French strikes: Flights, trains, Metro and buses cancelled on Tuesday’s ‘day of protest’

French strikes: Flights, trains, Metro and buses cancelled on Tuesday's 'day of protest'
Photo: AFP
French transport strikes enter their 13th day on Tuesday with another round of street protests planned, including a major demo in Paris. Trains, flights and the Paris Metro are all facing disruption on Tuesday.

For day-by-day updates on the situation on France's transport network, visit our strikes section.

Unions are calling for a day of all-out protest with demonstrations in the major cities on Tuesday, December 17th in their continuing battle with the government over pension reform.

Flights have been running normally for several days now, but Tuesday will see more services cancelled, albeit fewer than in the early days of the strike.

READ ALSO Strikes in France to hit scores of flights at Paris airport on Tuesday

When the strike started on December 5th, French airspace controllers asked all airlines to cancel 20 percent of their flights.

On Tuesday, only Paris Orly airport is hit with cancellations – with 20 percent of its flights cancelled. However other French airports could see delays in takeoff and landing, and anyone who has a flight booked is advised to check with their airline.

On the railways there is again severe disruption, with fewer trains running than in recent days as more train drivers and SNCF staff follow the call to join protests.

 

On the high speed TGV services there are just 25 percent of services running – down from 33 percent on Monday – and local TER services again see just 30 percent of services running. The worst hit is the Intercité lines, where just five percent of trains are running (down from 16 percent on Monday).

In Paris public transport services remain badly disrupted.

On the Metro eight lines – Lines 2, 3bis, 5, 6, 7bis, 10, 12 and 13 –  remain closed completely.

Lines 1 and 14 – the automated lines – are running as normal while the remaining six lines – Lines 3, 4, 7, 8, 9 and 11 – are offering a limited service at rush hour only.

On the tram network no lines are running a full service, but five lines – Lines 2, 5, 6, 7 and 8 – are running all day, albeit with fewer services than normal.

The remaining tram lines are running a limited service either during rush hour only – for Lines 1 and 3a – or between the hours of 12 noon and 3pm for Line 3b.

On the RER suburban trains there is still only a limited service at rush hour only and around 30 percent of the usual bus services will be running.

 

There will also be protests in Paris which bring with them the possibility of trouble from 'black bloc' rioters who have in the past attached themselves to union lead protests.

 

Unions representing rail workers and teachers will be leading the march in Paris, accompanied for the first time by the moderate union CFDT.

The CFDT decided to join the demos after, according to CFDT leader Laurent Berger, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe “crossed a red line” in his speech last Wednesday when he set a new “pivot” retirement age at 64.    

In Paris, the march is planned to leave from Place de la République at 1.30pm. The protesters will cross the Bastille square, then take Rue de Lyon and Avenue Daumesnil before ending up at Nation, in the far east of the city. 

The Paris police have ordered all stores and cafés on this route to close.

Unions are concerned at proposed reforms to the French pension system, which they say will leave people working longer for less money.

The government insists that its proposals to create a single 'universal' pension system for everyone will be fairer and more transparent and will benefit women who take time out of the workplace and anyone whose current pension is very low.

On Monday, the conflict was complicated further by the resignation of Jean-Paul Delevoye, appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to oversee the pension reform, over a scandal about undeclared private sector payments while he was earning a government salary.

The government has vowed to press on with the reforms regardless, and says Delevoye will be replaced soon.

 


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