFTC, CFE-CGC, and Unsa) and six employers’ organizations (Medef, U2P, CPME, Fnsea, Fesac, and Udes) are expected to meet there.

Quels sujets sont traités ?

Three themes will be addressed: « conventional minima, classifications, and career paths », then « part-time and short-term contracts », and finally « exemptions from contributions, activity bonuses, and wage compression », according to Matignon. The theme of gender equality was added at the last minute, under pressure from several unions.

Entre espoir et méfiance, les Français attendent au tournant la conférence sur les bas salaireshttps://t.co/AZm2tveSUG pic.twitter.com/EsWTpMo0la

— BFMTV (@BFMTV) October 12, 2023

Problème des salaires en période d’inflation

According to Challenges, Sophie Binet reported that the government seems to be dismissing the idea of linking salaries to inflation, as demanded by FO and CGT. In France, only the minimum wage (Smic) is adjusted based on the increase in prices.

The issue of salary increase becomes even more relevant as prices skyrocket in food, energy, and fuel, reducing the purchasing power of French workers.

At the end of August 2023, the French Ministry of Labor stated that 80 out of 171 professional sectors with over 5,000 employees were operating with salary scales below the minimum wage, as reported by 20Minutes.

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