David Cerny's wonderful EU sculpture is proving to be completely accurate - at least in regards to his depiction of France:
As the BBC (and those parts of the French media which are not themselves on strike) report:
Rail and air services have been disrupted as French public and private sector workers hold a one-day strike.
Many trains were cancelled, and a third of flights out of one Paris airport.
Hundreds of thousands of workers are expected at rallies later in the day to demand more government action to protect jobs and wages.
One interesting part of the BBC description is the phrase "public and private sector workers". There may well be some genuine private sector workers on strike (bankers perhaps) but the overwhelming majority of the strokers are
transport workers (SNCF, Air France)
post office workers
France Telecom workers
Air France, EDF, GDF and France Telecom may, in theory, be privatised. In practice though they are still embued with the spirit of public sector slacking. Hospitals are similar. They may not be officially government employees but government funds pay almost all their salaries. This, in other words, despite the description, is in fact a bunch of government workers afraid that they are going to either have work a bit harder or lose their jobs because the government can't afford to keep them in the feather bedded state they have become accustomed to.
The second point, and it's why I titled this piece as I did, is that their complaint is that the government should do more. This shows as much as anything else the infantilization of large chunks of the West - particularly the socialist leaning bits. Rather than come up with a plan of their own they want Daddy government to fix it for them. And if he doesn't fix it the way they want then they throw a tantrum in about the same way that a 2 year old does. Governments can certainly do some things but they have a fairly poor record when it comes to doing the right thing.
If it weren't for the fact that these children were inconveniencing the rest of us I'd be willing to let them be, but they are making it harder for the grown ups to actually do revenue earning stuff. Since it is this revenue earning that pays the taxes that pays their salaries it seems particularly stupid of them. Unfortunately explaining this to them doesn't work because they don't get it.