If You Go Down to the Pistes Today…

You are sure for a big surprise.  The French CGT (Confédération Générale du Travail) Union has called a 1 hour strike this morning for lift and piste workers to protest about their working conditions.

The CGT claims that working conditions and salaries are getting worse just as ski resorts are making record profits.  The strike has largely affected alpine resorts in the Savoie region, leaving tourists their baffled.  The union did distribute leaflets on the road to les Deux Alpes and l’Alpe d’Huez on Saturday afternoon.

The union claims that the working week is closer to 60 hours, rather than the 35 hours introduced by the previous Socialist government with workers sometimes putting in 75 hours during holidays.  Days off are rare and wages are inversely proportional to altitude.  The organisation representing lift companies, the SNTF, has deplored the action claiming that salaries have risen faster than turnover over the last 4 years.

Some workers question the wisdom of the action.  With most employees on short term contracts there is obviously a worry that being associated with industrial action will affect the chances of getting a job next season.  Other workers see the lack of accomodation as the real problem.  A recent article in Montagnes magazine highlighted the cramped conditions and the long commutes experienced by season workers.  In Chamonix, frustration with the lack of suitable accomodation, particularly for workers with families, has boiled over into protests at outsiders buying properties which they then leave empty for much of the year.  In a recent speech the French Prime Minister has recently raised the prospect of giving Préfets the power to requistion properties.

Posted by davidof on Sunday, 08 February, 2004 at 12:00 PM

A strike in France? No surprise there.

Posted by Playdreamer on  Monday, 09 February, 2004  at 05:08 PM
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