France's public sector strike: How it will affect you

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France's public sector strike: How it will affect you

For the first time in ten years on Tuesday, nine unions representing France’s public service workers are jointly calling on employees to strike against the government's raft of "negative" employment reforms.


Tuesday’s strike will see thousands of public sector workers down tools across France, with around 130 demonstrations and gatherings planned across 90 of the country’s 96 departments. 
In total, 5.4 million workers have been called on to join in the strike. 
And while the catalyst for the protests differs between unions, the main factor is the government’s plan to remove tens of thousands of public service jobs, plus the recently imposed pay freeze, threats against paid sick leave and the recently introduced raft of labour reforms.  
These are the sectors that will be affected: 
All of France’s teachers, including those working at private schools, have been called on to strike and general secretary of Snuipp-FSU, France's main union for primary school workers, Francette Popineau, said he expects the action to be "very popular". 
The three most important issues in pushing teachers to strike, according to Popineau, is the attack on their spending power - with particular reference to the pay freeze and rise in social security payments, plus the government's controversial decision to dock pay for the first day of sick leave (jour de carence) to fight against absenteeism.
In Paris, Snuipp-FSU 75 predicts that 55 percent of teachers will strike and that 70 schools will close and will depend on how many teachers are on strike.


Luckily for those planning on travelling by train on Tuesday, TGV, Transilien, TER, Eurostar and Thalys services will be operating as normal, bosses at France’s state-owned rail company SNCF said on Sunday night.
Only the CFDT-Cheminots and SUD-rail unions called on workers to strike on Tuesday, with CFDT-Cheminots against the government’s changes to the labour code and the rise in social security contributions. 
And while all three unions representing workers of Paris's state-owned public transport operator RATP - the hard line CGT, Unsa and SUD – called on employees to strike, the only disruptions predicted at the moment are to buses that will change routes to avoid the march between Republique and Nation. 
Airlines in France may cut flights by 30 percent due to strike
The French civil aviation authority (DGAC) has recommended that airlines reduce their flights by 30 percent on Tuesday due to a strike call by civil service unions, the transport ministry said on Friday.
The airports affected are likely to include Paris' two main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, as well as Beauvais, Lyon, Nice, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes.
"Disruptions are expected throughout the country" on Tuesday, the ministry said in a statement.
For the first time since 2009, hospital unions joined in the call for strikes. 
Doctors, pharmacists and dentists are invited to strike along with nursing staff against working conditions and budgetary cuts, as well as the pay freeze and the re-introduction of unpaid leave in case of sickness. 
This could see services delayed throughout Tuesday. 
Police, tribunals, unemployment offices...
These are just some of the other sectors that will be affected by Tuesday's strikes, with the departments of the CFDT and Unsa unions dealing with police calling on members to join the street protests.
Companies that used to form part of France's public sector, including the postal service and mobile companies like Orange have also been called on to strike, along with people working in the country's unemployment centres, employees at tribunals, library and gym staff. 


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