Schools, transport, hospitals: How Tuesday’s national strikes in France could affect you

Several unions, including the hard left CGT union, called for a national day of strikes and demonstrations on Tuesday in France, with large numbers of education workers expected to follow the call. Here's how it could affect you.

Schools, transport, hospitals: How Tuesday's national strikes in France could affect you
Illustration photo: AFP
The CGT will be joined by the left wing FO union as it takes to the streets with the aim of galvanising the social movement and to protest low spending power, with both private and public sector workers expected to take part. 
Education workers union, the FSU will also be taking part, along with student unions, including the UNEF and UNL (high school students), with their members protesting over the latest education reforms (more below).
In Paris, there will be a march from Boulevard Saint-Michel on the Left Bank to the Champs de Mars by the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement, starting at 1pm. 
Head of the far left CGT union Philippe Martinez will take part as will the head of the FO union Yves Veyrier.
“We are determined to mobilize because we do not want to be spectators or give backing to decisions that are being made on social issues as a result of the Grand Debat (national consultation),” Veyrier told the French press. 
How Tuesday's nationwide strikes in France could affect you
Photo: AFP
If you have children in school you could be among those most affected by Tuesday's strikes. 
Primary school teachers are required to announce in advance whether or not they intend to participate and according to France's main union for primary school teachers SNUIPP-FSU, four teachers in ten plan to join the action. 
The teachers “have seized this day to protest the direction educational policy is taking,” said Francette Popineau, general secretary of the SNUIPP-FSU union.
The recent education bill, voted through the French parliament in February, gives no additional funding, “except private schools,” she adds.
Meanwhile, according to reports, it was difficult to tell how any secondary school staff intended to take part because unlike primary school teachers, they are not required to announce whether or not they will be in advance. 
Transport could be slightly affected by the day's events, with Paris transport operator RATP saying “traffic will be almost normal for buses and will be normal for the Metro, the RER and trams.” 
Meanwhile France's national rail company SNCF has said “there will be no impact, traffic will be normal everywhere, including the regional TER trains.”
Outside of Paris public transport is likely to be more affected, particularly in Strasbourg in the east and Clermont-Ferrand in central France, as well as other cities.
If you're flying you may find that your journey is delayed, with 20 to 30 percent of the air traffic controllers set to be on strike on Tuesday. 
France's aviation authority, the DGAC has not cancelled flights but has said it believes there will be delays.
Other sectors
The health sector may also be impacted, with the CGT has filed a national strike notice with the Ministry of Health, which includes the national nursing organisation. 
Job centre staff may also be on strike over planned job cuts.

Member comments

  1. CGT is not “hard-left” or “far-left”. FO is to the left of CGT, so what does that make FO? You’re telling readers that the 2nd and 3rd largest unions in France are “far-left”? Wow, revolution must be around the corner then, eh? Sure….get a clue.

    Anyway, how can a mainstream union be “far-left”, LOL? Are they anarcho-unionists? Answer: No, they are not.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


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.