It’s not a strike. Really it’s not. Because a strike would be illegal. So, workers on the TER regional train network that transport passengers from Nice to Monaco and beyond have hit on a new and legal way to torture their fellow citizens.
Since a strike can only begin on the 60th minute of a non-working hour, train conductors and their SNCF supporters stop work for only 59 minutes. This is enough to disrupt the entire train network in southeast France which is fine by them.
The trouble started when the SNCF proposed to change their train schedules to make them easier for passengers to remember. Even though it would not have increased the length of the workday for train conductors, it would have increased its “density” somehow. And so, the SNCF workers launched their non-strike in early December and have continued to press their demands in spite of the increasing anger of passengers who depend on the trains to do stupid stuff like get back and forth to work in the morning.
The unionized workers won an important court victory yesterday in Marseilles which would seem to insure that this punishing and petulant protest will continue.
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