A reader, Flávio Américo dos Reis, sent me the following:
Friday morning I heard Eleanor Beardsley reporting on the end of the transportation workers' strikes in "It's a nice life in France. People have more vacation, more time, you eat well (and) my husband has a really big job here that he wouldn't have in the US.", and I was disturbed by what I heard - this from a woman who admits she's not moving back to the US because, as she says,
But after I read (in the same article above) that after graduation from in , she did a stint in the offices of Senator Strom Thurmond and US Congressman Floyd Spence, and did consultancy work for World Business, Inc. "helping European firms use World Bank financing for trade and investment activities and writing industry sector reports," I began to understand where she was coming from.
So it shouldn't have been a surprise to me when she reported (I think it was during one of those four minute, top of the hour segments) that "the majority of the French people are fed up with the strikers." Oh, really, Ellie? Who did you talk to, your rich buddies on the right bank of the Seine? Because that's not what I'm hearing in the French press, when the teachers also promised to strike in December, and the students continue to strike against Sarkozy's reforms, and the nurses are also promising to go on strike. That's not what I'm hearing or reading. In fact, the majority of the French people believe in something called "worker solidarity" and are quite accepting of "the right to strike" and "collectively bargain," and will not speak ill of their countrymen for exercising that right. Many polls didn't ask the same questions, either: one poll, CSA-Humanité (French communist party) prior to the strikes said there was 54% of the French in favor of the strike, while the right-wing, Ifop-Figaro (Le Figaro is like the Washington Times in France) said 55% were against.
So, it's hard to say "the majority of the French people" opposed the French strikes. I'd be curious to know the methodology used in some of these polls. But the lie "the majority of the French are fed up with the strikers" is good for American consumption. That'll keep the people here in their place.