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French Strike Chaos to Get Worse?

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May 28th, 2016, 07:54 AM
  #1
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French Strike Chaos to Get Worse?

The following article in today's NYTimes says that strikes in France may ramp up with "unlimited train and metro strikes, airport workers during next week and a national day of strikes June 14.

So if going to France and taking the train or metro or even flying in be prepared for major pertubations as the French say about such disruptions.

This is an interesting article about the background of French unions and their vigorous fight against a new labor law that attempts to make it easier for employers to shed workers when needed.

Ironically just 8% of French workers are in unions - one of the lowest in Europe but public support for unions and against the new labor law runs high - about 75% in one recent poll I've seen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/wo...ands.html?_r=0
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May 28th, 2016, 08:35 AM
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Oops - wrong link - right link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/28/wo...ions.html?_r=0
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May 28th, 2016, 09:01 AM
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Looks to me like the usual wishful thinking of the Anglo-Saxon press. I will store this in the same drawer with the collapse of the euro and the abandonment of the Schengen agreement.
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May 28th, 2016, 09:33 AM
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WHat part do you think is so bad, kerouac? It read like factual reporting to me. The author has won a Pulitzer, has worked abroad a lot and currently lives in Paris, by the way.
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May 28th, 2016, 09:43 AM
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Well, for example this sort of sentence: Unions are also calling for unlimited strikes in the train and Paris Métro transport sector -- without mentioning that the unions have been calling for transport strikes for the last three weeks with almost no success. They make it sound like "calling for a strike" means that the workers actually will go on strike.
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May 28th, 2016, 06:01 PM
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Wishful thinking indeed.
You want Schengen to die ? Well you wait? Long. Long.
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May 28th, 2016, 09:08 PM
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Does this mean that the strike will also affect metro and airports? Or do we have to wait and see what happens June 1st?
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May 28th, 2016, 09:40 PM
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Which strike?
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May 28th, 2016, 09:58 PM
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I'm so confused - isn't there a "rolling strike" every wed/thurs in paris that affects the RER trains?

Does the article quoted by PalenQ mean the strikes will get worse and affect all trains and metro starting this Monday? As in the RER and metro will completely shut down?

I've been trying to keep my eye out on the situation for my two friends who are currently in Paris and leave Paris this Friday.

They were supposed to go to Versailles on Wednesday but I think I will advise them to go on Tuesday instead.
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May 28th, 2016, 10:34 PM
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I heard the Paris Plages are going to use sawdust and kosher salt this summer because of the strikes.
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May 28th, 2016, 10:50 PM
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IMD -

If that's a joke, it's a pretty good one !

I asking the question because given the current state of things in my beloved adopted country, anything is possible !

And as an aside to would be visitors, nothing is ever as bad as you read in the (hated) Anglo-Saxon press.

- Kevin
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May 28th, 2016, 10:56 PM
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Living in Paris, I have not been affected by any strikes.
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May 29th, 2016, 02:57 AM
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Sure its a joke, until it becomes the truth.
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May 29th, 2016, 03:24 AM
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Oh for heavens' sake, chill...it's not as though life isn't going on here or your vacation is going to come to a grinding halt, no matter what the Anglo press tells you.
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May 29th, 2016, 06:44 AM
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Having just returned from a driving trip, I must add that the fuel refinery strike is having an impact. In Provence, all the Total gas stations are shut down with no fuel and the remaining stations are subject to limitations and chip & pin sales only. I witnessed classic gas panic actions--long angry traffic tie-ups near stations and some edgy behavior. It is having an impact at least in the Provence areas.
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May 29th, 2016, 06:59 AM
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I just filled up the day before yesterday before returning our car in Caen yesterday. There were no lines. There was a notice placed by the station that cars were limited to 20 liters. I put in 38, paid and left. I did return and remove my chip and pin card from the slot though. The only issue I had was trying to get tickets to central paris when we landed Wednesday morning. The lines for the ticket kiosks were 40 people deep at every one, and the manned office was so packed if felt like a sauna. A 55 euro cab to St. Lazare quickly eliminated any concerns.

There was a 20 minute delay on our departing train to Caen, but I never was able to determine a cause. So far, the longest delay of our trip was leaving CLT. We took off 40 minutes late. We were loaded and on the taxi, but something was delaying us there too.
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May 29th, 2016, 08:35 AM
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Mac--do you have any idea what people who don't have chip and pin cards are doing? We have chip cards, but they don't use pins.

Can you pay in cash?

Also, can you be more precise about when you were in Provence? According to what I've been reading, the situation eased considerably on Saturday.

At least my French is good enough that I can beg someone to pay for my gas with a credit card in return for my reimbursing him or her in cash! I've done that in the past when I needed to gas up on a Sunday and couldn't find a station with an attendant.
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May 29th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Actually, I have another question. I know they've unblogged the refineries, but six of eight, I believe, are either shut down or slowed down by strikes among the refinery workers themselves. So are they drawing down supplies in depots to replenish stocks at service stations? How long can they continue to do so?

I gather the right-wing parties are demanding that Hollande order workers at the refineries to do their jobs. How likely is this? Any other insights?
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May 29th, 2016, 09:38 AM
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The fuel reserve covers 3 1/2 months.
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May 29th, 2016, 12:53 PM
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We did have chip cards but no pin and thus were not able to purchase in any station that did not take cash. We left with a flight out of Marseille early this Saturday morning. My attempts to top off the rental car tank were unsuccessful at two stations--one on the Peage and the other, a Total station at the airport (out of fuel).
We got wind of the problems early and spent an hour in a line of very tense motorists on Wed., May 25 in Cavaillon and paid in cash. The entrances to any station dispensing fuel could be backed up rather dangerously (into traffic circles at times). Driving, always a challenge, became quite selective and dear.

I have no idea about reserves but did hear earlier last week that they had been released--still the quote i heard is "France is slowly grinding to a halt."

Had fabulous three weeks in France--Alsace and Provence.
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