France's Most Powerful Trade Union Warns It Will Resist Sarkozy's Announced Attack on Labor

13 de may de 2007

France's Most Powerful Trade Union Warns It Will Resist Sarkozy's Announced Attack on Labor

May 13 (EIRNS)--Independent.com reported on May 12 that Bernard Thibault, the head of the CGT trade union confederation - France's largest - has warned President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy that any attempt to ram through his radical reform program will lead to a battle and strikes against those proposals. Sarkozy's proposals include ending some public workers being allowed to retire at 55, compulsory strike ballots, a legal obligation for striking transport workers to provide minimum service, and changing the 35-hour work week. The article notes that the strength of the unions in public services, especially transport, "means strikes are high profile and highly effective in bringing the country to a halt." The current issue of Britain's The Economist , in its article on Sarkozy's election, predicts a period of turbulence for France in the coming six months: "Governments have repeatedly tried to trim privileges and benefits in order to rescue the welfare system from collapse, only to be defeated on the street ..."

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