Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The Strike Mentality

As I mentioned in my previous entry, yesterday the petrol people started striking (again!) for the prices to be lowered. Petrol here is decidedly expensive - about €1.51 which is about £1.35. Ok, so it is an island and it does have to be imported , but Bertie pointed out that the price has barely gone done since we arrived (whereas the price of a barrel has dropped significantly) and not only has the price in France gone down, but also in Guyane, Martinique...Even the President de la Region is irked about this state of affairs, and is campaigning to have it lowered.

So in true French style, the petrol people have taken things into their own hands and not only stopped work yesterday, but decided to stop everyone else from doing so too, by blocking all the major roads (there aren't that many!) and stopping people from going to Pointe a Pitre or to the industrial centre of the island at Jarry. So Bertie can't get to his pupils or them to him! (Roll on his bike being repaired, then he will whizz around on it, strikers or not!)

I have to say that I am not particularly in favour of strike action, and especially not in blocking roads and preventing people going about their business. Perhaps it is my Britishness, that I don't have this same accepting attitude of strike action so prevalent here! A friend was saying that people are selfish, so it takes a huge amount of inconvenience to make them wake up and realise when a situation needs changing. I personally think the strikers and blockaders are rather selfish... Hopefully it will all be resolved shortly (in Guyane the same situation went on for 11 days) and we can get back to normality.

However, there are always silver linings to every cloud, and we are delighted to have LissaLou at home today (all the schools are shut) as well as Bertie. Although it has to be said his company is being somewhat monopolised by Papy, who is somewhat bereft of the conversation that was previously forthcoming from his wife and sister!

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