Much of France’s public sector went on strike this week in an annual show of dissatisfaction with pay and hours. Air-traffic controllers stayed home, causing hundreds of flight cancellations across Europe. Public television and radio went off the air for a day. And tens of thousands of postal workers, subway and bus conductors, and others marched through the streets of Paris. In addition to the usual demands for more money, this year public-sector employees are also angry about a new government plan to privatize some services. They fear that their salaries and benefits will drop if their agencies are forced to compete in a free market. In an unrelated strike this week, truckers demanded a Christmas bonus of a full month’s pay.
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