So, the French are striking. Old news, huh?
It so happens that I’m personally affected. I may or may not be able to travel in two days time to see someone in France depending on whether the strikes are still disrupting rail service. Hence I disclose that:
I am personally affected by the strikes disrupting the rail network in France.
Having said that, and beyond a selfish reason to hate the strikes (many don’t need another reason, and with good, well, reason), there are plenty of points with which to poke the railway strikers!
1.- They’re not fighting for civil liberties, their jobs, or their rights. They’re fighting for a privilege.
Current French legislation gives workers in difficult or hazardous professions the privilege to retire after 37,5 years rather than 40 years of service, allowing some workers to retire at 50 with a full state supported pension, costing the State some 7 billion Euros a year.
Even worse: Rail unions have just organised the biggest strike in a decade over this privilege. Imagine if they had something real to complain about!
Bottom line: The strikers are fighting not for their jobs, not for their rights, both of which are noble causes which I would fully support, but for a privilege. They’re fighting for two years and a half of pensions. Given that to be applicable they would have had to have spent 37,5 years in the industry, their life expectancy as a rail worker would have decreased considerably with respect to the average, so there are two years and a half they’re just not going to be able to profit from anyway. Bitter. Fucking. Truth. Now smoke it.
Aristocracies fight for privileges. Nobles and clergymen fight for privileges. Workers don’t fight for privileges. These strikes are characterised by a very distinct bourgeois feel of “We want cake, but the State, she gives us bread!”.
I stress: Not Good.
French rail worker: “We want cake, but the State, she gives us bread!”
2.- They’re unjustly holding the nation hostage.
They’ve taken the liberty to choose for 62 million people. They’ve taken the liberty to remove the right to freedom of movement and to get to their bloody jobs from a whole nation, all over a damned privilege.
Bottom line: In the self-appointed importance and arrogance of the rail workers, they’ve managed to detonate public support (I suppose they never expected any) and be generally hated.
Emotionally defused message to the rail workers of France: You’ve hijacked the trust the public had laid onto you by giving you such astounding union freedom and turned it into nothing more than a cheap, bourgeois dictatorship which is widely hated by everyone.
Emotionally charged message to the rail workers of France: I fucking hate you, you fascist bastards. You’re the reason I haven’t slept a wink in over 8 days and I hope you get replaced by robots within the next few months. So fuck you.