UnNews:French wimple stitchers announce strike
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3 August 2010
PARIS, France -- Today has been declared a "black day for nuns everywhere" by fashion expert and world's first, part-time transgender nun, Mike O'Neil, as French wimple stitchers announced a one week nationwide strike this morning. The announcement comes after claims of unreasonable demands and low pay were met with counter-claims that wimples were leading to rashes. This announcement ends weeks of unsuccessful negotiations between Guimpe Syndicates Agrafeuses Ensemble (GSAE) - the French wimple stitchers' union - and the French Association of Nuns.
A GSAE spokesperson told the assembled press in Paris, yesterday: "Regrettably FAN [French Association of Nuns] has been unable to compromise over pay or demand and continue to press for impossible quantities of wimples. We - Guimpe Syndicates Agrafeuses Ensemble - understand that there is a serious wimple and habit shortage, but are not prepared to work the unacceptably long hours that FAN requests for unacceptably low wages. We refuse to be bullied into submission by FAN's aggressive management as the habit stitchers were, and we believe that we have been left with no choice but to announce a one week strike, starting on the 12th of August. Guimpe Syndicates Agrafeuses Ensemble sincerely hopes that the matter can be speedily resolved and if conditions are meant, the strike can be cancelled."
Amid rising concerns that a wimple and habit shortage could force French nuns to work part-time, Mike O'Neil commented that "being a part-time, transgender nun has its perks. I can pray and think about immaculate conception, but I can also swear. Today is a non-nun day and so here we go, you ready? Fuck." Mike O'Neil's comments were deemed "unhelpful and ungodly" by FAN Chief Executive-ess, Mother Supreme Diane Laurent, who asked of wimple stitchers planning on striking, "is this what Baby Jesus would do? Would Christ strike?". She continued, "It is unacceptable that our nuns should live in fear of their wimples and the rashes caused by these wimples. Many innocent nuns' rashes have been mistaken for oral herpes and the nun's celibacy has been called into question. This is unacceptable. Every night nuns are asking themselves, will it be me next time? Will my wimple ravage my face with a herpes-esque rash? Nuns should be able to trust their wimples."
Tensions between GSAE and FAN have been strained for months now, and this is not the first public conflict between the two. Complaints from FAN members that wimples were too large - thus wasting material and suggesting that nuns were fat - were met with wimple stitchers' angry complaints over the contentious issue of 'Benedict's Knees-Up Sunday', weekly festivities held by nuns across Europe under Papal instructions. Pope Benedict XVI said that he had had the idea "to put a smile on the babes' [nun's] faces". These Sunday festivities have, reportedly, caused much disruption.
Wimple stitch analysts in America and Thailand are closely monitoring the French wimple situation. France produces over one third of all the world's wimples and a strike in the country could lead to a catastrophic international economic wimple disaster. French nuns are famed for being particularly stubborn, especially at the negotiating table, and it looks unlikely that they will give in to GSAE demands, "at least not until nuns start killing each other in an attempt to reduce the number of wimples required by the nun community", comments a wimple stitch analyst, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals from the GSAE camp. In the past, French nuns have, infamously, organised the mass burning of French translations of Winnie the Pooh books, objecting to baby Christ being omitted from Winnie the Pooh's exclusive circle of friends. Winnie the Pooh refused to comment.
Angry French wimple stitchers took to the streets after the one week strike was officially announced in celebration and chants of "Pouvoir de la gimpe!" ("Power to the wimple!") rang out over the Seine in Paris. One of these passionate wimple stitchers told our UnNews correspondent in Paris that "The nuns don't know who they're fucking with here. We're wimple stitchers, not cowardly, sheep-biting, suck-up, good-for-nothing, lazy habit-making pussies who'll give into any demands. We're gonna fuck these nuns up until they're begging us to take pay rises. And then we're gonna take that pay rise and slap it up their ass and demand more".
The next few days will be crucial in determining how this stand-off will develop. As we go to press, Indian wimple stitchers are predicting a crisis in France and have just announced that they are gearing up to double their output of wimples over the next few weeks. This journalist, for one, believes that a bemused French monk performing mime outside the Notre Dame summed up the issue concisely: "Chicks, eh? What are they like?"
|This article features first-hand journalism by an UnNews correspondent.|