Vive la différence. The country records marginally positive GDP growth meaning, of course, that it is time for industrial action! This week France can look forward to:
- Air France doing a four dayer at a lost revenue cost (according to CEO Spinetta and it usually pays to be wary of nice round numbers) of €100m. I feel some genuine pain from this action given that my children's drama teacher (not that they need one) rang from Martinique to claim/say she is ''stuck'' there until further notice.
- SNCF, never knowingly absent from a strike party, have joined in in sympathy. ''Sympathy'' (apparently) because for years their drivers have been retiring on full benefit at age 50 due to the uniquely stressful nature of their employ. Piloting a 747? Stress? Mon ami, you should try running the 05h13 from Gare du Nord...
- School teachers do it Thursday and in this case with fair reason. This is a nation with a (theoretical) 35 hour week where the children were, until this school year, doing 75% of that from age 6 compressed into four and a half days per week. Unpaid. They are now down to around 70% over four days - but the load on teachers is set to rise nonetheless.
- Others joining in (on Saturday) include postal employees, some telecoms workers, public television journalists and - my favourite - civil servants tasked with manning the unemployment centres.
Just wait till GDP turns negative and see what we get then.