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13.8.03

More Artistic Strikes Planned in France

The head of the union representing the intermittents du spectacle (part-time workers in performing arts) officially says he regrets the cancellation of the Avignon festival caused by his group's strikes. However, the union has made calls for another set of general strikes centered around the street theater festival (18e Festival International de Théâtre de Rue) in the little town of Aurillac (August 20 to 23), which will probably cause it to be canceled or significantly disrupted as well. The festival itself appears to embrace the union taking it over as a platform for its concerns. The union will hold a meeting in Aurillac over the Assumption holiday to decide what to do. On the one hand, I know that people who work in the arts should fight as hard as anyone else to earn a decent wage and be assured a living. However, I question the strategy of life-disrupting strikes so popular in France. How does costing the people of Avignon, Aix-en-Provence, La Rochelle, or Aurillac a lot of money really help the cause of the intermittents? By increasing the possibility that those festivals will not be able to hire part-time workers in performing arts next summer because they lost too much money?

In perhaps not unrelated news, Blogorrhée posted bitterly yesterday on the rate of business bankruptcies in France, which has hit an all-time high at 8%. Wow.

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