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PARIS METRO

Paris bus drivers to strike again at the end of May

Public transport unions in Paris have called for strikes on buses and trams throughout the region at the end of May.

Paris bus drivers to strike again at the end of May
Commuters take an RATP bus during a transport strike in Paris (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / AFP)

Bus drivers are set to strike at the end of May over proposed plans to open up RATP bus services to subsidiary companies, with changes to working conditions.

As of January 1st, 2025, all bus drivers will be transferred to the subsidiaries or competing companies who won bids issued by the regional transport authority, Île-de-France Mobilités.

RATP plans to put the new working conditions into effect – those that would have been set to apply in 2025 – as early as July. These changes would impact at least 18,000 drivers. 

Specifically, drivers will fall under the “territorial social framework” (CST), the minimum legal framework for working hours, which will require 35 hours of work per week (and 37 hours per week for select drivers). Currently, the RATP’s rules regarding working hours are more advantageous, with the average driver working 33 hours a week (excluding overtime and travel time). 

Union management has been fighting against these proposed changes for over a year, having already held a strike March 25th, which impacted over 30 percent of bus lines in the Paris region.

Now, they calling for mobilisation to “defend their working conditions” again.

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SKI

French ski resort workers call ‘unlimited’ strike

Unions representing ski resort workers have called for unlimited strike action from the end of January, in part of the ongoing battle against pension reform plans.

French ski resort workers call 'unlimited' strike

Two of the largest unions representing French ski lift operators and seasonal workers, FO (Force ouvrière) and the CGT, have filed “unlimited” strike notices starting on January 31st – the same day that unions across other sectors have called for another ‘mass strike’.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that the strike will continue throughout February, but unions say they want to put pressure on the government to discuss both pensions and changes to benefits for seasonal workers, which particularly affect ski industry employees.

Force ouvrière union head, Eric Becker, said in a statement that lifts would operate normally on February 1st, and that the goal was not “to weaken companies that are already in difficulty”.

“We want to be heard and have our problems – those that impact seasonal workers – listened to”.  

At present, a strike has only been called for January 31st, but more dates could be added and the unions say they intend to take “strong action” during the Ski World Cup, held in Courchevel from March 16th-20th. Strikes in ski resorts usually primarily affect the operation of ski lifts. 

READ MORE: Grève illimitée or generale: 12 bits of French strike vocab you need to know

February represents peak season for ski resorts in France as French schools are on holiday and many schools also run ski trips to the Alps or Pyrenees. 

The CGT union representing ski resort workers had already called for mobilisation after a national meeting on January 12th, and the FO filed their strike notice on Monday.

Unions are calling on workers to strike in an effort to show opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposal to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64. The unions’ demands also include calls for better wages and unemployment insurance that is better adapted to the experiences of seasonal workers.

Tuesday, January 31st, is the next ‘mass strike’ day, in which services such as trains, city public transport and schools are highly likely to be disrupted. 

READ MORE: Calendar: The French pension strike dates to remember

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