so far since my arrival in december, my only run-in with french labor strikes was a 4 or 5 day train strike at the end of december – – but personally, i wasn’t much affected. i didn’t really have anywhere to go…….
tomorrow, however, marks a much anticipated grève générale called by 8 major workers unions in france, and the people working in most all public and even private sectors of the country. it’s an outright protest aimed to the attention of nicolas sarkozy, the french president.
this strike is so big and so important that tomorrow is being deemed: “jeudi noir” (black thursday). this strike even has it’s own webpage with a google.maps interface showing all of the major manifestations (rallies).
a few excerpts from news articles i found today:
– bloomberg news : click here to view article
“Nicolas Sarkozy this week faces the first mass-protests over his handling of the financial crisis as unions prepare to paralyse France in a general strike uniting train-drivers, air traffic controllers, journalists, bank staff and even ski-lift operators….”
“The strike will unite private and public sector workers from schools, hospitals national TV and radio to postal services, bank clerks and supermarket employees. Even helicopter pilots and staff from the company that operates the French stock exchange are taking part. High school pupils, university lecturers, lawyers and magistrates will also protest a raft of Sarkozy’s reforms and planned job cuts.”
“Despite the predicted chaos, one poll found that 70% of French people either support or sympathise with the strikes.”
– guardian, uk: click here to view article
so as you can all imagine, tomorrow will be strange, hard to get anything done and a fully new experience for me…..(alas, i really don’t have anywhere to go tomorrow anyway. figures.)
i’ll try to post a follow-up or at least some photos and further news soon. i have no idea what to expect……
(oh, and to make the situation more ironic, our building will not have running water from 8:30am until noon tomorrow. scheduled maintenance. so the sign says.
my question is…..who the hell is going to be working tomorrow to fix whatever is broken with the water in our building? (our water is broken? i didn’t even know?!?)……we bought 6 liters of water just in case (ok, so that’s only like 1.5 gallons, sounds like a lot, but it really isn’t)…..and filled 2 huge pots and pans with fresh water too…..just in case…
you never, ever know,right? haa haa!!)
only in france, my friends, only in france…….gotta love it!