The French General Strikes in 2009 came during the first quarter of the country’s recession and was the first general strike in an industrialized nation since the global financial crisis in 2007 and 2008. Economic forecasts predicted that the economy would contract by 2 percent in 2009 and that unemployment would reach 10 percent by 2010. In response to these poor economic predictions, French President Nicolas Sarkozy announced a $34 billion stimulus plan in December, which included capital infusions to banks of more than $11 billion.
French students and workers force government to abandon new sub-minimum wage policy for young workers, 1994
1993, the Conservative French government, under Prime Minister Édouard
Balladur, enacted the contrat d’insertion professionelle (professional
insertion contract, CIP), a new wage policy intended to address the extremely
high level of unemployment among French youth. At the time, one out of four
French youth between the ages of 18 and 26 were out of work. The French
government published decrees in late February 1994 that announced CIP and its
main provision: the establishment of new entry-level wages for young people
January of 2006 in France was tense time. Economic growth in 2005 had been unexpectedly poor and national unemployment was at nearly 10%, totaling more than 2.5 million people. Youth unemployment was particularly problematic, with the under-26 population suffering a joblessness rate of 22-23% nationwide and 40% or 50% in France’s poorest communities. In fact, youth angst and dissatisfaction, significantly influenced by the high unemployment rate, was so high by the end of 2005 that urban riots forced France to declare a two month state of emergency.
The May revolt started as a student protest over the closing of the University of Paris’ Nanterre campus. The campus closed after months of escalation of student protests. These protests initially stemmed from a fight for sexual liberation (or the right to have visitors of the opposite sex in dorms) that later radicalized to become a fight for more student influence in the education system, and finally for a complete change of economic and social structure.