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I've seen a "préavis de grève" for public transport workers mentioning a length of 3 hours 59 minutes, which will impact travelers and commuters inside and near Paris.

Why does it have that specific length?

Should I expect everything to return to normal after the said 3 hours 59 minutes?

Or is it just some sort of loophole in the law, which means that in practice the industrial action will last for the entire afternoon (since this industrial action is scheduled to take place during the afternoon)?

  • Speculation: that's one minute less than half a typical work day. – Andrew Grimm Jan 25 '16 at 10:31
  • Generally such strange numbers/time intervals occur because of some phrasing in a law or contract. E.g. there may be some clause in the law that requires "all strikes 4 hours or over" to be approved in some fashion, so the strike is called just under that legal limit. – Eugene O Jan 25 '16 at 18:01
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    Where did you see that? Note that however long the strike is, it'll have an impact until the end of the day's service: the trains and drivers won't be in the expected place, especially in France which has very little slack. – Gilles Jan 25 '16 at 20:51
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Usually, half a day of work is 4 hours in some companies. So it could mean that the strike duration will be just a bit less than half a day so that workers on strike haven't not more than half a day removed from their pay...

Having said that, I think it is more related to the way the event management program is set. The person who input the strike event into the system has certainly put from XX:00 to ZZ:00 and then the program calculated 3 hours and 59 minutes rather than 4 hours, probably because of some rounding problems.

I guess this is just a tentative schedule and you could expect impact to start a bit before and potentially extend way beyond the planned end date. No one can really predict if the strike will extend or not...

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Strikes are often arranged by the union leaders to begin at X:01 so that the workers have to arrive, so that in turn they have workers on hand to picket.

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