I just got back from a lovely trip down to Marseille, punctuated with stress because of a planned train strike. Expensive TGV tickets with mandatory reservations? Too bad, the train may not be running for social reasons. Just show up and hope for the best. Fortunately I got lucky.
There are constant strikes in every non-entrepreneurial industry in France. I'm sympathetic to workers' rights, but there's something galling about the persistance of strikes in a country with 35 hour work weeks, relaxed service expectations, significant social programs, and a huge unemployment problem. And for visitors it's particularly frustrating to randomly find the Louvre is closed because there are no ticket takers or the Pompidou is closed for some mysterious reason. Are museum workers really so oppressed?
Apparently there were 482 strike notices for the French trains in a year. Don't miss this blog's sidebar for a list of other upcoming strikes. I hope you're not having a baby after November 20!