Monday, June 05, 2006

French workers: Screw the elderly and disabled and we want every other Tuesday off too
Workers ignore bank holiday ban

Paris, Jun. 5 (UPI) — Most bank workers in France planned to take Monday off in yet another blow to President Jacques Chirac's waning authority.

Chirac, whose approval rating already has fallen to 17 percent, had wanted to make Whit Monday a normal working day, reports The Times of London. But even some state employees planned to be absent.

Liberation newspaper columnist Jean-Michel Thénard said France is slipping into a "surrealist world" governed by Chirac's "absurd poetry."

The issue stems from a decision to impose a 0.3 percent corporate tax to fund a nearly $3 billion plan to help the elderly and the disabled by working an extra seven-hour day. The tax was introduced after the 2003 heat wave in which thousands died. [Ed. – Nearly 15,000 people died, many because 20% of French health workers were on vacation and couldn’t be bothered to return to work during the emergency]

But the plan turned sour last year after nationwide strikes and protests, with many workers saying they favor the solidarity but not at the expense of losing one of their 11 annual bank holidays, The Times reported.

Perhaps some of the unemployed French ‘youths’ will volunteer their time to assist the elderly and disabled.


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