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Strike! October 17, 2007

Posted by gordonwatts in life, Marseille.

I’ve heard it called the national pass time here in France. Tomorrow there is a major strike — all the trains (at the very least) will be down. This means all the roads will be clogged with cars — or everyone will take the day off. Not sure. But I have to drive to Grenoble for a top physics workshop… We’ll see how that goes!



1. Pat Heron - October 17, 2007

I hope you are thinking of going today?

2. Kevin - October 17, 2007

When I lived there, they did a lot of striking for the same reason: retirement cuts. Actually I think it is a big deal since one of the ways their very low salaries make at least some sense is that they have a giant pension whether employed in the public or private sector. When they cut the benefits, translated into our terms it would be like having a pay cut since we fund most of our own retirements in the US.

There was a funny exchange in Le Monde a couple years ago following a story about a famous laser scientist who returned to France after an illustrious career in the US. He was going on about the huge pay cut he had to take upon moving to France. This prompted a more famous physicist to write a letter to the paper indicating that despite having won the Nobel prize, he still made only 55,000 Euros per year. Starting assistant professors here make more than Claude Cohen-Tannoudji does now. This might have something to do with why they strike.

3. Gordon Watts - October 17, 2007

Indeed, Kevin — I am appalled by how little they make over here vs the USA. In some cases it is embarassing.

Not going today, Pat – tomorrow. We’ll see. Besides, my talk isn’t done yet… I have about another 6 hours if I don’t sleep…

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