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November complications for visitors to France (and not just visitors)

November complications for visitors to France (and not just visitors)

Nov 7th, 2007, 07:35 PM
  #61  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 11
forgive me for my confusion....i am booked on the premier train from florence to paris the evening of the 20th (arriving morning of the 21st)...does this mean this train will not be running?
my stay is supposed to be from the 21st to the 24th in paris...because of the strike is this a mistake?
bebrief is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #62  
 
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Evening !!
We have tickets booked from Lourdes to Geneva on 13 nov !! The last connection departs Lyon at 19.43 !!
Does anybody have any idea if this train is likely to leave 17 mins before the strike begins.
We have been to the station and called the helpline and they assure us the train will depart and will not change our tickets. We have a flight to catch !!! Any ideas on other ways from Lyon if the train don't go ??
Thanks
MBD69 is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 08:57 AM
  #63  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I am supposed to arrive by Eurostar to PARIS on the 14th; they assure that their train will run ok on the 14th; If so, then i would have to go to Evry, and hvae no idea how I can get there if the trains/metro/buses are not working;
any idea?

(I am trying to cancel everything but that is a few tickets/rooms and it is not easy)

thanks for any help
Inachis is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 11:33 AM
  #64  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 43
Trying to get to Versailles anafternoon of 13th and back before the strike at 8pm---could any -body give me directions departing from Republique Station around 12noon?

Thanks to you all so much for strike info.

Jean
JeaninGeorgia is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 03:15 PM
  #65  
Sox
 
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I am hearing that the police have laid down their weapons and phones. From what I can make out it a protest about overtime. Is this true?
Sox is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 05:42 PM
  #66  
 
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>> I am hearing that the police have laid down their weapons and phones. From what I can make out it a protest about overtime. Is this true? <<

Yes, although only some officiers (detectives and beyond) are participating.
superheterodyne is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 09:02 PM
  #67  
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The Paris metro will definitely be on strike starting on the 14th.

As for the SNCF, it is not currently possible to make any predictions on which trains will be running, so nobody, including the SNCF, can give any reliable information about that. The first predictions will be issued about 48 hours before the strike begins.

Meanwhile, the striking university students blocked some train lines yesterday. All main line traffic in and out of Gare du Nord was stopped for an hour yesterday.

The electricity company (EDF) has announced that there may be some power cuts starting on the 14th.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 8th, 2007, 09:37 PM
  #68  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 786
All I can say is thank goodness we have more sense down here these days and strikes of any kind are so rare that I can't remember when the last one was or what it had to do with. Time the population of France realised that in the end they are only inconveniencing themselves, I assume they do not get paid whilst they are off work. Grow up and get on wth it.
KathyNZ is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 10:03 PM
  #69  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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The strikers do get paid for their time off work and the days they get off is only added to their pension!
TPaxe is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 10:12 PM
  #70  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I dont think that strikes are just a matter of sense. Strikes are very disruptive and obstuctive and destructive but sometimes they may be the only way to get a point across. ( I am not talking about this particular strike.)
be thankful that in NZ you dont have to even consider this form of action and that your govt. listens to its workers. (Again no reference to the Paris strike of which I have no knowledge of the reasons and if there is public sympathy for it.)
yasron is offline  
Nov 8th, 2007, 11:33 PM
  #71  
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Strike days are NOT paid in France. That is a tired old myth. And there is no union fund to help out the striking employees either.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 9th, 2007, 03:35 AM
  #72  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
President Sarkozy is getting criticized for refusing to negotiate with the railroad unions. But I think he's right to stand firm. Most French railroad workers are able to retire by their mid-50s (after working 35 years) with full benefits. There is not enough money in their pension fund to cover this, so French taxpayers make up the difference -- even though most taxpayers themselves have to work until age 60 or more, and their own pension funds are running dangerously short of money.

The so-called "special regime" for railroad workers dates from the days when they had to shovel coal and do other dirty, dangerous work. I'm sure their jobs aren't easy, but lots of people have difficult jobs and don't get the sweet retirement deal they have.

Sarkozy wants to make the railroad workers pay into the system for 40 years before retiring, which is the minimum for most French people. The railroad unions have argued that the government should level the playing field by letting everybody else retire after 35 years, too. Great.... and who's going to pay for THAT?

I'm generally sympathetic to unions, but their behavior in this case is truly shameful.
mlaffitte is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:34 AM
  #73  
 
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"Strike days are NOT paid in France".


The first thing the unions do before reaching an agreement is demand that strike days be paid !


"And there is no union fund to help out the striking employees either".
Officially no...
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 05:49 AM
  #74  
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This was not a thread for a political debate, but I would like to point out a few details.

Civil servants (including SNCF) have been able to retire after 37 1/2 years of work (not 35) while the private sector must now work 40 years. Obviously, this is not normal.

However,
1. Civil servants pay a higher percentage of their salary into retirement funds.
2. During their entire career, their salary is on average lower than in the private sector.
3. Their pensions are lower than in the private sector.
(I read all of this in Le Figaro, not in a left-leaning newspaper.)

If "fairness" is the driving force in the change, I would think that the government would immediately reassure the public sector workers that they will no longer pay as much into retirement funds and that their salaries and pensions will be raised considerably.

Naturally, this would require an increase of SNCF fares, for example, and therefore reduced disposable income for all of the rest of us.

However, the government seems to have decided that it will do none of this, and has set itself up for a very motivated strike.

If you wish to debate this, please take it to the lounge. I have just been trying to give strike information, not to criticize or analyze the situation. However, I will gladly shut up and keep all of the news to myself if the thread is polluted with backseat political chatter.
kerouac is online now  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:21 AM
  #75  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Hey everyone. First off, kerouac, thanks very much for your informed and even-keeled updates on the strike for those of us who aren't "French" literate.
With that said, I am a first time visitor to France, and have made plans to be there November 17-24. We are planning to stay in a suburb outside of Paris and commute in by train each day. From what I have gathered, this will most likely be impossible.
What alternatives might I be able to approach the trip with rather than canceling it all together? There are three of us who are very excited for our first visit. Any ideas would be most helpful. Thanks again . . .
TheDonUSC is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 06:46 AM
  #76  
 
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Kerouac :

SNCF people are not "fonctionnaires" (civil servants). Their retirement pension is calculated on the last 20 years (normally the highest paid) whereas it is calculated on the last 10 years in the private sector. They may be pay less but they have a secure job (who has heard of a SNCF employee being fired??). They do not pay train tickets so do their wifes and children until 18. They are guaranteed yearly increases.
They retire at 55 (65 in the private sector). They do not pay medical bills if they go to an SNCF doctor.
I think it is only fair they should pay more for their retirement pension considering that they work 10 years less than people employed in the private sector.
Pvoyageuse is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 07:05 AM
  #77  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
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Kerouac,
Please keep giving us your information. My sister-in-law is flying to Paris on Sunday evening for five days. All your info much appreciated.
Merci!
yasron is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 07:17 AM
  #78  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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kerouac

An English chap in my office suggested that we use rental cars if need be on our trip to Paris 11/16~11/24. The worst traffic I have driven in is LA and Atlanta. Alot of people in our group are fluent in French so getting a car and directions should not be a huge problem.

opinion please
nolefan1 is offline  
Nov 9th, 2007, 08:56 AM
  #79  
Sox
 
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Please keep us posted on strike information.
Sox
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Nov 9th, 2007, 09:09 AM
  #80  
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Pvoyageuse, I don't know what planet you are living on.

In the private sector in France, retirement pensions are calculated on your 25 highest earning years of salary. In the public sector, retirement pensions are calculated on your last six months of salary.

The average retirement age in France is 58 for the private sector and 57 1/2 for the public sector. Who is working 10 years more?
kerouac is online now  

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