Saturday, November 24, 2007

The French on Strike

"French strikes" are as commonplace as "M25 congestion" or "Labour mis-management" and if the current round of strikes surprises anyone who voted for Sarkozy, then I think his "work more, earn more" election policy would have given the game away.

It is good to hear, though, that the vast majority of the French don't want Sarkozy to back down, although you don't know how long that support will last.

I lived in Nice in the mid-90s, so am quite used to the weekly 24 hour strikes in the weeks that there isn't a saints day holiday. The strike that affected me the most, though, was the postal strike. Some international post got through from Monaco but most was stored in a hanger at Nice Airport.

When the strike finally ended 3 months later, management started discussions with the unions about the overtime needed to clear the hangar of the backlog. An agreement couldn't be reached, so they went on strike again. The management's solution? They burned all the mail in the hangar.

Fait accompli!

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