Globalization and the world economic crisis are putting pressure on the social welfare system in countries like France, where workers and unions — like those at the Renault car manufacturing plant — are starting to make pay and benefit concessions as well as face furloughs and potential layoffs.
Jan. 28, 2011 Clouds roll over the shores in Le Havre, France. The car manufacturer Renault is one of the major employers in the area and possibly one of the most vulnerable as the economic crisis and globalization hits France. In December, the company furloughed employees for 70 days because of lower demand for cars. Linda Davidson/The Washington Post Buy Photo