There has been a lot of discussion on this blog of late, some of it heated, about the relationship between the UAW and U.S. auto manufacturers, and the migration of manufacturing jobs overseas. An article in the Sunday edition of the International Herald Tribune describes a parallel conflict within the European Union.
The article is not about the automobile industry, but this quote should ring some bells on this side of the pond:

"France has not internalized a very important transition that is happening in Europe right now, which is the shift from the industrial economy to the knowledge and services economy," said Ann Mettler of the Lisbon Council, a market-oriented research group based in Brussels. "Its interest groups, which are very strong, are still trying to preserve the industrial age."

Interesting reading, no matter on which side of the American controversy you find yourself.

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