The pension reform strikes rage on with more protests set to take place over the coming days and weeks. School and transport unions are leading the charge. Here’s what to expect locally.
“Put France at a standstill” is the latest call to action by the seven main teaching unions in France, who are organising a strike intended to see a total closure of schools on 7th March unless parliament ceases to “remain deaf” to their demands on the proposed pension reforms.
SUD Education took to social media on Tuesday with a proper battle cry, saying, “The inter-union is ready to harden the movement in education: on 7th March, put schools, establishments and services at a standstill! From 7th March, let’s completely close schools, colleges, high schools and services.”
More immediate measures are being undertaken on 16th February,with FSU, UNSA Education, FNEC-FP-FO, Sgen-CFDT, CGT Educ’action, SNALC and SUD Education calling for “a day of interprofessional actions throughout the territory”.
They will be joined by the eight major French unions, who are also asking workers to protest on 16th February, as well as “put a stop [to work] in all sectors” on 7th March.
The sectors impacted on 16th February are as follows:
SNCF trains in the south of France and across the country will be affected from 7pm on 15th. This will spill over into the next days, with an end scheduled at 8am on 17th. The company is recommending people postpone or cancel trips to avoid inconvenience, and to check ahead if travel plans cannot be altered.
At Lignes d’Azur, trams on lines L1, L2, and L3 will run. On the bus networks, no service is provided except on lines 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 21, 30, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37, 38, 57, 64, 70, 81, 99 and Cadam East. The public transport service for people with reduced mobility, Mobil’Azur, will not run at all. The city of Nice is offering free parking on 16th to try and help ease the burden.
No strikes have been mentioned thus far, but the possibility of last-minute surprises is not out of the question.
Due to the ongoing school holidays, there are likely to be less protestors from Zones A and B, so closures will mostly affect Paris alone.
Five trade unions – the National Federation of Ports and Docks, the FNIC-CGT-FSM Chemical Industries, the CGT Railway, the CGT Glass-Ceramics Federation and the CGT Mines-Energies – are calling for demonstrations, seeing electricians, gas, chemical and glass workers taking to the streets.
With both sides digging their heels in, it appears no reconciliation in the near future is in sight, so the public will simply have to persevere and adjust to the disruptions for now.
Photo by Monaco Life