Boycotts and Other Refusal

Now, this is interesting.  From the Guardian:

Nicolas Sarkozy this week faces the first mass-protests over his handling of the financial crisis as unions prepare to paralyse France in a general strike uniting train-drivers, air traffic controllers, journalists, bank staff and even ski-lift operators.

“Black Thursday” is the first general strike since the French president’s election in 2007. All the leading unions have joined forces to protest that the government’s stimulus plans should focus less on companies and more on workers’ job-protection and purchasing power. The protests reflect a mood of social unrest that has been building for months. Unemployment had dropped in the first half of last year but it is now spiralling, particularly among the young, and is forecast to reach 10% in 2010. The recession is predicted to be worse than thought while flagging exports and consumer sales have hammered the manufacturing sector.

The strike will unite private and public sector workers from schools, hospitals national TV and radio to postal services, bank clerks and supermarket employees. Even helicopter pilots and staff from the company that operates the French stock exchange are taking part. High school pupils, university lecturers, lawyers and magistrates will also protest a raft of Sarkozy’s reforms and planned job cuts. Despite the predicted chaos, one poll found that 70% of French people either support or sympathise with the strikes.

Read the rest here. Meanwhile in Kenya:

Over 200, 000 teachers in Kenya have boycotted work since early this week, paralyzing learning in schools with a view to forcing government to accept their terms over salary offers. This strike action followed several meetings with the government that failed to resolve differences over a payment of Sh. 17.3 billion salary increase.  Sources in the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) disclosed that the matter has been referred to the industrial court for arbitration and obtained orders stopping the strike, but officials at the Kenya National Union of Teachers Union (KNUT) argued it had not received it.

7 thoughts on “Boycotts and Other Refusal

  1. Pingback: Velvet Howler › Blog Archive › Mass Strikes Planned in France

  2. Aw, things have really gone downhill. Back in the day, you could rely on the French to have a revolution every fifteen years. Now everyone’s all excited when there’s a strike or people burn a few cars. For shame.

  3. Seriously, Greg, what gives? Who are we going to look up to now if French cannot be relied on for a quick but bloody revolution? The Russians? Forget about it… Where is Zizek when you need him to excite the masses?

  4. Actually, the strikes are far less spread as originally forecast. But I sense the malaise and the swell of cold anger roar from within the low classes. Woe betide to those educated luminaries who might find the “end of massive strikes” a sign of improvement. If people no longer bother to go on strike, it’s because they have given up on the hope of a peaceful improvement. But they have not given up on other ways to tear from the big and powerful the piece of prosperity they deserve. If that bone-corrupt moribund capitalism is not yet dead, then it’s time to finish it off and restart on a fresh basis. Only blood shall wash off the proletarian sins committed by the wealthy barons of capitalism. Only blood shall appease the huddled masses yearning for a breath of air. When that rotten-born fruit is ripe, you can count on the French to be ready to take it down along with the tree of shame that bears it. When I close my eyes and listen carefully, I can already hear the strident sound of the sickles dull blades being sharpened. I know mine is ready. I am not going down like that poor American guy who found his only way to salvation and peace was to sacrifice his wife and five children before taking his own life. I will take along with me a few money-swollen heads on my way to hell. The rapture is coming alright. But the ceremonies of judgement day will not be presided by God.

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