Paris/London (CNN) Oil refineries across France were shut down Tuesday by workers who participated in the sixth Mass protests This year against the government’s plans Raising the retirement age.
Schools, airports and trains were also disrupted by the strikes as the country’s largest union CGT urged people to “Stop France”.
Paris is expected to bear the brunt of the protests, with most metro lines only operating at busier times, according to the city’s transport agency, RATP. The main FSU education union said Sunday that 120 schools will be closed today And 60% of primary school teachers in the French capital will go on strike.
Meanwhile, the French Civil Aviation Authority asked airlines to cut scheduled flights by 20% and 30% at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris, respectively. Air France said about 20% of short-haul flights would be cancelled, but long-haul services would be maintained. The airline cautioned, however, that “last-minute delays and cancellations cannot be ruled out.”
National rail company SNCF said very few regional trains will run and that four out of five trains on the TGV, France’s high-speed intercity rail service, will be cancelled.
The cancellations are already affecting Eurostar trains linking major European capitals, including between London and Paris, and London and Amsterdam, and the disruption is set to extend into Wednesday.
Fuel deliveries to petrol stations could also be affected. Eric Cellini of CGT-Chimie, the major oil industry union, told CNN that workers are preventing shipments from leaving oil refineries across the country. Cellini said that the blockade in some refineries will continue until the end of the week.
Total energy (TOT) It confirmed that shipments from its refineries had stopped on Tuesday, but said stocks at gas stations were at high levels. “Our teams are mobilizing to meet demand, which may be stronger than usual, and we have additional logistical resources in place if needed,” the company said in a statement.
“move fast” beats
Hundreds of thousands of protesters will gather in more than 260 locations across France later on Tuesday, according to BFMTV.
Philippe Martinez, general secretary of the CGT, said in an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche on Sunday that unions are “moving quickly” and he expects “mobilization to continue and grow until the government listens to the workers.”
France has been hit by a series of strikes this year, as workers protest pension reforms put in place by President Emmanuel Macron. The reforms will gradually increase the age at which most French people can receive a state pension from 62 to 64.
1.3 million people took part in demonstrations on January 19, bringing the country to a halt and the Eiffel Tower closed to visitors.
The government said the pension Legislation is needed to address the funding shortfall, but the reforms have angered workers at a time when the cost of living is soaring.
The legislation is currently before French lawmakers, and a vote on the final version of the text is expected later this month.
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