I remember traveling through Italy a few years ago where, at various times during our trip, every method of public transportation was on strike. In Venice, even the taxi boats were on strike, stranding us at our hostel on one of the nearby islands. We couldn’t even hail so much as a gondola to take us back to the mainland. But, since it didn’t make a difference to us whether we stayed an extra day here or there, we took it all in stride and busied ourselves eating more grapes and chocolate until a Fabio look alike rescued us with his private yacht.
And now, again, the French are taking their turn striking. Not sure why this is even front page news, really. Isn’t there always a strike going on in France? I guess this time, instead of just the transit workers, or just the garbage collectors, turns out everyone in France is on strike to protest a new law allowing employers to avoid providing benefits to their employees. The school teachers, the Opera singers, the postal workers, everyone is on strike! A snow day, but without the snow! Yeay!
Um, so why don’t Americans strike? Why don’t American employees stand up for themselves and demand better health care insurance, more vacation time, flexible work schedules, maternity leave, etc.? And as members of the Church, isn’t it our responsibility to support work environments that allow us more time with our families and time to serve others in our communities? Americans work longer hours with fewer benefits than pretty much anyone else in the world. And, we’re proud of it!
I think I need a vacation. Vive la France!