Saturday, November 10, 2007

Interactive Map of Striking Unis

An interactive map of universities on strike can be found here. Thanks to Scott Guye for the pointer. Related article here.

Comparison of Sarkozy and Thatcher

Eric Le Boucher compares the reformist tactics of Margaret Thatcher with those of Nicolas Sarkozy. As Le Boucher points out, Thatcher approached the unions quite differently from Sarkozy. She turned her back on them, whereas he has tried repeatedly to persuade them that their interest lies in collaborating with him. By contrast, when it came to substantive policy, she was cautious and moved slowly at first, while he has moved quickly to implement policies bound to lead to head-on confrontation.

Of course the two political cultures are very different, as is the economic conjuncture. And in a sense, Sarkozy is continuing the Gaullist tradition of conciliation of workers, whereas Thatcher consciously rejected the conciliatory aspects of Toryism.

A Worker Speaks

Rue89 has an interesting piece by a railway worker and CFDT member who tried to find out where various of his colleagues stood on the reform of the special regimes, as well as where their unions stood. By his account, most workers are willing to accept the increase from 37.5 to 40 years on condition that work time in the private sector is counted and the rules governing benefit reductions for those falling short of 40 years are changed.

As for the unions, SUD and FO want to keep the present system, period; the CGT is just "against" the reforms but hasn't distributed any outline of a counter-position to its members; UNSA is supposed to distribute a tract on Monday; he didn't meet anyone from CFTC and doesn't know the position of CFE-CGC; and FGAAC, the union of engineers and conductors, is out for its own membership only and has already reached a separate pact with the SNCF. Most workers, he says, are distressed that the situation has deteriorated to this point. He believes that the government could turn things around quickly with a decent offer and a willingness to negotiate in good faith.


The site Ségolène2012 has a rundown of the situation for the upcoming municipal elections, including a list of cities that could swing from right to left and vice-versa.

Here is a directory of Web sites pertaining to the municipals.

Details on the modalities of the vote.

Wikipedia article on the 2008 municipals.

Wikipedia article on the 2001 municipals.

Socialists who approve of Sarkozy

A new IFOP poll investigating people who voted Socialist shows that he has the approval of 32 percent (doing slightly better with women than with men). Disapproval is strongest among managers, professionals, and under-24-year-olds, while approval runs higher among clerical and industrial workers and retirees.