A Jumbo Jet
of a Labor Problem for France
is a huge super-jumbo passenger jet. It can seat 555 people, which is
probably enough to successfully invade the country in which the A-380 is
be France. You will of course remember France, where when last we
visited, riots were occurring because someone had suggested making it
legal to fire someone over 26. This prompted a few people to wonder if
the French labor force had any incentive whatsoever to perform its work
with even the slightest degree of quality.
Guess not, at least if you can tell anything from EADS, which makes the
A-380 and is supposed to make another 2,000 planes over the next few
years. It seems that quite a few of the A-380s were, uh, not made quite
correctly. You can still seat your 555 people, but the electrical system
to the cabin doesn’t seem to work, so don’t count on any lights, air
conditioning, French art films . . .
the French management blamed the Germans, pointing out that the plant
where the cabin’s electrical system was made is in Hamburg. But they
admitted that the problems ran far deeper – deep enough, in fact, that
they are delaying delivery of numerous models, and make no promises that
they can avoid future delays.
"We have a
problem finding enough qualified personnel, and we have more than 2,000
planes on order for the next few years," said EADS Chairman Thomas
Wait just a cotton-picking, beret-sporting minute here. Unemployment
throughout Europe is more than 10 percent. You mean to tell me these
poor European victims of George W. Bush’s economic policies aren’t
qualified to build your planes?
this be? EADS had better figure it out soon, because those 2,000 planes
they are supposed to manufacture and deliver aren’t going to show up any
time soon if they can’t find anyone to make them. The good news, of
course, is that not all the planes that need to be made are the troubled
A-380s. Some are troubled A-350s, which are getting their collective
tailwinds kicked in the competition with Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner,
prompting EADS to go back to the drawing board – literally – for a
assuming EADS has any qualified designers on staff. We know they have
one less co-chairman, because the most recent holder of that position –
one Noel Foregard – became the fall guy when the problems with the A-380
were discovered. Of course, Mr. Foregard had foresight – at least enough
to exercise his stock options before the A-380 glitches became public.
As a result, he is now being investigated by AMF, which looks into
French securities violations. (How are we supposed to take a country
seriously when its stock market is run by the people who make bowling
mistakes happen in production. Would it really be fair to stereotype the
entire republic of France as a bunch of slackers, just because some
planes weren’t built properly?
It’s a coin
toss, but it would definitely be fun to do so, thus the tie is broken.
So let’s review.
if you are older than 26 and you get a job and manage to hold it for a
year, you cannot be fired. This is the law. All attempts to change it
will result in riots – and no one wants to face an angry French mob!
– so this will be the law for the foreseeable future.
If you live
in a country that offers guaranteed employment for life for everyone –
not just for public school teachers like in America – there is no reason
for you to improve or develop your skills, unless you do so out of a
sense of self-worth and an inherent belief in the pursuit of excellence
in all things. And you’re French, so let’s not be ridiculous.
big French company gets a contract to make 2,000 big, complicated
planes! It just needs to find some people who might have the necessary
skills to build them, but said skills involve a tad more than the
ability to drag yourself out of bed two or three days a week.
that’s all you need to keep a job, and the law says so, guess what?
Flickering lights in the cabin, co-chairman under investigation, more
delivery delays likely.
is good news. Apparently you can’t invade France with an A-380 after
all. Long live le republique!
© 2006 North Star
Writers Group. May not be republished without permission.
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