France public sector strike: Where is the unrest being felt the hardest?

Trade unions called for mass protests and strikes in France over pension reform. Here's how the strike is impacting public services.


The strikes have hit transport networks the hardest. Nearly a third of all workers were on strike on Friday, including 87 per cent of train drivers.

The state-run SNCF has cancelled 90 per cent of high-speed TGV trains and while only three in 10 trains on regional routes will run, with other services replaced by buses.

On the Paris metro, nine out of 16 lines are closed and services severely limited on five others. There are also major disruptions on the suburban RER lines.

Eurostar said it was running a reduced timetable on its train services linking Paris and London until December 10.

Air France said it was cancelling 30 per cent of domestic flights and 10 per cent of medium-haul operations because of strike action by air traffic controllers that the airline said would run until December 7.



The education ministry said 5 per cent of teachers nationwide were on strike on Friday, sharply down on Thursday when more than half of all public teachers walked out. Paris City Hall said 178 schools would remain shuttered.



Two police unions called on members to keep striking and provide just the minimum public service required by French law.


Energy industry 

Part of the workforce at five refineries is on strike, the CGT union said, adding that while production was not impacted deliveries were. Members could be asked whether to halt production at a vote on Monday, the union added.

Oil and gas company Total confirmed industrial action at its La Mede, Normandie and Grandpuits refineries but said the blockade at Feyzin was over.


'Very determined' government

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday nationwide strikes in the public sector would not weaken his resolve to reform the pension system but promised workers would be spared a brutal transition to the new regime. He said that the government is "very determined" to go ahead with the new pension reform

Philippe said he was not seeking confrontation with trade unions, which on Friday called for mass protests and strikes over plans to streamline one of the developed world's most generous pension systems to continue next week.

"Citizens know that the hugely diverse nature of the current 42 pension plans cannot continue," Philippe said in a televised statement. "They also know we're going to have to work longer."

(Text from Reuters)


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