By Mac Slavo
French rail workers have launched three months of rolling train strikes. The strikes are on schedule to become the largest and most chaotic industrial action against Emmanuel Macron’s drive to overhaul state transport and liberalize the economy.
The media is calling the protests “Black Tuesday,” while simultaneously attempting to deflect from the left-of-left dictator in charge, Emmanuel Macron. The opening day of train strikes was expected to cause disruption for France’s 4.5 million rail passengers after around 33% of all train staff and more than 75% of drivers walked out.
The rail sector is traditionally one of France’s riskiest political issues. It’s quickly become a battleground on which Macron is refusing to budge in order to prove that he can face down strikes and continue with a liberalizing overhaul of other sectors.
The government argues that France’s heavily in debt state railway company, the SNCF, has to be made more efficient before local and national passenger services open up to competition in coming years under EU rules.
The government intends to cut rail workers’ special employment rights so that new hires would not have jobs for life or special retirement provisions. But there are also plans to change the SNCF structure, …read more