France has a heavily unionized workforce
Nope. Norway or Italy have heavily unionized workforces, whereas France has the least-unionized workforce (7.7%) in Europe save for Estonia (6.8%).
However, France has some of the richest, most politically influential unions, by a huge margin. To put it simply, unions in France are like parallel political parties, with their own occult sources of funding, high-ranking members inflitrated in every institution, and legal priviledges that protect their position.
But french taxis V.S. Uber is an entirely different, though related, issue.
To make light of the sorry state of Uber in France, you only need to know a few things:
- just a few months ago, Agnès Saal was mediatically ousted from her position as head of the INA for allegedly squandering taxpayers' money on... taxi rides (40 000 euros' worth)
- then a couple weeks ago, we learned that the amount squandered was actually an order of magnitude larger than previously stated - there was simply noway to spend that much on taxis
- also notice that Jean-Jacques Augier, the previous CEO of G7 taxis, the biggest taxi company in France, was the financing director of François Hollande's presidential campaign in 2012
- G7 taxis' current CEO is a close friend of Hollande's Parti Socialiste, and was involved in François Mitterrand's own campaigns too
The intimidation campaign that is raging on against Uber in France is simply how the politicians currently in power are defending some of their illegal sources of funding. The seemingly "out of proportion" violence of this campaign is simply a reminder that, in France, you just don't ask about political parties' or unions' money unless you're ready to die (just like Robert Boulin, Pierre Bérégovoy and judge Pierre Michel died).