Friday, April 25, 2008

French immigrant workers on strike

If you've been paying attention, you will know that Sarkozy is in a bit of trouble these days, and his big presidential address doesn't seem to have cut any ice. Adored by everyone from George W Bush to Gordon Brown for promising a neo-Thatcherite upheaval, he has repeatedly had to compromise with the unions to avoid catastrophe, as Ian Taylor spells out here. He has constantly relied on dividing the poorest workers from the slightly less poor, as in this obvious gambit, yet he doesn't seem to have had much success. He is at a record low in the polls and rules a divided cabinet. And now some of the immigrants whom he has repeatedly and viciously baited and attacked are in revolt. They work horrendous hours, they pay their taxes, they get businesses running, they do the most difficult and unappealling jobs - and they're still "illegal", so they're on strike. Watch this Al Jazeera video: