May 1st strikes: travel to be heavily disrupted

bank holiday strike

Trouble is brewing for travellers trying to get away, or around, for the May 1st long weekend as the pension reform strikes peak on France’s Fête du Travail. 

The 1st May is France’s Labour Day, and strikes are a traditional mainstay for the country’s workers.

But as unions across France have been in an ongoing battle against an increase in the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, the May Day protests are set to be even more pronounced.


A third of flights are expected to be cancelled from Orly, Marseille and Lyon during the May Day long weekend. In Nice, and in Roissy, a quarter of flights are likely to be cancelled by the civil aviation authorities.  

The air traffic controllers union, USAC CGT, has filed an official strike notice for 1st May, and the SNPNC-FO union, which represents air hosts and hostesses at low-cost carrier Vueling in France, is likely to follow suit, with the further dates of 6th, 7th and 8th May flagged for additional strikes.  

Though airlines usually contact customers directly if flights are affected, it is also recommended that passengers check for themselves before setting out to the airport this weekend. 


Train travel will also take a hit on 1st May, though details are not yet available. A press release from the SNCF union, however, points to “major May Day strikes and demonstrations”.  

Notices will likely be released on the weekend with the schedule alerting passengers to which lines will be interrupted.  


In the Alpes-Maritimes, the Lignes d’Azur will be stopping all trams and buses on Monday 1st May, together with the Mobil’Azur service, Parcazur, commercial agencies and the customer relations centre.

General strikers are also being asked to gather at the Jardin Albert I in Nice at 10.30am on 1st May.  


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Photo source: Caudron Laurie Flore for Unsplash