French workers’ unions have called on their members to participate in wide-reaching strikes on Tuesday 18th October. Hardest hit are set to be public transport networks, the education sector and other public services.
Already dubbed a ‘Mardi Noir’ by French news outlets, the strikes come hot on the heels of protests in Paris over the weekend that sought to fight against the rising cost of living.
One of the leading voices in the calls for strike action is Catherine Perret of the CGT union, which just days ago turned down a pay increase for protesting fuel workers. In a circulated statement, Perret said the day of strikes is necessary to ‘increase salaries and defend the right to strike’.
While it is still too early to tell how severely the rail network will be affected, initial predictions suggest 50% of union members will be on strike. Transport Minister Clément Baune has tried to reassure the public that at least one out of every two TGVs will be running on Tuesday, but the latest from the SNCF is that all passengers should check ahead before travelling.
No action has been reported by the Lignes d’Azur bus and tram network in Nice as yet.
Technical colleges are expected to join in with strike action. According to the Nice Matin, a protest has been organised in front of the Lycée Pasteur in Nice at 10.30am. A blockade at the Lycée d’Estienne d’Orves is also likely. Further strikes to the education sector are yet to be announced.
Other public services, notably those provided by the Mairie de Nice, the Métropole Nice Côte d’Azur and the CCAS (Centre Communal d’Action Sociale), may also be threatened.
Photo of Nice Train Station by Monaco Life