Commentary

Baker Fined $3,700 for Working Too Hard

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Viva le France! 

The nation that thinks Renault makes an acceptable substitute for an upmarket car.

The nation that thinks Pernod tastes OK.

The nation where working too hard can get you a $3,700 fine.

Yes, even though bakers are, well, the bread and butter (I’m so sorry, but the pun was irresistible) of France’s lauded culinary industry, working too hard at perfecting your craft can have the French fining your baguettes off. (I can’t help it, really.)

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“The French take their bread very, very seriously. In fact, there are whole sets of laws that govern which type of bread can be called what, and when and how often bakeries can stay open,” CNN reported.

“One such law in France’s political region of Aube states that bakeries must close at least one day a week — a day of rest.

“So when local baker Cedric Vaivre elected to stay open every day of the week in order to make the most out of the busy summer season in 2017, he was hit with a serious fine: €3000, or about $3,700, according to French media.”

The French have long had very strict labor laws which limit how long people can work in any given week. And this enlightened outlook on work has given the world products like, well, the aforementioned Renault.

Do you think this baker should have been fined?

Would you buy a Renault if they were still imported to the United States? Of course not — they had to get American Motors to assemble the darn things to make them slightly respectable.

However, while le politiciens français may love such labor laws, it seems the French aren’t too jazzed about them.

In fact, they’ve started an online petition to get the French government to waive the fine, called “To the workers’ inspector and the city government: Help our bakery!”

The petition organizers have garnered over 2,000 signatures — impressive, when you consider Lusigny-sur-Barse, where the incident occurred, is actually a town of just 2,000 individuals.

Meanwhile, Frederic Amiot — president of the Bakers and Pastrymakers Patron Federation of Aube — says if you let this guy off the hook, just imagine the consequences.

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“We understand that Mr. Vaivre wants to work more during the tourist season to make ends meet, but this law applies to all of the bakeries,” Amiot told the French media.

Yes, just think of what would happen if the French could set their own working hours. Bakers could decide when they wanted to open and how long they stayed open. Renaults might be drivable. And Pernod… well, Pernod still wouldn’t taste good. Seriously, it’s like drinking licorice that’s been half-chewed by an alcoholic. But maybe they could think of something better!

Vaivre, meanwhile, told French radio station RMC that he just wants to do the job he has.

“We’ve got to stop (penalizing) people who work,” Vaivre said.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal for four years. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Birthplace
Morristown, New Jersey
Education
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture




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