Home > Everyday Life, Working Life > Realignment Is Needed . . . and We Are Not Talking Tires.

Realignment Is Needed . . . and We Are Not Talking Tires.

Some important stuff is happening polictically here. At the national level Sarkozy, the president of France, is making a direct impact on the face of Marianne.  Yes, the French see their country as female and have a formal name for her.  You can review French pop cultural history to identify which celebrity posed with pride to be the Marianne of their age.   In any case, there are two dominate issues on the French news these days.

Marianne representing La République Française

Marianne representing La République Française

First the French government reacted to a police conflict with a colony of gypsies by deporting them back to Romania.  The essence of the government argument is that they are not contributing to society but just feeding off of it.  Thanks to my fellow Domer Micheal Barrett living in Paris, you can dig deeper on the issue with this excellent FAQ on this topic.  Of course there is an uproar about this measure, both internally and externally.  The government of course is not in unison on the topic.  Key political figures have used the metaphor of the Nazi deportation of Jews that occupied France did participate in during World War II.  The Catholic church has openly expressed disapproval with even one priest wishing a heart attack on the president.  To complicate things further, both France and Romania are part of the European Union.  The laws of the EU state that the citizens of participating countries can freely travel and reside in the other countries.  So to simply put them in another corner of the EU only means they will return in due time.  What are the citizens thinking?  The polls show the deportation as favorable as most French are concerned with their gang mentality and failure to integrate into French society.  It is a tough issue.

The other issue with directly impact my life and good old fashion strike.  Yes, this Tuesday there will be a national strike of all sorts protesting Sarkozy’s initiative to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.  Of course the precursor to this change is the recent economic downturn and looking ahead of how to pay for the social security system for the retirees within France.  France is enjoying the lowest retirement age within all of Europe.  My American mindset is having a hard time to empathize as this move is nothing more than a reality check.  Yet many political figures and the populus feel the money can be found else where, particularly by taxing the rich.  For this week, I just want to get to work and back and make sure my American friends arriving this week won’t get stranded.

AmadeusNow let us turn more locally for the realignment of Amadeus. This Wednesday and Thursday there will be a company wide meeting on our status as a company.  Due to the fact we have over 2,000 employees they have to run the 3 hour meeting four times to give everyone an opportunity to participate.   I signed up for the very first one Wednesday morning.  Right now, Amadeus looks great on paper.  Our 2Q earnings were recently reporting as having a total revenue growth of 11.9% (in a global recession) giving us a net profit of €246.8 million . . . no complaints right?  Not so, remember my previous blog on our strikes earlier this summer.  These good figures are making many employees further disgruntled.  Remember last year the average employee got a zero pay raise, not even for inflation.  This year, the average employee is finally getting a simple 2% inflation adjustment.  It begs the question where all this money is going?  Not to the employees.  Consequently at the meetings this week, the unions asked everyone to wear black as a visual representation of employee dissatisfaction.  I’ll be anxious to hear what will be presented at Wednesday’s meeting as I will wear my neutral white shirt and jeans.

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