From yesterday at 8 p.m. till tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., the trains of France are on a nationwide strike. I am tempted to say "yet again." The Paris streets are full of the cars of exasperated suburban commuters.
This morning I heard the SNCF union leader, Didier Le Reste, explain the strike on the radio. For once, the interviewer did not sound sympathetic to the mouvement social. I can scarcely express how unusual that is in the media.
"You have announced 482 préavis de grève in one year," he said. "Isn't there some other way the cheminots [train workers] can protest?" Then he asked about why the cheminots were striking this time. "It's a little bit of everything, apparently." They especially don't like the présidente of the SNCF, Anne-Marie Idrac.
"Attention, préavis de grève does not mean a strike. It is just a warning of a possible strike. Of course, I have sympathy for the usagers [passengers]. [Yeah, yeah.] It can be irritating for them. But we are defending the rights of all workers. If we don't have a real promise of negotiations by the end of the day, we are prepared for a long strike," announced the union leader.
That would be just in time for Christmas. I guess I won't get rid of my car just yet.
À nous de vous faire préférer le train!