How ‘Bout those French Protesters?

Protester with statue of Joan d'Arc

Protester with statue of Joan d'Arc

View The Times slideshow above.

You have to love the French.  They are hard, militant and passionate, but so soft on the inside, like a croissant: delicioux.  Every visit I’ve made to France has been accented by some workers’ strike.  And they succeed.

The latest strikes are no different.  A nationwide strike, called by the unions, erupted this month [March, 2009] over the economic crisis.  

 “Luc Rousselet, the industrial director of 3M in France, was held overnight at Pithiviers in central France as a “bargaining chip”, according to unions.

“He was released in the early hours of this morning to boos from staff, after a deal had been signed offering more favourable treatment for the 110 employees who face losing their jobs….

“The chief executive and director of human resources of Sony France were both held hostage by employees in a protest over layoffs two weeks ago.   They were released a day later when the company agreed to renegotiate redundancy pay, also a demand of workers at 3M….” –3/26/09

“The two most senior executives [Gérard Mestrallet, the chairman, and Jean-François Cirelli, the vice-chairman] of GDF Suez, the French utility, gave up their stock options yesterday after their group was hit by a strike over executive pay as industrial unrest spread across France.

“The U-turn came after a strike that began on Monday [March 23] at GDF Suez’s liquefied natural gas sites in France escalated rapidly because of the controversy over the stock options. Unions said that workers had “blown a fuse” when they learnt of the awards to Mr Mestrallet and Mr Cirelli.

“The climbdown by GDF Suez comes amid increasing tension. The industrial director for France of 3M, the American conglomerate, was taken hostage for almost two days by workers protesting against the size of redundancy payments. Luc Rousselet was released unharmed early yesterday after the company agreed to renegotiate.”–3/27/09

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~ by chezchristineo on March 29, 2009.

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