|Quoting Chiguire (Reply 9):|
No, the French abolished the free day on Monday 16th in order to finance their social security network
Exactly, today Whitsun is being celebrated and it's a bank holiday in a number of countries. It's a Christian celebration but I have to admit that I don't know what is actually being celebrated (shame on me).
Anyway, Summer in large parts of Europe 2 years ago was a very dry and hot one and because of that, in France a lot of elderly people died. To finance aid to improve the situation of elderly people, the French Government introduced a so-called "Solidarity Day". French people will have to work for free on that day and Whitsun was chosen to become this Solidarity Day.
A lot of people in France are argueably afraid that solidarity is being (ab)used as an excuse to just take a Bank Holiday away from the working people, so many of them went on strike (not just ATC controllers).
In this case, the strikes have my sympathy because who knows where the money "raised" on Solidarity Day will actually be going to? Will all the money really be spent on elderly people and their well-being or will it just end up in the pockets of corporate managers?