The right to strike in france

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December 2nd, 2010
Economic law


Strikes are often a current event, and more precisely in France. Why in France? First because it’s one of the country where people are protesting the most, where there are many strikes, almost every times. We can see general strikes almost every year. Butwhy did I choose this subject? It’s not only because France is known to have often strikes; it’s also because of the general strike of this year against, principally, the pension reform that marked September, October and November 2010.
Also, the right to strike is important in the French culture. However, it’s often reconsidering by people, by organization or political parties. In one hand itunderstandable that people have demand but in the other hand, people aren’t always agree with how strikers are acting to explain their demands or dissatisfactions. That’s why this right, have to exist but also have to be limited; in order that people can live in community.

That’s why I will explain you first the strike in general meaning, after we will see their influence in the Frenchculture; then we will see the right to strike but also their limits in France. To finished we will talk about the current event in France about the reform pension.

I/ Strike
a/ Definition
Strike action, often simply called a strike, is a work stoppage caused by several refusals of employees to work. Called “grêves” in French, it means stop working in the legally aspect, but the generalmeaning affect every action linked with the strike: It can be demonstrations, barricade, to block factory entrance, to block strategic point (main roads: truck drivers, harbor: angry fishers, fuel manufacture: angry fuel engineers, school: student…). Everything more or less legal who will disturb the economy of a company or, of the country if it’s a general strike. One of the targets is to make peopleaware of the dissatisfied of the strikers.
Most of the time, strikes are used to put pressure on employers about different dissatisfied: work condition, salaries, solidarity from employees who are victims for managerial abuse, company management, closing enterprise, ect… Everything in relation with the work that create a social conflict between employers and employees.
Strikes are sometimes usedto put pressure on governments to change policies. When most of work sector and age bracket, takes parts on the strike against the government it’s named general strike. It’s a global dissatisfied to change government policies. Ex: 2010 strikes against the pension reform and generals government policies, 2006 strikes against the CPE (new employees work contract), 2005 strikes (to defend thepurchasing power and employment) 1995 strikes against (pension reform and “securité sociale” reform: increased costs to health) 1968 (social, cultural and politic revolt started by student and joined by workers against the traditional society).
A strike is declared started by law after one hour stop working by several employees. This employees need to have common recommendation. A “préavis de grêve”(strike notice) has to be presented at least 5 days before (in public sector) and just before (in private sector) the beginning of the strike. A demonstration need to be declared previously to the “prefecture” because of the security organization (Accompanying police forces, road diversion for drivers, preparation…).

b/different types of strikes
* General Strike: strike involving all ormajority of workers from one country around the same claims
* Strike in solidarity (grèves solidaires): collective cessation to work of some employees to support, in solidarity, the claims of another class of workers on strike.
* Rotating strike (“grève tournante”): strike coordinated between all or a part of employees who take turns to strike so that the actual work is never complete without...
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