Skip to comments.Massive strike in France will test Sarkozy's power
Posted on 01/28/2009 5:57:56 PM PST by Cincinna
PARIS: President Nicolas Sarkozy was expected to get a very public taste of widespread discontent with his economic policies Thursday, as France braced for a one-day general strike called by eight unions.
The unions have called on the government to make employment its top priority, bolster household purchasing power, reduce income inequality and regulate banks more stringently. Those demands have resonated with a public that is demanding better public services and is concerned about plans to cut teaching jobs.
"Everybody knows we are living through a worldwide crisis of the like that hasn't been seen for 70 years," Bernard Thibault, head of one of the biggest French unions, the CGT, was quoted as saying Wednesday in the daily Le Parisien newspaper. Wage earners had nothing to do with the creation of the crisis, he said, and "we can't accept that workers are the only ones to suffer the consequences."
The strike is expected to bring chaos to the national transportation network, as airport, train, bus and rail station workers walk off the job. Many workers in the Paris area, especially those commuting from the suburbs, will find it difficult to reach their offices and job sites, with as few as one in five of the normal number of trains running on some lines. The capital's two airports, Charles de Gaulle-Roissy and Orly, will reduce flights. Air France was planning to maintain its full long-haul schedule, while canceling some flights on other routes.
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Will test Sarkozy’s powers?
A oxymoron he is president of France he has no powers.
This is the first major domestic test for the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. He campaigned on promising French people “guaranteed minimum service” in schools and transportation, hospitals etc.
The right to strike is guaranteed by Law in France; to dislodge it totally is going to be like moving mountains. French people no longer express “solidarity” with strikers, and refuse to have their lives, work, and schooling of their children disrupted by Unions, which are now viewed as greedy and corrupt.
Unions in France are still Communist and far Left dominated, even though their power to bring the French economy to a halt for months at a time has ended.
Sarko should call on 0be to drop by and cure this malady.
In this economy French inventories can do with a full day of lost production even if it is an unscheduled paid holiday.
It is the transportation and service disruption trick that ordinary people really resent, eh?
Obe cannot give them socialism they all ready have it
Wave his magic wand?
I hate to disagree, but French inventories aren't what they seem. If their factory workers stop producing white surrender flags, it would send massive ripples through their government's foreign policy department. Additionally, strongly worded letters from the UN aren't as productive without a French made surrender flag to back it....La Existance Lives On
(yes, I mean existence)
That's correct, but wage loafers had a lot to do with it.
He should let it burn for a few weeks. Then all those families will have to buy new cars. That ought to boost their economy!!
If they go on strike,how will anyone know?
One day strikes are a common ocurrance - usually at a sensitive time for Russia (oh, sorry, France). The last strike that was ramping up when I was there was Air France during the Wrorld Cup.
Sorry. I'll make the French and quit now.
I was treated to one of those oh-so French spontaneous strikes a few years back. Several hundred if not more Frenchies on mopeds and motorcycles and one guy with a bullhorn swarmed and shut down the traffic circle around the Arch of Surrender for ~15 minutes.
Then they all yelled something and took off. Cars started to enter the roundabout as the gridlock broke up and some guy in a Mini Cooper nudged a couple of motorbikes and knocked them into a couple more. There were at least a couple of dozen of them on the pave before it was over. Pretty comical. More yelling and scrambling. Then it was over. Like they were never there. It was weird.