Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Contagion of Radical Labor Tactics

Those fellows at New Fabris definitely struck a nerve with their mediagenic bonbonnes de gaz and their threat to blow up the plant. Now there's talk of taking the same tack at yet another company, SKF in Fontenay-le-Comte (Vendée). This despite the fact that the workers at New Fabris came away disappointed from their meeting with Christian Estrosi.

The government's ploy seems to be to sit quietly and hope the movement goes pschitt. But radicalization (of a sort) seems to be spreading about as fast as the swine flu. To be sure, nothing has actually blown up yet (although there has been some machine-breaking). But if and when it does, the government will undoubtedly come down hard, and then--on verra.

As Raymond Aron said in 1978, "Ce peuple, apparemment tranquille, est encore dangereux." [quoted in this article by Perry Anderson]

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