The government is putting pressure on employers. All professional branches, all sectors that are below the legal minimum wage must initiate negotiations to catch up on wages. It must be said that today, out of the 170 professional branches which cover more than 5,000 employees, there are still 120, that is to say 70%, which display a salary grid, a collective agreement with at least a level, a coefficient, of remuneration below the minimum wage.
If there are so many, it is also because the minimum wage has been upgraded three times over the past year. Inadmissible, for the unions from the CGT to the CFDT who regularly step up to denounce this subject. And now also unbearable for the government, which is looking for solutions to protect the purchasing power of the French against inflation. If a branch does nothing, it’s simple: it will be merged administratively, by force, with another by the Ministry of Labour.
Which means in other words that it will disappear, will lose its specificity and therefore it will have to conform. It’s been a long time since the government has judged that the employers are not cleaning up enough in these ranks, that there are too many professional branches. There are still more than 600 in France. Since the Macron ordinances of 2017, he has been trying to induce them to merge but for the moment it was just incentive. There, the executive goes up a notch.
Several times in recent months, in this context of inflation, he has asked employers who can better pay employees. Especially those at the lower end of the pay scale. The government knows that it is socially explosive and does not want to wait, which is why this measure on minimum wages must be included in the future purchasing power law, presented on July 6. And for once, there is little chance that this provision to compel employers will be debated.