lundi, février 07, 2005

It takes only a short time here to realise that, aside from an obsession with good food and plotless films, the greatest passion of any Frenchman is going on strike. People from all walks of life will go on strike for any reason, not just money. Sometimes it's really a big deal, like when the government threatened to put up the price of petrol. That really got everybody's goat big time, and the whole lot of them, ambulance drivers, lorry drivers, people with company cars who haven't paid for their own petrol in two decades - all out on the street, demanding their right to burn up the last few drops of fossil fuel left at knock-down prices, just like they do in that god-forsaken warmongering imperialistic hedonistic anti-intellectual dump the United States of America. The government gave in of course, as it always does. Striking is definitely a way of life here, a kind of ritual. Just this week

1) Everyone (sort of) has is on strike to preserve the 35 hour working week.

2) There was a country-wide wildcat train strike after a conductor was attacked by a passenger

3) State-funded researchers have gone on strike for a pay-rise

4) the prostitutes in the Bois de Vincennes have gone on strike after the decision of the city council to forbid them to ply their trade in the Bois (I did not make this up).