More than €1 million donated to striking workers in France

Donations to striking French transport workers have now topped the €1 million mark, the CGT union has announced.

More than €1 million donated to striking workers in France
Photo: AFP

Workers who strike in France are not paid, and receive no union funding, so instead unions organise cagnottes – collection pots – for donations to give to the striking workers.

The money is collected from members of the public and distributed to the workers. As well as serving a practical purpose, cagnottes can also be a useful tool in assessing the level of public support for strike action.

READ ALSO Here are the transport services running in France on December 27th


On Wednesday the CGT union – one of the more hardline unions and well represented among train drivers – announced that its cagnotte had topped the €1 million mark since being launched on the first day of the strikes on December 5th.

“This is concrete proof of the support of a large part of the population,” Marianne Ravaud, Deputy Secretary General of the union, told France Info.

“We receive cheques from all over France, from private sector employees, teachers and pensioners.” 

The money had been collected by a variety of the methods from traditional collection buckets outside the RATP headquarters in Paris to more high tech methods such as online collections and a donation stream from video game fans on the Twitch platform, which raised more than €100,000.

The money will be distributed to striking workers, including a €250,000 donation to employees of the Paris RATP transport network.

Since the start of the strike action, now entering its fourth week, public support has remained fairly consistent.

Before the action started around 60 percent of people said they supported the strikers. After two weeks that had fallen, but not by much and stood at around 54 percent.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED What level of support do striking workers enjoy in France?

Several other collections have also been organised by different unions across France.

Member comments

  1. The headline should read “just around €1 million donated to striking workers in France”. It should honestly signify how the local population in France are annoyed by the striking workers who are more privileged. The media should refrain from cresting a sense of “anarchism is great” attitude.

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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.