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STRIKES

Paris: Transport unions call for indefinite strike in December

There will likely be more Metro misery ahead for Paris commuters after five trade unions representing transport workers called on Friday for unlimited strike action.

Paris: Transport unions call for indefinite strike in December
AFP

Commuters and travellers in Paris will have to brace themselves for more travel chaos as unions called for a grève illimitée from December 5th.

Five unions representing workers at Paris transport operator RATP, which covers the Metro, bus, tram and some RER lines, have lodged the strike warning in protest against the French government's planned pension reforms.

Unions say the strike will begin on December 5th unless their demands are met by the government in the meantime.

“Given the gravity of the situation, the government must use this time to make the necessary arrangements…,” read a joint statement by the unions Unsa-RATP, CFE CGC RATP, South RATP, Solidaires RATP and FO RATP.

Transport in Paris almost ground to a halt on September 13th when unions held their first walk-out over planned pension reforms.

Many Metro lines stopped running completely, forcing Parisians and tourists to find other ways to get around. 

Unions say the strong turn-out for the first strike shows that transport workers will not give up their rights without a fight.

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STRIKES

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.

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