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STRIKES

‘Black Monday’ in Paris: Workers face more transport chaos on fifth day of strikes

With more mass disruption on Metro, bus, tram and RER lines, Paris commuters faced yet more transport misery on Monday - the fifth day of strike action against the government's pension reforms.

'Black Monday' in Paris: Workers face more transport chaos on fifth day of strikes
Photo: AFP

Ongoing strikes against pension reform are still badly hitting trains services across the country – where around 15 percent of normal services are running – and seen public transport severely disrupted in Paris.

Ten of the city's 16 Metro lines were not running at all while another four others were only offering a limited service.

READ ALSO December strikes in France – expect major disruption that could last until the New Year

To add to the commuter misery, line 4 – which had been scheduled to run a rush-hour only service – experienced technical problems early on Monday morning.

 

City transport bossed RATP had declared the weekend a 'sacrifice' with very services running so they could concentrate on commuter services on Monday, which were expected to be badly stretched as many Parisians who had taken holiday or worked from home over the first days of the strike returned to work.

 Over the weekend RATP issued several appeals to commuters to only use suburban RER and Transilien services if absolutely necessary.

 

But torrential rain on Monday morning may have dissuaded would-be cyclists.

By 8.30am 600km of traffic jams were being reported in the greater Paris Île de France area.

 

 

More information is provided in English on the RATP site.

The ongoing strike action is in protest over plans by French president Emannuel Macron to reform the pension system, a change that unions fears will see workers have to work later and left with smaller pension pots.

READ ALSO 'We don't have a choice' – French unions explain why they have brought the country to a standstill

Unions have called for another day of mass walk-outs and protests on Tuesday, ahead of the government revealing more detail of the reform – which is still at the consultation stage – on Wednesday.

 

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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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