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The French food-processing model: High relative wages and high work intensity


  • Ève CAROLI
  • Jérôme GAUTIÉ
  • Annie LAMANTHE


The authors examine wages and working conditions in meat processing and confectionery in France. Working there may not require much skill, or command good wages and working conditions, but this article reveals a more complex, positive situation than expected, thanks to the "French model's" national minimum wage and the extension of collective wage agreements to all workers in the sector. But pressures to lower labour costs are still felt, and the firms examined must meet pressures to increase productivity, flexibility and automation. Moreover, retail chains also seek to lower prices and impose just-in-time production.
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Suggested Citation

  • Ève CAROLI & Jérôme GAUTIÉ & Annie LAMANTHE, 2009. "The French food-processing model: High relative wages and high work intensity," International Labour Review, International Labour Organization, vol. 148(4), pages 375-394, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:intlab:v:148:y:2009:i:4:p:375-394

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    JEL classification:

    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • J81 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor Standards - - - Working Conditions
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials
    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity


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