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Labor Market Dualism and History of Temporary Work Agencies in France and Germany
Unformatted Document Text:  bank, and who from her home contracted herself [or hired herself]. […] In extreme cases, they had two or three persons. That’s the origin.” 4 This testimony is very valuable for labour lawyers, and historians, because it gives us an insight on the extraordinary economic boom of this era and shows us that the administrative and legal control over business was significantly lower as it is today. It reminds us as well, far from a very important mythology, that despite the hugeness at the time (50s-70s) of some firms (GM, IBM, in France Renault, Peugeot, and so on) where collective agreements, powerful trade unions secured life-long jobs for many employees, that at the time work flexibility was extremely high. Or considering that, in the early 1960s in France, the average weekly working time was 48 hours, one did not really need so much flexibility... Temporary agency work is in its first days the outcome of economic growth, where labour shortage combined with the lack of flexibility of big firms in terms of wages for example, created good conditions for the birth of employment businesses and “Kelly Girls”. André Malignac added in the interview: “I myself come in it, I see it’s a little female’s job, there is nothing but these little women. And next to them, crooks, who took advantage of the legal inexistence of the industry and who started to recruit workers in coffee shops, in bars, in housing projects, […] promising extravagant wages […]. In this world of labour shortage, recruiters looked for the people where they were, in poor suburbs, housing projects, transported them, delivered them, it was really a slave trader kind of job. There was no obligation whatsoever to sign a written contract, only to be introduced later by the legislator. So promises were made to someone, and at the end of the assignment the poor girl was said, I never said 1F65 it’s 1F35 you misunderstood and plenty of other similar stories…” 5 Malignac also mentions how similar crooks did not declare social security contributions however paid by the user. 4 Interview with André Malignac, Zürich, 01.20.2008 5 Idem

Authors: de Froment, Charles.
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bank, and who from her home contracted herself [or hired herself]. […] In extreme 
cases, they had two or three persons. That’s the origin.”
This testimony is very valuable for labour lawyers, and historians, because it gives us an 
insight on the extraordinary economic boom of this era and shows us that the administrative 
and legal control over business was significantly lower as it is today. It reminds us as well, 
far from a very important mythology, that despite the hugeness at the time (50s-70s) of some 
firms (GM, IBM, in France Renault, Peugeot, and so on) where collective agreements, 
powerful trade unions secured life-long jobs for many employees, that at the time work 
flexibility was extremely high. Or considering that, in the early 1960s in France, the average 
weekly working time was 48 hours, one did not really need so much flexibility...  
Temporary agency work is in its first days the outcome of economic growth, where labour 
shortage combined with the lack of flexibility of big firms in terms of wages for example, 
created good conditions for the birth of employment businesses and “Kelly Girls”. 
André Malignac added in the interview: 
“I  myself  come  in  it,  I  see it’s  a  little  female’s  job,  there  is  nothing  but  these  little 
women. And next to them,  crooks, who took advantage of the legal inexistence of 
the industry and who started to recruit workers in coffee shops, in bars, in housing 
projects,  […]  promising  extravagant  wages  […].  In  this  world  of  labour  shortage, 
recruiters  looked  for  the  people  where  they  were,  in  poor  suburbs,  housing 
projects, transported them, delivered them, it was really a slave trader kind of job. 
There  was  no  obligation  whatsoever  to  sign  a  written  contract,  only  to  be 
introduced later by the legislator. So promises were made to someone, and at the 
end  of  the  assignment  the  poor  girl  was  said,  I  never  said  1F65  it’s  1F35  you 
misunderstood and plenty of other similar stories…”
Malignac also mentions how similar crooks did not declare social security contributions 
however paid by the user. 
 Interview with André Malignac, Zürich, 01.20.2008 

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