Paris ( – Strikes that have rocked France for more than a month will abruptly end tomorrow as protesters announced they have all joined a protesters union and will immediately take the five-week vacation plus 20 sick days mandated in their contract.
Members of the new Union of French Protesters (PUF), authorized by the government this morning, demonstrated for five hours today and then went home, as stipulated in the PUF agreement that calls for a maximum 25-hour protest week.

Protester union members carry blank signs as placard painting was not mandated in their contract.

While on the job, however, they continued to express support for protests against pension and benefit cuts, while also refusing to protest more than required against pension and benefit cuts.
“We are striking to protect our way of life!” PUF deputy chairman Henri Camarole shouted to a Paris crowd. Checking his watch, Camarole added, “And now we are not striking to protect our way of life!”
His words were met with cries of “Yes!”, “I don’t understand!”, and “I want to be angry but I’m taking a personal day!”
Protests erupted last month after President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government announced it would roll back the retirement age from 60 to 62. Under the French system (including vacation, personal days, holidays, sick days, training days, and paid maternity and paternity leave), the extra two years equates to roughly four days of work. PUF leaders, however, said they will not stand for any increase, particularly as their contract requires that they stand for a maximum of 20 minutes per day.
“We will not cease, we will not surrender, and we will not be silent!” said PUF negotiator Patrice Duval. “Unless it’s after 3 p.m., or a recognized holiday, or the weekend, or a designated mental health break hour!”
“I want to stop protesting at 60, not 62!” replied one striker, whose words were met with wild applause and cries of Yes!”, “Let’s strike about it!” and “This protest violates my right to a stress-free work environment!”

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