A Series of Strikes Set to Start In France
When French President Emmanuel Macron was campaigning for his current position, he campaigned on a platform for bringing reforms to the French job market. He wanted to free employers from the burdens that they faced under many of the employment laws on the books in France.
Emmanuel Macron won a decisive victory in the presidential election, and since his inauguration, he has sought to implement portions of his reformist agenda. He began by issuing a series of executive orders making it easier for French companies to hire and dismiss employees. Now, President Macron is set to issue another set of executive orders to reform the employment market, and these planned reforms are drawing the anger of union members throughout France.
The reforms are aimed at the French railway workers. Mr. Macron's reforms call for taking away some job protections and perks from railway workers. The railway workers believe that these reforms are aimed at privatizing the French railway system and eroding union protections throughout France.
In order to express their opposition to Mr. Macron's proposed reforms, the railway workers will be on strike Monday and Tuesday of this week. Only one out of eight high-speed trains will operate during the strike period, and only 20 percent of the local service trains will operate during that time. In addition to this, the railway workers' union plans a three month protest period. During that period, they will slow down rail service two of every five days.
This is not the only labor unrest that will occur in France during this railway strike period. Other workers' unions are expressing their outrage at governmental reforms, and their workers will be striking as well. This week, garbage collectors, electrical grid workers and members of Air France will be on strike. In addition to this, Air France will go out on strike for another two days on April 10th and 11th.
So far, President Macron's labor reforms have received the support of the majority of those polled in the country. However, his popularity is very low, and support for his reforms has fallen in recent polling. As of the latest polls, support for Mr. Macron's proposals and support for the striking workers is roughly tied.
Analysts believe that if the population backs Mr. Macron's reforms, that the president will succeed over the unions in the long run. However, if support shifts to the union, the reforms will fail.
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