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STRIKES

IN PICTURES: Black Monday of transport chaos in Paris

As mass transport strikes across France continued, Paris saw a 'black Monday' rush hour combination of high numbers of commuters, technical problems on one of the few Metro lines running and torrential rain.

IN PICTURES: Black Monday of transport chaos in Paris
Photos: AFP

Public transport across Paris has been badly disrupted since the strikes began on Thursday, with just two of the city's 16 Metro lines running as normal and bus and tram services severely limited – many running only during rush hours.

 

READ ALSO 'Black Monday in Paris' – transport chaos and torrential rain on day 5 of strikes

But the mood on Thursday and Friday was relatively calm as many people had opted to take the days as holiday days or work from home, while fine weather tempted others to try out cycling to work or taking an electric scooter.

On Monday, however things took a turn for the worse as tens of thousands of commuters returned to work, while torrential rain dissuaded all but the most committed cyclists.

 

Anticipating a busy day, city transport officials RATP had sacrificed many weekend services to concentrate their resources on Monday and were running four rush-hour only Metro lines in addition to the two automated lines – Line 1 and Line 14 – that were running as normal.

 

However technical problems on Line 4 only contributed to the misery.

Many people had apparently resorted to their cars, and by 8.30am 600km of traffic jams were being reported across the greater Paris Île-de-France region.

 

 

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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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