Home Open Account Help 145 users online

European Railroad Discussion > French Transportation Strikes


Date: 12/05/19 03:39
French Transportation Strikes
Author: andersonb109

Hope no one is planning on riding a French TGV today. 90% of the trains have been canceled by what the Europeans call "Industrial action" aka a strike. Air France has also canceled 30% of all domestic flights. Apparently the workers  beef is s reduction of government pensions. Good grief, in all my working life I never received a pension from anyone. It was my personal responsibility to save enough for retirement. To help facilitate, the three advertising agency's I worked for established and managed retirement savings accounts and in the case of two of them, matched savings I put aside. No need for government at all. This is what Socialism breeds. Chaos and disruption. 



Date: 12/05/19 07:45
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: prrmpup

BBC reports on a "train driver" complaining he cannot retire at 50.



Date: 12/05/19 09:34
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: BobB

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hope no one is planning on riding a French TGV
> today. 90% of the trains have been canceled by
> what the Europeans call "Industrial action" aka a
> strike. Air France has also canceled 30% of all
> domestic flights. Apparently the workers  beef is
> s reduction of government pensions. Good grief, in
> all my working life I never received a pension
> from anyone. It was my personal responsibility to
> save enough for retirement. To help facilitate,
> the three advertising agency's I worked for
> established and managed retirement savings
> accounts and in the case of two of them, matched
> savings I put aside. No need for government at
> all. This is what Socialism breeds. Chaos and
> disruption. 

You seem to forget that corporate pensions were common throughout the economy until the 1980s, when the substantially inferior 401k gradually replaced them.  The pooling of resources that industry-wide or company-wide pensions made possible meant that no one would outlive his/her money.  Pensions covered both unionized and non-unionized workers; the few that survive tend to be in unionized situations.  European governmental pensions, which are involved in the French actions, are more like our social security, only much more generous so that private pensions are less necessary.  In that way they are more similar to what the Railroad Retirement Board provides.



Date: 12/05/19 11:19
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: PHall

andersonb109, I draw a pension from AT&T. Does that make AT&T an socialist company? 

And this is a "General Strike" in France, not just the railways.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/19 11:20 by PHall.



Date: 12/05/19 12:13
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: ATSF3751

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hope no one is planning on riding a French TGV
> today. 90% of the trains have been canceled by
> what the Europeans call "Industrial action" aka a
> strike. Air France has also canceled 30% of all
> domestic flights. Apparently the workers  beef is
> s reduction of government pensions. Good grief, in
> all my working life I never received a pension
> from anyone. It was my personal responsibility to
> save enough for retirement. To help facilitate,
> the three advertising agency's I worked for
> established and managed retirement savings
> accounts and in the case of two of them, matched
> savings I put aside. No need for government at
> all. This is what Socialism breeds. Chaos and
> disruption. 

Good for you. I'm sure we're all very happy to hear about your personal responsibilities. Of course, most folks in the real world are currently having a difficult enough time just  paying for rent and other basic necessities despite all the MAGA claims. Wage increases are not keeping up with increases in housing and medical care. In addition, many near and current retiirees here lost considerable $$ in two market crashes and the housing crisis....all fuled by the what can only be described as near total unrestricted capatialism advocated mostly by political Rep conservatives, with some aid and comfort by moderate Dems. 
Please spare us all your dismissive and condecending comments. Most American don't/didn't have access to such generous retirement plans you enjoyed, or are unable to participate due to economic stresses as mentioned previously. 
As for socialism......at least most of the modern "socialist" Euro countires don't have folks declaring medical bankruptcy. It happens here even when they have insurance. The former also enjoy longer, more productive lives compared to the USA. I'm guessing you probably had premium health care paid mostly by your employer as well. 
 
Your posts about travels in Euorpe are very interesting and I enjoy reading them. We share a common appreciation for the Continent.
Your political comments not so much. 

 



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/05/19 12:15 by ATSF3751.



Date: 12/05/19 12:27
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: JohnM

Every travel site warns about transportation strikes in Europe and to be prepared.   Somehow I've managed to be lucky that I've never been caught up in one.   I know my day is coming though!



Date: 12/05/19 15:54
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: goneon66

people that have worked hard and earned pensions that allow them to spend their disposable incomes on items that benefit the economy are good for a country.

people should be concerned when the amount of people receiving pensions starts to decrease.  it means there are less good paying jobs (i.e., automation, decreasing middle class, etc.) and less disposable incomes.

i wonder if people that envy those that have worked hard for their pensions realize that. ..................

66



Date: 12/05/19 16:12
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Lackawanna484

The evening news in the US had a lot of footage.  Water cannons blasting a protester backwards, protesters throwing bricks at police officers, many people hurt.

French labor conditions (early retirement, paid family leave, vacations, short work week) have been the envy of many nations for decades.



Date: 12/05/19 16:20
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: 86235

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Good grief, in all my working life I never received a pension
> from anyone. It was my personal responsibility to
> save enough for retirement. To help facilitate,
> the three advertising agency's I worked for
> established and managed retirement savings
> accounts and in the case of two of them, matched
> savings I put aside.

And that is how pensions work over here too, as an employee you pay a % of your salary into a scheme and your employer, private sector or state sector, matches it. To encourage people to save towards their retirement government offers tax relief on pension contributions, which reduces an individual's tax liability. That is also how it works in France (I used to work for France's state owned electricity supplier). What the French government wants to do is streamline the state sector pension rules, standardising them across a whole range of occupations and industries, in the process reducing benefits and delaying retirement dates. Cue strikes.

Traditional pension schemes are becoming less and less affordable to employers, including governments, as life expectancy increases. France is no different.

Here in the UK when I started work there was an expectation that at 65 I would receive the state pension, for which I paid National Insurance contribution. That has now been changed to 66, my partner who is younger than me will have to wait until he's 67. Luckily I have my employers pension into which I was enrolled at the age of 20 as a condition of employment.

French workers have always taken direct action, but put yourself in their position for a moment, how would you have reacted on learning that your retirement plans had to be put on hold for X number of years, and even when that did come what you expect to receive would be less.



Date: 12/06/19 05:18
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Lackawanna484

This thread is a good example of what happens when employees and their companies have to compete against employees and companies in other countries which have different labor systems. In the US, which has been a relatively closed economy for many years, imports have served to keep inflation and wages relatively low.



Date: 12/06/19 09:33
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: gaspeamtrak

Oh shut up ! and crawl back into your hole !!!....

andersonb109 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hope no one is planning on riding a French TGV
> today. 90% of the trains have been canceled by
> what the Europeans call "Industrial action" aka a
> strike. Air France has also canceled 30% of all
> domestic flights. Apparently the workers  beef is
> s reduction of government pensions. Good grief, in
> all my working life I never received a pension
> from anyone. It was my personal responsibility to
> save enough for retirement. To help facilitate,
> the three advertising agency's I worked for
> established and managed retirement savings
> accounts and in the case of two of them, matched
> savings I put aside. No need for government at
> all. This is what Socialism breeds. Chaos and
> disruption. 



Date: 12/06/19 19:11
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Nomad

BobB Wrote:

> You seem to forget that corporate pensions were
> common throughout the economy until the 1980s,
> when the substantially inferior 401k gradually
> replaced them.  The pooling of resources that
> industry-wide or company-wide pensions made
> possible meant that no one would outlive his/her
> money. 

401k's are "inferior" in what way?  Both are subject to loss if their investments do badly, but in a 401 the employee gets to choose what risk vs growth profile they are comfortable with.  Once retired, the money is theirs even if their former employer goes bankrupt.  Pensioner loses if former employer goes bankrupt.  Pensioner doesn't get to make their own retirement decisions.  Pensioner does get to blame someone else for their troubles when things go south, so it does have that going for it...

ATSF3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
> Good for you. I'm sure we're all very happy to
> hear about your personal responsibilities. Of
> course, most folks in the real world are currently
> having a difficult enough time just  paying for
> rent and other basic necessities despite all the
> MAGA claims.

Any numbers you can point to to back up the claim that "most folks in the real world" are having those difficulties?  Election ads don't count.


ATSF3751 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Wage increases are not keeping up
> with increases in housing and medical care. In
> addition, many near and current retiirees here
> lost considerable $$ in two market crashes and the
> housing crisis....all fuled by the what can only
> be described as near total unrestricted
> capatialism advocated mostly by political Rep
> conservatives, with some aid and comfort by
> moderate Dems.

Umm...at the time of the housing crisis the Federal Government controlled more than half of the mortgages in this country.  Why don't you spell out to me how that equals  near total unrestricted capitalism?

Near and current retirees shouldn't be invested in the stock market.  To the extent that happened, that's far more an indictment of the abject failure of public education in this country to teach basic personal financial management than it is of anything to do with capitalism.  Unless you think that economic contractions don't happen in non-capitalist economies.  If you do think that, please visit Venezuela.

gaspeamtrak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Oh shut up ! and crawl back into your hole
> !!!....

There's the mark of an open mind...
 



Date: 12/07/19 06:29
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Lackawanna484

One of the major benefits to employees of cash balance and 401k plans is the funds go with the employee.

Nobody expects to work for the same company for 40 years and get a pension.

Take the assets with you, and prepare for your own retirement.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/07/19 09:05
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: prrmpup

Interesting article today with a discussion including railway workers.
Note that a poll shows more than half of the French think the current system is unsustainable.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/06/world/europe/france-strike-pension-reform.html



Date: 12/07/19 09:47
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: BobB

A 401k is inferior to a pension for a number of reasons, but the most basic one is that a pension will never disappear; it involves pooling the money that the employer and the employees contribute and providing an income at retirement based on actuarial estimates of what that money will produce over the anticipated lifetime.  Some die sooner, some later, so, as with all insurance, some get less and some get more but no one goes without.  In addition, to expect the average person to do a better job at investing than professional fund managers is simply wrong; all the evidence is that people who manage their own investments do worse.  That is why most people simply buy mutual funds for their 401k, and they are smart to do so, assuming that they're able to get no load, lightly managed (and thus low fee) funds.  In addition, most traditional pension plans vest after a few years (most commonly five), so it is possible to change employers without losing the pension.  Both my wife and I have two separate pensions, plus one 401k, from our various employments; we live on the pensions and use distributions from the 401k for travel and other non-necessities.  We'd each be better off overall if the 401k had also been a pension.  We need to remember that the 401k was originally developed as a way to supplement a pension by additional savings, not as a substitute.



Date: 12/07/19 13:01
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Lackawanna484

The old style defined benefit pension plan is a classic Ponzi scheme.

Crazy assumptions like 8% return forever, and government pensions that nobody expects to get. NJ's plan is something like 30% funded.

The young people don't trust the system, and they are right not to do so.

Posted from Android



Date: 12/07/19 14:01
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: goneon66

Lackawanna484 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> The old style defined benefit pension plan is a
> classic Ponzi scheme.
>
> Crazy assumptions like 8% return forever, and
> government pensions that nobody expects to get.
> NJ's plan is something like 30% funded.
>
> The young people don't trust the system, and they
> are right not to do so.
>
> Posted from Android

because all over the world, these "young people" are getting screwed out of good paying jobs with decent pensions due to automation.  the less people that pay into a retirement system over the years will doom it. 

i don't like being old, but i sure am glad i entered the workforce when i did and you could find jobs with "defined benefit" pensions..........

66



Date: 12/07/19 14:20
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: Lackawanna484

goneon66 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Lackawanna484 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > The old style defined benefit pension plan is a
> > classic Ponzi scheme.
> >
> > Crazy assumptions like 8% return forever, and
> > government pensions that nobody expects to get.
> > NJ's plan is something like 30% funded.
> >
> > The young people don't trust the system, and
> they
> > are right not to do so.
> >
> > Posted from Android
>
> because all over the world, these "young people"
> are getting screwed out of good paying jobs with
> decent pensions due to automation.  the less
> people that pay into a retirement system over the
> years will doom it. 
>
> i don't like being old, but i sure am glad i
> entered the workforce when i did and you could
> find jobs with "defined benefit"
> pensions..........
>
> 66

The French situation is a variation on this problem.  The government wants to harmonize (and lower) the benefits of some government employees, and wants to allow some employers to modify their benefit plans.  There are numerous special deals in the system which might disappear.

As in the US, some people believe the system in rigged in favor of the rich and connected, which has triggered several years of protests. On many topics.



Date: 12/08/19 16:00
Re: French Transportation Strikes
Author: tq-07fan

JohnM Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Every travel site warns about transportation
> strikes in Europe and to be prepared.   Somehow
> I've managed to be lucky that I've never been
> caught up in one.   I know my day is coming
> though!

I guess I took the hits for the team. I had to modify my second trip to Britain when East Midlands Trains went on strike in 2014, luckily they were the only TOC to strike and I had a pass instead of advanced tickets like I did on my first trip there.

When I went to Germany in 2016 with now deceased TO member Paul Ramer we kept being followed by a rolling transit workers strike. Each day a different city's transit system went on strike. We got lucky as it turned out it was on the day we left or the next day in several cities. I did learn my first sentence in German on my own and was that the transit system in Brunswick was going on the Wednesday we were passing through.

Last year in April SNCF had rotating strike days while I was there. By some miracle my sleeper train operated on two of the 'normal' days and the critical TGV from Nancy to Paris was operated after some more strike days, but even on the 'normal' days many TER locals were cancelled. It did open me up to riding OUI Bus, which is actually operated by SNCF and which I really liked.

Even here in the US I got nailed by a wildcat strike of the Inland Boatmen of the Pacific in Alaska earlier this year.

I told a young French woman on my bus about being caught in the strike while in France and she angrily replied that they were always going on strike, almost like she had experienced it more than once.

Jim

Posted from Android



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.1295 seconds