Tuesday 30 October 2007

Strikes in France

velib girls
Originally uploaded by malias.

The two things that can impede your life in France more than anything else are the bureaucracy and the strikes. I’ve already grumbled at some length about bureaucracy. As for strikes October has been a prime month.

Earlier this month France was paralysed by a strike caused by 8 transport unions over changes to pension rules. Most of the SNCF network was down and in Paris the Metro ground to a virtual standstill. It was practically impossible to get anywhere even the Velibs were all taken. Most people had to either stay at home or trudge long distances on foot.

At the moment some workers in the public sector can retire as early as 50 which the government believes is economically unsustainable. Air France flight staff have also been on strike this week causing chaos at the airports. More transport strikes are planned for November.

The bicycle industry seems to be the one growth sector in France.


Sam W. Heads said...

I hear that another strike is planned for 14 Nov. Do you know how long this strike is likely to last? I am visiting Paris between the 19 and 21 Nov to do some work at the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle and I'd like to know if the trains are likely to be running.

Thanks in advance,


Gideon said...

Hi Sam

You might be ok. The strike starts on the 14th of November and is for an indefinite period. Hopefully, by the 19th things will be getting back to normal in Paris. Though there is no guarantee of that.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my family is planning to vist France from 05 Oct to 12 Oct 08. You have highlighted that Oct is prime period for strikes in France. Any idea are there any planned strikes thus far?



Gideon said...

Not that I know of but keep an eye on the newspapers.