Transit Strike Infuriates French

Sarkozy gamble may pay off as waits out unpopular strike
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2007 9:23 AM CST
A man rides a scooter downtown Paris, on the second day of a strike by transport workers, Thursday Nov. 15, 2007. Striking transport workers slowed France to a crawl as unions and the government dug in...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Anti-union sentiment rose as France's deeply unpopular transit strike entered its second day today, with most service on the national railways and the Paris metro  suspended. Evidence  is mounting, Reuters reports, that Nicolas Sarkozy will win this round, with union leaders already hinting at compromise, though they have not yet responded to the president's offer to negotiate.

Sarkozy has successfully taken the high ground on this dispute, portraying the end of special early pension privileges—57 1/2 instead of 60—for some workers as an act of social justice, bringing them in line with the rest of the population. "The unions are doing Sarkozy a fantastic favor," an economic historian told Reuters.