French social situation May 24 and beyond

gdunkel at gdunkel at
Sun May 25 21:49:24 MDT 2003

Unions are saying, according to Agence France Press, that over 1 million
people marched in Paris, Sunday, May 25 and 150,000 or so marched in
Marseilles, Toulouse and elsewhere.

It looks like there will be numberous strikes next week, beginning Monday
in education, post office, unemployment offices, railroads, metro, Air
France and air traffic controllers, sanitation and perhaps the trucking

It appears that a general strike is brewing, especially since the
Raffarin/Chirac government is showing no signs of backing down.  Even
tho the public is facing domestic chaos, about 2 out of 3 French people
support the aims of the unions in protecting pensions.

The major union confederation that signed off on the government's
proposal, the CFDT (Democratic Confederation of French Workers) is
facing severe splits, with many of its locals marching May 25.

Interesting times in France, but also across Europe with the general
strike in Austria and the public workers strike in Sweden, both on the
issue of retirement.


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