Monday, 19 November 2007

France Strikes and the Special Regimes

The Strike Continues
Originally uploaded by malias.

France was hit by a fifth day of strike action today transport around France was at a minimum and in Paris the Metro was severely disrupted (except line 14 which runs driverless trains), even though a minority of train drivers support the strike.

Train drivers are complaining about the end of their special priveleges (régimes spéciaux) which allows them to retire as early as 50. These working practices were brought in during the age of steam when driving a train was physically demanding and often dangerous, but the days of shoveling coal into a blazing boiler are over. Many people argue that train drivers and other transport workers should be subject to the same rules as everybody else.

Amongst the public the strike is extremely unpopular a recent poll showed 71% are against it.

This is however of little comfort to people facing nightmare journeys to get to and from work and tourists who've had their holidays ruined.

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