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.
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.