Tuesday, 20 November 2007

strike one

I try every now and then to keep an eye on French news, partly to keep up my french comprehension, and partly because I'm just interested. Its pretty easy to do on the internet; my current preference is checking out France 3's 19|20 news online.

Of course, the big news in the last week or so is the strikes to do with the transport unions, in particular the trains (SNCF). The Parisian metro, TGVs, and regional TERs have all been dramatically effected, and the scenes of packed platforms in Paris are impressive.

The reason for this is that French government workers (SNCF was until recently government owned, and is still basically government backed) had very generous rights at work. (The same pretty much applies for EDF/GDF and a whole bunch of other sectors). France then went and elected Sarko, an economic reformer, as President. Blind Freddy could have seen that he was going to butt heads with the unions over things like retirement entitlements, and that's exactly what's happening now. The French got the government they deserved, and now, for better or for worse (IMHO a little of both) they are seeing the beginning consequences. I would be surprised if there isn't more of the same ahead, and from any number of sectors; the fonctionnaires (particularly teachers) are rumoured to be talking about strikes this week.

1 comment:

moonchadz said...

why more people didn't see it coming still astounds me.
Yesterday in Rennes, they announced a bus strike, however most buses were running and the metro wasn't affected. Also apparantly, other fonctionnaires are going to go on strike, namely the people at la BU, which means no library for me today!!

ps. it's raining a lot here
pss I think the moustache is awesome !