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STRIKES

Paris police close more Metro stations after surprise demo from strikers

Paris police ordered an extra five Metro stations closed on Monday after a surprise demonstration involving flares by striking workers.

Paris police close more Metro stations after surprise demo from strikers
Photo: AFP

A small group of strikers staged the unexpected action on Monday lunchtime, after protesting outside the headquarters of Paris transport network RATP they moved to Gare du Lyon station and into the Metro network, where they let off flares.

It is reported that there were clashes between strikers and police in the station.

 

Footage shot on mobile phones by passengers showed coloured flares being let off on one of the platforms, and passengers being blinded by smoke.

This is resulted in five of the few Metro stations which are still open being closed on orders of the police.

 

The stations – Argentine, Charles de Gaulle, George V, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Champs-Élysées- Clemenceau on Line 1 – were closed at around 12 noon.

Traffic was also briefly halted on Line 1 – which as an automated Metro line is one of only two offering normal service during the strikes.

 

 

 

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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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