Labor Protest at the Tour

An unexpected development on the road during today’s Tour stage: A group of several dozen union protesters blocked the road. The Versus telecast was a little vague about what it was all about, but the televised scene involved the drama of the Tour director, Christian Prudhomme, negotiating with the demonstrators in the middle of the road as a four-man breakaway approached the scene. Versus commentator Paul Sherwen tried to translate some of the comments, but the only real hint at the subject of the group’s complaint came from a banner that bore the name “Sarko,” short for Nicolas Sarkozy, the president of France. Another hint came from the appearance of several flags bearing the initials CGT.

CGT stands for the Confédération Générale du Travail or General Confederation of Labor (France’s AFL-CIO, I guess). What the union is upset about: Sarkozy’s recent suggestion that French unions are becoming impotent in affecting government policy. See Agence France Presse: French unions furious over Sarkozy strike comments.

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