Tuesday, October 12, 2010

View From My Window

As I sit here this morning at the dining room table, I'm suddenly struck by how quiet it is. A handful of cars have passed on the road below, but I've heard no buses or trucks, no tractors. Then I remember: France is on strike today! According to the BBC news, some unions began their part of the 24 hour rolling strikes yesterday morning; more will follow their lead today. I don't claim to understand all the ramifications of this protest by French workers, but I do know it pertains to governmental reforms on retirement. This is the third time in a month that workers have gone on stirke. All the bus, train, metro unions are involved. Striking in sympathy...postal workers, teachers, truck drivers, and this time, air traffic controllers. Most of what goes on in France will slow or come to a stop today. An occasional bus, metro and train will run, but service will be sporadic. What's different about today's shutdown, however, is that it is open-ended which means workers will vote on a daily basis whether or not to continue striking. It could be a long month! This strike is certainly inconvenient for the French people and tourists alike, but I have to admire their attitude that the people have a right to be heard. The French are not afraid to express their feelings inspite of the inconvenience and disruption of daily life. A giant protest march is set for this Saturday, October 16th in Paris. Voices will be heard!

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