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French strikes disrupt life, shut Eiffel Tower

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Even a teacher at the French school in Tokyo was on strike!

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I just recently learned that people who live in Paris are called "Pariseans". I always thought that they were "Parisites".

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Well done French workers. At least some workers in the world still have the good sense to know when they should fight back. Workers in America and in Japan are sheep, easily led to slaughter. People in too much of th world are too self centered to recognize that workers share a common struggle to maintain decent wages, good working conditions, sensible benefits and security.

We need less sheep and more people willing to stand up for what they need. Well done workers of France, keep it up!!!

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A friend of mine who lives in Europe hates it whenever his community strikes because it ruins his schedules.

He does believe in the right to protest, but what he does not like as how even workers from rail stations neglect their jobs for the people who need to get to work or for important reasons.

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Fruitsbasket fan.

But that is exactly the kind of thinking that is the problem. When one worker wins it helps all workers by proxy of precident. When one group loses all lose for the same reason.

A little inconvenience is what we should all be prepared to endure for the betterment of all workers.

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tkoind2

While I agree with yr sentiment, the workers pay into pensions with expectations, but population dynamics are changing, companies are screwing employees & govts blow the cash!

So even while I sympathize, reality will kick in at some point, Greece is an example of what we will see in many places I predict.

On the home front in Jpn I expect to see a LOT of companies stiff their staff on pension payments as there are hints that lots of companies are under funding pensions in Jpn, I predict a lot of ticked off pensioners in the not so far future(that is if they check to see if they are getting paid properly, many wont).

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Look at the bright side. If nobody can go up the Eiffel Tower the terrorists won't bother to blow it up.

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GW. Reality checking is a good thing. But what will you do about it? Just let it happen?

It is a myth that workers have not ability or capacity to force change. And it is equally a myth that a state cannot find the means to properly provide. There are many states that do so and do so well. It is propaganda that we are fed so that workers feel hopeless.

The burden has shifted from companies and the wealthy to the working classes. Companies net mass profits while workers see their situations decline. This has to stop. And not only in one country, but globally.

Change can come from labor uprisings, from consumers voting with what products and companies they support and those they don't, through more direct political action. But it only works when workers come out to support each other. As long as we see the plight of workers in one area as separate from our plight, we remain divided and under control. We have to start seeing a more global picture as that is where the world economy is and that is where change has to take place.

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Que voulez-vous ? La grève c'est le sport national français... For those writing (trying to write) "French words" you need some lessons... I teach French...

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Mais....mais... c'est MERDE non!? Ai vill now have to retire vén I am 62 instead ôf 60! No matter zat zat's 5 years befôre most ozer countriiz! C'est ne pas vrai!

Oh, please... strikes in France, rain in England, snow in Sweden. What's new?

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"What's new?"

A return to workers having to strike enmasse to demand better conditions. Sadly also the apathy that too many workers take rather than getting off their behinds to help fight for positive change.

What should be new? More people doing what they can to gain greater working people's rights, protections and security.

Care to join?

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My understanding is that they are not demanding "better conditions," but that these strikes solely have to do with raising the retirement age from 60, which is insanely young, to 62, which is still pretty f'n young. These people will do anything not to work, except work, heh.

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tkoind2, Your comments are always on the money.

Gotta love the French. Passionate and stubborn. We need more of whats going on in France to happen in the rest of the world. Fight back! if you dont youll soon realize that the future is bleak if we continue to allow governments/corporations to control peoples lives and turn them in to robots. The only way to win is if everyone fights together for a better world. Throwing your hands in the air and saying I cant do anything is very cowardly. The French are not complaining they are just fighting for what`s right.

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5-8 weeks paid vacation 22 days of paid leave in lieu of overtime incurred by working over 35 hours a week Retirement at 62?

Sign me up!

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"My understanding is that they are not demanding "better conditions," but that these strikes solely have to do with raising the retirement age from 60, which is insanely young, to 62, which is still pretty f'n young."

Those are the standard conditions as earned by previous generation's struggles for balanced lives between work and private life. Why then should they be sacrificed? Where are the equal sacrifices of business, of the wealthy and of the state?

Most people work hard all their lives and then die a few short years after retirement. Why not have a longer period to simply enjoy life? Afteall these people work hard, pay their payments and deserve the rights they have earned.

Why also do so many of you support the system over workers? Are you not workers yourselves? Don't you want better vacation, secure retirement and benefits? Then why are you not working harder to make those things come to reality?

My money is on the fact that you have bought into the propaganda that such expectations are not realistic. Who defined them to be so? Not workers! We can and should define what is right and balanced for workers and do more to achieve it. It was once unimaginable to have a weekend. But our forfathers made that and holidays happen. Why are we so pathetic at making our working lives better?

I blame a lot of it on apathy fueled by TV and cheap goods. But I blame most of it on the spineless and selfish behavior of modern workers who cannot see or care about the bigger picture.

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Gosh, yeah, shut the Eiffel Tower down. That 'll really grind the wheels of industry and commerce to a halt. I am impressed. Shock waves as far away as Quebec? Seriously, this is like the public sector union goons in America who, upon learning the Park Dept might face cuts, suddenly 'discover' that no less a major tourist attraction than the Washington Monument will inexplicably be the first place they will have to close down, since the resulting 'shortage' caused by the budget cuts will mean the Park Dept can't keep the place clean or ensure safety.

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Actually raising the retirement age to 62 makes sense on its own as people are living longer, but that is not really what this is about. The question is why is the French government trying to do it in the first place.

The simple answer is when you have a financial crisis like we have been in everywhere since 2008 (I know, Canada and Australia have avoided it, but that is just smoke and mirrors) you have two choices. A) you save your economy and society and let the banks and corporations fall, or B) you save your banks and corporations and let your economy and society go down. But you can't save everybody. France chose "B", everybody chose "B". And when people figure out that that was the choice that was made, and why that choice was made (ie. the complete criminal corruption of the political system) it is all going to hit the fan.

This stuff in France now is just a warm-up.

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tranel : So now we know you know a "gros mot" in French however, your syntax is rather strange and it seems funny that all those who write in English, using the translation of that very same word, always put an asterisk in the middle so as not to appear "grossier"... Luckily for you the moderator doesn't seem to notice foreign "vulgarities" since I myself have been chastised for much less than that... (In fact, it wasn’t I who was being “rude”, I was only pointing out that the other person was…)

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Retirement? After the housing bubble burst my 401k looks more like a 201k and my taxes are going up to bail out the greedy sods who got rich handing out loans to anybody with a pulse. I figure retirement at 67 will be a gift now. Unless I learn French and emmigrate. Who was it who teaches French?

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A) you save your economy and society and let the banks and corporations fall, or B) you save your banks and corporations and let your economy and society go down.

Umm, or they could go with C) Save the banks and the economy. Think thats probably what they're trying to do. Quite frankly, the reality is, there is no way to save their economy and society. It simply cannot be done. The welfare state does not work. Saving banks and corporations, will actually help the economy, though in order to do so, you'll have to surrender some of the social welfare policies so popular. People have grown up expecting things to be given to them. The reality though is, that someone has to pay for that. Its really just the ultimate pyramid scheme, and unlike if you or I was to do it, the government gets away with it.

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Save the banks and the economy.

An economy where banks do not go out of business when they lose their money is not an economy and is not capitalism. It is a welfare state and a crime zone.

There is no economic justification for keeping zombie banks alive whatsoever. France did and that is why they now have protests.

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There is no economic justification for keeping zombie banks alive whatsoever. France did and that is why they now have protests.

Well there is, and there isn't as I'm sure you're aware. However I agree with you in principle, that banks that fail, should not be propped up, and allowed to continue operating. Like any business, if they fail, they should fail. However we're both aware of why, economically its not a good idea to allow banks to just collapse.

The reason why there are protests, has much less to do with bailing out banks, then it does with the reduction of the welfare state, which so many people have come to expect from their government.

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GJDailleult: An economy where banks do not go out of business when they lose their money is not an economy and is not capitalism. It is a welfare state and a crime zone.

Usually. But when faced with the extraordinary situation that the world was facing I think the game changes. We're not talking about letting a bank fail and having the others pick up the scraps, we were facing a complete meltdown of the entire financial system. Chalking it up as "banks do not go out of business when they lose their money" just isn't very accurate.

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Oui, c’est la merde, sorry for my French. Strikes in France became already same as festivals in Brazil, all activities are stopping for a time being and nobody cares about anyone. Great. Not great if you live in France or you have to travel via France during these days. Very sad reality that it is not really about labour conditions but just one more opportunity to hang around with your friends/ camarades doing nothing

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@tkoind2

Your points are well taken, but the "previous generation of workers" fought for its rights, including the retirement age of 60 (or thereabouts, depending on the country) decades ago, like in the 1930's spanning to the 60's. In the decades since those struggles that you're referring to, not only has life expectancy gone up from the 60-somethings to the late 70's or into the 80's, but those who make it to age 62 are a lot more robust and able-bodied than they would've been, on average, in the 1960's or before.

Oh, and WE CAN'T AFFORD A PENSION SYSTEM THAT STARTS AT AGE 60, there's that too, if that makes any difference.

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Ahhhh . . . got to love Les Francaises . . .they just keep the drum roll for "liberty, equality, fraternity" rolling . . .

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