Wednesday, 17 October 2007

French Strikes

Tomorrow I've been told not to come into work, and no it's not because I've been fired. Tomorrow is a major French public transport strike, and when I say major, I mean system-wide. The only line running normally will be the express metro line without a driver, thank god for robots right? The website of the transport company is posting updates on the traffic situation and apparently the line I catch to get to work (which is about 30kms from where I live and a 30minute train ride) is almost completely stopped. Which means there are probably going to be only 2 trains running during the entire day. So no work for me tomorrow, but it's not like it's a holiday though because I can't go anywhere, being completely reliant on public transport to get anywhere. Still it's nice to have an unexpected day off work every now and then.

Tomorrow there is also a researchers strike to protest against proposed funding cuts. I'm not sure why they hold it on the same day as the public transport workers, as I don't think the researchers are going to be getting that much media attention, what with the whole of Paris completely incapacitated around them. My thinking though is that researchers figure that they will have to take the day off anyway, so this way if they hold the strike now, they don't have to take another day off work later. Kind of defeats the purpose of the strike though. I'm thinking of going along to the meeting, if I can get there that is, maybe take a few photos. Hopefully it will be a proper French rally with burning cars, but I think it's more likely to be a whole stack of nerds in lab coats. If I get some good photos I'll post them though.

People really just seem to accept that strikes occur, they don't get angry, they just plan their day around that fact. I am planning on going to England this Friday to visit a friend, I already have my Eurostar tickets and everything. The thing is though that these transport strikes can go on for longer than the one day, meaning there may be difficulties in getting to the station on Friday as well. So today I got an email from the train company I got my ticket through telling me that there could be problems due to the strike, but that I can use the ticket on other days or get a full refund. So hopefully that doesn't happen and I am able to get to the station, but we'll see what happens.

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