French President Nicolas Sarkozy is emerging as victorious in his standoff with the striking rail and subway workers of France.
The strike was a protest against Sarkozy, who was abandoning the current entitlements and generous pay for early retirement and pension for rail workers. Sarkozy's belief is that the government payouts for these benefits is part of the reason that France is not competitive economically.
Sarkozy is in the midst of a dynamic attempt to revitalize a French economy that has been plagued by an unemployment rate that was over 8% as of 2006, and slow or stagnant growth since the increased socialism and nationalization of industry and banks during the 1980's under Francois Mitterrand.
The initial tide of popularity for the strike amongst the rail and subway workers has "collapsed", as many union representatives have stated, and the workers are returning in droves.
Of the 45 rail union committees in France, 42 have already voted to abandon the strike and return to work.