Monday, November 21, 2005

Tie the can to their tails!

In midsummer, 1981, President Reagan responded to a nation-wide air traffic controller strike by firing the lot of them. I haven't the slightest idea what would have happened if Carter had won re-election. Would the strikers not have struck because there was a Democrat in the White House? Who can tell?

Now comes this story about the latest French strike. This time it's the rail workers:
Unions are striking to protest against any privatisation of the rail network, despite government assurances.

Since the rail workers are, essentially, government employees -- as the air traffic controllers were in 1981 in the U. S. -- I wonder if a mass firing has been contemplated. Or is the union contract so good that the workers can't be fired for striking?

I confess that I don't have much sympathy for the strikers. But it sure would be a kick in the teeth if the strike goes on for a while, commuters figure out alternate ways to get to work, and then, after the strike ends, use of the rail system remains lower than before the strike. Then there'll be layoffs because of decreased usage...or will there be?

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