Paris, 18 October

Alexander Zevin

During the strike in Paris on 18 October people holding papers hand papers to other people holding papers. An inflationary papering. The striking workers – mostly rail workers, but also miners, state utility workers, opera singers, librarians and actors from the Comédie Française – have pensions that allow them to retire earlier than other public sector workers – well before the age of 60. The rights they enjoy are known as régimes spéciaux and the government has proposed doing away with them. The strike action set for 18 October demanded the withdrawal of this reform. In return for the unions’ support last spring in the protests against the proposed first employment contract law (CPE), which would have made it easier to hire and fire young workers, students came out in large numbers to support the unions and the régimes spéciaux.

The full text of this essay is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.

You are not logged in