More than half of France's 300,000 power workers went on strike yesterday demanding withdrawal of plans to privatize French power companies. Many towns suffered blackouts and protestors pelted the Paris company headquarters with light bulbs. The government insists that there are no plans to sell-off the government owned plants, just to restructure them. Unions rejected these assurances and called for the day of snap strikes and demonstrations. They believe that the change in the companies' legal status was intended as a first step towards floating the power utilities on the stock market.
See John Lichfield, The Independent (UK), April 8, 2004