How Tuesday’s nationwide strikes in France could affect you

The hard left CGT union has called for a national day of strikes and demonstrations on Tuesday in France in response to the national consultation launched by the government and to the ongoing "national crisis". Here's how it could affect you.

How Tuesday's nationwide strikes in France could affect you
File photo: AFP
The CGT union has denounced the government's national consultation (Grand Débat) and called on its followers to take to the streets on Tuesday to voice their anger over issues such as rising wages and taxes. 
These are subjects which have been at the heart of the “yellow vest” protests and one of the movement's controversial leaders Eric Drouet has also called for a “general strike” on Tuesday although without commenting on whether the group was officially joining forces with the union. 
The strikes are set to cause disruption on public transport and schools. 
Here's how they could affect you. 
File photo: AFP
Public transport
Strike notices have been filed with the Paris transport operator RATP and French railway operator SNCF. 
Despite the fact that a strike notice was filed with the French capital's transport operator RATP, services are expected to operate as normal throughout the day.
Meanwhile in Marseille, the city's subway network has said services will operate as normal but that there will be disruptions on the trams (one train every 12 minutes) and that several bus lines will be at a standstill (28, 30, 35, 36, 72, 95 and possibly line 96).
Overall Intercité traffic is not expected to be severely disrupted however the Tuesday night Paris-Rodez train has been cancelled as have the Paris-Brive La Gaillarde, Bordeaux-Narbonne and Nersac-Béziers services in both directions. 
On the regional TER trains, 98 percent of services are expected to operate as normal however some regions will be more affected than others. 
For example, in the southern Occitanie region just 49 percent of services will be operating, in the Midi-Pyrénées 53 percent will be operating and in Languedoc-Roussillon 42 percent will be operating. 
On the Transilien commuter trains, services are expected to operate as normal except on lines C and D which could see services suspended depending on the number of drivers on strike. 
Services will operate as normal on France's high speed TGV trains, as well as on Thalys and Eurostar services.
A strike notice was also filed at Paris airports Charles de Gaulle and Orly however all scheduled flights are set to run. 
File photo: Head of the CGT Philippe Martinez being interviewed on January 31st. 

Tuesday's strikes are likely to have a bigger effect on France's creches, schools and universities, with education union Sud Education calling on nursery school staff to go on strike. 
In Paris, the City Hall has said that a minimum service will be provided in schools although some school canteens will not open or offer just basic meals of “pasta and cold salads”.
Similarly in Marseille, 68 canteens out of 444 will be closed but 62 of them will allow children to eat a homemade lunch. 
By contrast in Toulouse it has been announced that school meals will not be provided at any schools in the city.
In addition, many schools in the cities in the Seine-Maritime and Eure departments in Normandy will not offer canteen food or extracurricular activities and in Amiens in northern France, 14 school canteens will be completely closed.
Finally many nurseries will be affected throughout France. In Marseille, nine crèches will be fully closed and 28 only partially open. 
Universities in France are also set to be disrupted on Tuesday, with higher education and research unions calling on their members to mobilize.
Other public services 

Other administrative public services could also be affected, with the country's postal service (La Poste) potentially on strike after a call to mobilise from the unions representing the service.

The CGT has already announced that it will not visit Matignon, where the French Prime Minister would normally receive unions and employers, on Wednesday.
“We wrote to him, we spoke to him, three times, four times, each time, the answer is, 'we are listening to you' while doing what they had planned to anyway,” said head of the hard left CGT union Philippe Martinez on Sunday.

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French customs officers strike over job cuts

Customs officers across France will walk out on Thursday in protest at job cuts that unions say will “weaken the customs network”.

French customs officers strike over job cuts

The national strike on Thursday, March 10th is expected to lead to delays at ports, airports and on the Eurostar.

The strike, which will include a rally outside the National Assembly building in Paris, was called by the CFDT-Douane and has the support of other unions. 

A work-to-rule protest over pay and conditions by customs officers in 2019, under the shadow of Brexit, led to delays and disruption at airports, as well as ports including Calais and Dunkirk, and on Eurostar trains.

Unions are calling on the government to axe plans to switch responsibility for import duty collection to the Direction Générale des Finances Publiques by 2024, at the cost of 700 customs’ officer jobs – and, according to strikers, tens of billions of euros to State coffers.

“We are asking for the reforms to be stopped, mainly that of the transfer of taxation, which is disorganising the network with the elimination of nearly a thousand jobs,” CFDT-Douane’s secretary general David-Olivier Caron said.

The planned job cuts come after years of restructuring and streamlining that has seen thousands of positions disappear, the unions say, when customs fraud and smuggling is rising because of a lack of resources.