Leave my job alone..

Posted by Analyse at 5:10 PM

Thursday, March 31, 2005

The world had changed and so is the old continent – Europe. From Europe de 15, it counts 25 members at present, with Turkey readying itself to be welcomed by the group. Its status though, presents like a floating big question mark which creates indifference vis-à-vis the European populace.

After Spain has voted Yes to European Constitution, France will be next in line by the end of May. But just before affronting this incomprehensible constitution, another issue has been dominating the headlines and of course, the pause-café conversations this past weeks – the Bolkestein Directive. It translates to service liberalisation inside the EU. The essence of it, if I were to dissect my entourage’s different views, is to create a job/manpower market inter-Europe to compete with the rest of the world and eventually prevent today’s rampant delocalisation, well, to at least keep the jobs inside Europe.

Is this really the best solution?

Ok, let me give you an economic perspective from a non-economist :) - MOI! Those were the days when the manufacturers dictate or impose the best product to their customers. Now, the golden rule is ‘the customer is always right’. Million bucks are allocated every year to understand what the client wants (thus the conception of a new product or new functionality to an existing product), to incite the customers to consume the said product (marketing) and finally, to make the product accessible to its target market (distribution). With the stiff and growing global competition, the client is confronted with different choices or solutions to only one demand, it’s for him to pick the best product which best responds to his need, budget and taste. Now as a customer, aren’t we satisfied to buy a 50€ DVD labelled Made in Asia rather than exactly the same product which is Made in France but costs thrice the price? Come on, be honest.

Now, what would this French DVD manufacturer do if he sees his sales trend go down? How would he keep his products on display inside the supermarkets and specialty stores? Either he sets higher quality and lower manufacturing cost targets to the detriment of his employees’ work conditions or opt for the radical solution – delocalisation.

Let’s do a recap, you were happy as a consumer right? What would you feel as an employee? Yeah, this is a sad fact of globalization. The world has changed, now, we have to cope up with it.

So what does this situation show? Well, it’s a concrete example of jobs flying to Asia. Now, could you blame these Euros if they want to keep the few remaining jobs inside their territory for themselves?

In fact, the directive proposes that every European citizen could freely work anywhere in Europe but would carry its country’s regime. This would mean a French employee could work in Poland and would have the same benefits and social charges as in France, and vice versa. I have heard different views on this topic which sounds more of a yelling insecurity to me, an uncertainty to what future awaits for them.

Well, all the people around me would surely vote NON on this directive. Personally, the way I see things now and if only I could cast my vote, I’ll surely vote NON.


mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

globalization has turned this world upside down. even in america there are mixed sentiments regarding globalization...

many would curse wal mart as it patronize foreign manufacturers (e.g. from china) that offer cheap prices. but at the same time they regularly patronize wal mart stores as evidenced by its revenues!

industrialized nations must focus on the new value added industries... bleeding edge technologies...

European nations, tigers of asia, canada, usa etc. must keep on pursuing these bleeding edge based industries...

such is life! :D

great post! :D

Analyse said...

as you say, such is life.

the problem of the old continent, well for france, i guess is that they're reticent to change. they want to keep everything they have, no compromise, and flexibility for them is only one way - for the better. well, i really cannot blame them. me too, i want to keep what im enjoying right now.

desindustrialization - here is where we are right now. the last investor seen here was a chinese - adding insult to injury.

the Bolkestein Directive is seen as a menace for their jobs. just cannot blame them. there are people i know who doesnt buy toys 'made in china', but if we continue to 'buy french' here, it's really costly. thinking of pinoys however, i hope they would patronize our own products and not go gaga over 'imported' goods.

mell ditangco (this is my pseudonym) said...

ah analyse...

here is my view.

loyalty should be based on something such as quality or good value for the money.

if french made is just too expensive, then its either french manufactured needs to find ways to produce cheaper... if at all possible...

I suspect the french will eventually succumb just as the americans did...

so, the answer is embrace change and focus your investments in places you have a relative advantage...

Analyse said...

Well, loyalty as you see it applies to those who have the means. With the buying power becoming less and less powerful, ika nga, pag maiksi ang kumot, matutong mamaluktot – the consequence is that, even your choices become limited. Unfortunately, there are more and more people here who enters in this classification, proof is that, there is a growing % who do their shopping on discounted supermarkets.

One example is our product (where I work). It’s french, no. 1 in the world, produced here in Côte d’Or. But even the commercants here don’t automatically propose our product. Why? Because it’s more expensive than that of our competitor (Japanese and American). Even if we have better quality, they are being stopped by the price. Manufacturers vs Commercants vs Consumers: we don’t see the world in the same light I guess. Manufacturers want to survive, commercants want to gain more profit, consumers want to pay less.

As I’ve said, France is in the process of desindustrialization / delocalisation. The patrons has long understood the game. At first, it was more on expansion and getting closer to a new market…now, it’s a matter of survival.

And yes, i shouldn't forget to stress out that europeans are basically socialist and not capitalist. That's why this issue is a BIG deal here.

But don’t get me wrong, I totally agree with you, I check quality and value too. But don’t expect me to wear Lacoste, or Christian Dior, or Jean-Paul Gaultier or Yves Saint-Laurent everyday :).