'Do as I say on pay, not as I do' say high-earning French bosses


When the man at the helm of the French bosses' organisation calls for wage restraint and suggests paying young workers less than the legal minimum wage, it would seem reasonable to expect him to be prepared to take a dose of his own medicine. Instead Pierre Gattaz, president of the employers' association MEDEF, has just awarded himself a 29% pay rise. He is far from being the only culprit in France's corporate world. But, says Martine Orange, the symbolism bodes ill for President François Hollande's bid to cut business costs in exchange for creating jobs, a policy on which the president has staked his political future.

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Pierre Gattaz, head of the French employers' confederation MEDEF and Denis Kessler, its prominent former vice president, have just awarded themselves juicy pay rises even as they call for wage restraint from workers. The moves risk undermining the socialist government's so-called Responsibility Pact and its efforts to persuade left-wing doubters in its own ranks to support cuts in public spending and tax credits for business.