The CGT trade union and Sud Rail are the latest to call on their workers to take to the streets next week for the nationwide strikes against pension reforms.
Those participating in the planned strikes set for 31st January and spilling into 1st February is growing. CGT, the union covering port, power, refinery and petrol distribution workers, has joined the roster as have Sud Rail, a railway workers union.
The inclusion of these two powerful unions could see the country grind to a halt next Tuesday and Wednesday, with possible strike actions continuing into next month.
“Our federations are asking railway workers to strike en masse on 31st January, and to hold a meeting on 31st January to decide whether to intensify their action through two consecutive days of strikes on 7th and 8th February,” the two unions said in a joint statement.
The potential disruptions caused by striking fuel distributors has people racing to the pumps, reminiscent of last October when protests prompted petrol shortages and cuts all over France.
Authorities are asking people not to worry as the short duration is unlikely to cause the same kind of widespread disruption as last autumn, but they do warn electricity production may suffer intermittently.
CGT says an oil distribution depot in northern France is already shut down, with 80% of workers ready to march. According to trade union sources, oil imports are being obstructed in some French ports.
The port strikes are scheduled to last 24 hours.
In addition to the sectors named above, schools, transport and civil service operations are also thought to be involved, with the result being an almost total shut down of normal life.
The pension reform legislation, which will be presented to parliament on Monday, includes passages that would end special pension rights of certain workers, including those in the electricity generation field. Other points of contention include raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 by 2030.
Get ready: French unions plan widespread protests over pension reform
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