French Vocabulary: La Greve

Whilst we groan about it taking us all hours to get to work or whether it feels like we’ve been grounded with no metros to journey around town with. It’s worth mentioning that the transport strike will now go down in history. The strike is now the longest in decades, the longest rail workers’ strike since May 68! Considering that the French are mostly known around the world for demonstrating their worker’s rights and taking every opportunity to stop working this is some impressive feat.

With talks ongoing between the president, Mr Macron, and the unions representing the workers, this could become the longest period of industrial action in France ever. The events of May 68 live long in the memory. The period of civil unrest lasted some seven weeks and spurred on movements around the world with songs and posters. At least we’ll have some new music to entertain us on our complicated metro journeys… The period has been noted as being a social revolution and has continued to influence French society as well as being a cultural, social and moral turning point in French history. But the post-Christmas blues and the cold weather don’t seem to be getting people into that sort of spirit.

As the president has refused to back down on his plan and with more protest-filled days on the horizon, it looks as though we may be groaning about our day-to-day struggles for a little longer. France is certainly going through one of the most important periods in its history, which could surpass the famous May 68 in the coming weeks and certainly something you’ll be telling your kids about…