• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
So when are the French most likely to strike?
Striking employees of the My Ferry Link company block the access to the Calais harbour in July, 2015. Photo: AFP

So when are the French most likely to strike?

Oliver Gee · 11 Jan 2016, 16:15

Published: 11 Jan 2016 16:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 11 Jan 2016 16:15 GMT+01:00

Love it or hate it - the French are big fans of a good old strike. 
 
Indeed, there were a total of 966 across France in 2015 (that's 2.6 a day!), according to the site cestlagreve.fr, which records the nation's industrial action in real time. 
 
These consisted of mostly regional affairs, although there were 93 national strikes and three general strikes. 
 
While it may sound like a lot, the figures were actually down on recent years, most likely due to a change in mentality spurred by fear of job losses and the unions' loss of influence, reported Le Figaro newspaper
 
The study also found that the most common time for a strike was in June and September, months that are the bookends to the summer holidays.
 
 
The least popular time was in July and August, when a large proportion of the French take an extended break and head on holiday. 
 
Strikes are most common in the big cities, with Paris proving the most popular, followed by the Bouches-du-Rhône departement (which includes Marseille) and Rhône (which includes Lyon).
 
Strikes most commonly occurred in the public sector, followed by the private, transport, and education sectors.
 
The services most affected by the strikes, according to the site, were health, industry, postal, transport, and the national railway system SNCF.
 
The website tracks strikes that are ongoing across France, as well as any that are scheduled to crop up in the future.
 
A spokesperson from the site said that it has no union or political ties, but that the team merely wants to help the rest of the country to stay ahead of the game. 
 
"Like many fellow citizens, I hate to find out about a strike too late and always want to avoid any nasty surprises," said Bertrand Lambert.
 
On Monday, the site reported that there are at least 15 ongoing strikes in France, including everything from firefighters in northern France's Caen to a pilot's union strike at Air France. 
Story continues below…
 
The calendar below gives a taste of the strike climate in France this week. In the interest of saving space, it has been cropped short - the full calendar for this week continues far longer. See it here
 
 
There were plenty of high profile strikes in 2015, including everything from ferry workers who blockaded the port of Calais in the summer, to strikes by doctors, hospital workers, farmers, teachers, taxi drivers, and rubbish collectors.
 
Perhaps the most well remembered of all was Air France workers whose protest ended with two company execs fleeing half naked.

But things could be changing. The most recent statistics from the Ministry of Labour show there is less industrial action that at any time since the beginning the financial crisis in 2008.

Despite pay freezes and job losses linked to the crisis, only 1.2 percent of private companies (with over ten employees) were hit by strikes or walk-outs in the year 2013 – the most recent year for which figures are available.

Today's headlines
‘Don’t worry, France is far from running out of fuel’
Image: Essence smartphone app

French petroleum industry chiefs try to calm fear but trade unions have called for protests and strikes to be stepped up.

Mass brawl at Calais migrant camp leaves 20 injured
Photo: AFP

A huge brawl in the Calais migrant camp leaves 20 people injured, including volunteers.

French fuel crisis latest: 5,100 petrol stations run dry
Photo: AFP

UPDATED: Some 40 percent of petrol stations have run dry in France.

Masked youths clash with police in Paris protest
Police and protesters also clashed in Paris last week. Photo: AFP

Labour protests in Paris have turned violent, again.

A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
All photos: AFP

A rundown of all the strikes in France today and in the coming days and weeks. Good luck.

Police raid McDonald's French HQ in tax probe
Photo: _Skynet/Flickr

French police have said that they raided the French headquarters of McDonald's in a tax probe.

Euro 2016
'You're not welcome': French police warn English yobs
England football fans burn a Tunisian flag in Marseille in 1998 during riots that marred the World Cup. Photo: AFP

French police tell English fans who might be heading to France to cause trouble: Don't bother.

Paris property prices gone mad? €50,000 for 3m² 'loft'
Ile Saint Louis. Photo: AFP

A sign of how mad property prices in Paris have become?

Readers' Views
French fuel strikes:  A tedious 'tantrum' or a 'sacred' duty?
Photo: AFP

The nationwide strikes and the fuel crisis have left France divided. Here's what you have had to say.

The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
Photo: AFP

Everything you need to know about the French fuel crisis.

National
The French fuel crisis for dummies: 27 key questions
Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
National
A complete guide to France's (many) ongoing strikes
Culture
Paris: Street artist makes the Louvre pyramid disappear
Interactive map: Where to find petrol in France
Who is the French union in a 'fight to the death' with the government?
Society
Opinion: Why the French are absolutely right to go on strike
National
Here's why both sides despise France's labour reforms
National
Who is really to blame for the fuel crisis in France?
How to avoid running out of fuel if you're coming to France
National
Here are the parts of France hardest hit by the fuel shortages
Travel
It will soon be time to say 'au revoir' to the Paris Metro ticket
Culture
Revealed: The ultimate sex map of France
National
Migrants at Calais camp given dignity in death
International
How good is security at Charles de Gaulle airport?
Culture
How to make a traditional French cassoulet
Culture
IN PICS: Commuter trains in Paris get royal makeover
International
Terror attack 'likeliest cause' of missing EgyptAir plane
International
Who was on board the missing EgyptAir flight from Paris?
Lifestyle
New map reveals Paris flat prices by Metro station
Culture
Paris: Here's how to find French cinema in English
Culture
How to say 'OUCH' in French (and ten other sounds)
National
Get ready: France to be hit by week of transport strikes
Culture
France readies for first national 'motorway party'
2,735
jobs available