Here we go again! After the Sept. 7 and 15 strikes earlier this month, France’s biggest unions are calling for a second “day of mobilization” this Thursday. Call it the only way for the people to defend their rights or a big pain in the fesses for the rest of us who still have to work, strikes punctuate French life, especially at back-to-school times and when the spring weather brightens the skies.
In Grenoble, this means that instead of trams every couple of minutes, you’ll be waiting at the stops for up to 10 minutes. You may have to get a running start to cram into the trams that do actually pull through. Same goes for buses, where some lines (like the 9, 21, 30, 31, and 41) will come around every 20 minutes or so. Oh, and most stop running at 7 p.m. so if you need to get back to somewhere, do it early. Get all the dirty details of which buses are running when on the Semitag Web site.
So, what’s all the fuss about this time? Same as on Sept. 7 and 15. Because the guys in power are hardline determined to push retirement age to…you ready? 62 years of age. Currently, French workers can trade their suits for bermudas and moomoos (not that French women wear moomoos) at the age of 60. A retirement age two years later just doesn’t sit well, and then again, why would you want to do the 9-to-5 thing longer than you have to?
My advice–rent a bike if you need to go anywhere on Thursday. Do a little good for your health so you can enjoy your retirement, whenever it will be.