Strikes in France

France is famous for its strikes and, if you watch the international news, you will most certainly have noticed that the tendency to strike is not just a myth. Especially these days, a lot is said about striking in the French media, and to help you understand what you read and hear, I thought a list of the most used French words in the field of striking could come in handy. So here you are!

blocus : blockade
droit de grève : right to strike
fonction publique : civil service
gréviste : striker
manifestation : demonstration
mécontentement : dissatisfaction
mobilisation : mobilization
perturbations : disturbance
pétition : petition
préavis de grève : notice of strike action
réforme : reform
revendication : demand
salaire : salary
syndicat : trade union
transports en commun : public transport

And here are a few more interesting facts about France and strikes:
• The right to strike was established in France in 1864, and then it progressively evolved into what it is now.
• Strikes and demonstrations are used by French trade unions to negotiate better working conditions – better pensions, a better health insurance, higher salaries or a better education system, for instance.
• Strikers are not paid while they are striking.
• An employee does not need to be part of a trade union to go on strike.
• Some French employers have implemented an attendance bonus to discourage striking.
• A strike has no legal duration in France – it can last one day, 1 week or 1 year…


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