Strikes

Strikes occur in France as they do in most developed countries. There is a subtle difference between French strikes and those in the US. An important part of unionism in France is that the public, in general, supports them. The little guys against the big bad whatever they are (government, corporations, etc). To maintain the support of the proletariat, the unions know how and when to strike. Here's an example that happened to me. A colleague and I were going to a Supelec campus outside of Paris. We were going through Paris when a strike of the transport system was planned. As it happened, we went through during rush hour (coming and going), and we were not effected. Seems the strike occurred during off peak periods, that way the citizenry were not upset over the strike, and the strikers made their point. Funny how that works.

So, strikes are a thing of life. There is even a web site to find out who is striking when! That's what I call efficiency (at least for striking).


Here's a recent article from CNN on strikes in France planned for the week of Nov. 21.

About 1,000 SNCF workers joined thousands of other public sector workers who marched in Paris on Saturday to protest against government efforts to privatize some public services. Noting the strike is scheduled to begin at 8:00 pm tonight.

Also this week, the Communist-backed CGT union plans to lead Paris transportation workers in a one-day strike Wednesday over pay and benefits.

The same day, a top union of researchers is planning to hold a protest against a planned government "research pact" that they insist would jeopardize jobs and fall short of funding needs.

Two unions representing secondary school teachers are planning a Thursday work stoppage to protest against budget restrictions, job cuts and a new substitute teacher system announced by the government.

The other day I was driving outside of Metz, and I saw an interesting looking group of cows. There was a little sign by the road that said, French Cows on Strike for better death benefits. The attached photo shows the strikers in repose, but if I had to bet, they were not causing any distress to their owner during their strike!
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I drove along a bit further and there seemed to be quite a hub bub going on. There was another sign. French Cows on Strike for better death benefits, union meeting is here. Sure enough, they were all sitting around listening to the union organizers lecturing them on how to improve their status in their short lives.

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