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Union Negotiations in France…National Lampoon Style

Scott on April 23, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Remember the slap-stick absurdity of watching the National Lampoon vacation movies (Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation)?  There was just enough absurdity (some say stupidity) to give you a few really good laughs, and just enough “realism” to make you empathize with Clark Griswold and his family in their various predicaments.

In Christmas Vacation, Clark Griswold wants his family to have the best Christmas ever.  The financially over-extended Clark is depending on a substantial holiday bonus from his work to make this amazing Christmas happen, but instead his boss has decided to go cheap and give his employees memberships to The Jelly of the Month Club.  Clark’s wife’s cousin Eddy recognizes the distress that Clark is in and decides to give him the best present he can think of.  He kidnaps Clark’s boss and takes him back to the Griswold  house, hoping to intimidate him into giving Clark the bonus that he rightfully deserves.  In the end, Clark gets the bonus and everyone is happy.

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Well, it sounds as if the unions in France have been watching the National Lampoon movies as well and have taken a page out of the Christmas Vacation playbook.  In an odd case of life-imitating-art, French union workers have decided that Cousin Eddy had it right.  If you don’t like your boss’ decisions, grab him in the middle of the night, take him to an undisclosed location, and make him sweat.  And if you don’t get what you want…at least you’ve gotten their attention.  “Bossnappings” have been occurring in France for more than a decade, but incidents have been on the rise in recent months with several big corporations including Caterpillar, Sony, 3M and Hewlett-Packard having to deal with executives being “detained” for various periods of time so that the workers and the unions can make their point.

Maybe next the French unions can borrow another idea from the movie and cover the city of Paris with Christmas tree lights.  Now THAT would be a statement worth noticing!

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(Though now that I think about it, they will probably need more than “250 strands of lights – 100 individual bulbs per strand – for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights!”

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Category: Absurd & Outrageous, Foreign Affairs |

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