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UPDATE: How Paris transport will be hit by Thursday’s pension strike

Public transport including flights will be extremely disrupted on Thursday, the first day of strikes against proposed French pension reform - here's what will be running in Paris.

UPDATE: How Paris transport will be hit by Thursday's pension strike
Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP

Workers all over France will be walking out on Thursday, January 19th in what unions say will be the “first day of mobilisation” in their battle against Emmanuel Macron’s plans to reform the French pension system.

You can find service disruptions for the whole country HERE.

In Paris, disruption will be centred on public transport, and operator RATP has released details of the services.

Transport minister Clément Beaune has suggested that people “work from home where possible”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without public transport

Airports

Around one in five flights in and out of Paris’ Orly airport will be cancelled. Information has not yet been released for Charles de Gaulle airport.

Metro

On the Metro, lines 8, 10 and 11 will be closed all day.

Lines 1 and 14, which are driverless, will run as normal but are likely to be extremely crowded.

Line 4 will be running half of its normal services during rush hour and a quarter of normal service for the rest of the day.

The rest of the lines will be running services only at rush hour (7.30am-9.30am and 4.30pm to 7.30pm) and many stations are closed

  • Line 2 – 1 train in 5, rush hours only
  • Line 3 – 1 train in 2, rush hour only and only between Pone de Levallois-Bécon and Pereire.
  • Line 5 – 1 train in 2, rush hours only and only between Bobigny-Pablo Picasso and Gare du Nord
  • Line 6 – 1 train in 4, rush hours only and only between Nation and Denfert-Rocherau. The Place d’Italie station will be closed
  • Line 7 bis – 1 train in 2, rush hours only. Place des Fêtes station closed
  • Line 7 – 1 train in 5, rush hours only. Gare de l’Est, Cadet, Opéra, Jussieu, Place d’Italie and Tolbiac stations closed
  • Line 9 – 1 train in 2, rush hours only. Michel-Ange, Molitar, Trocadéro, Miromesnil, Richelieu-Drouot, Grands-Boulevards, Strasbourg-St-Denis, République and Oberkampf stations closed
  • Line 12 – 1 train in 3, rush hours only. Pasteur, Montparnasse-Bienvenue, Sèvres-Babylone and Pigalle stations closed
  • Line 13 – 1 train in 3, rush hours only and only between Saint-Denis-Université and Saint-Lazare. Place de Clichy station closed. 

RER/Transilien

The trains on RER line B – which connects Paris to its two airports – will be running half the normal services during rush hour and one third of normal services for the rest of the day. Services will stop at Gare du Nord. Last service from Chatelet at 9.50pm.

RER line A will be running half of normal services during rush hour and one quarter the rest of the day. Last service from Chatelet at 9pm.

RER lines C, D et E and Transilien lines J, K, L, N and P will be running 1 in 10 of their normal services and line R will be totally closed.

Trams

Trams will be running fewer services than normal

  • T1 – 4 trains out of 5 of the normal service
  • T2 – 2 in 3 trains
  • T3a – 3 in 4 trains
  • T3b – 2 trains in 3
  • T5 – 1 train in 2
  • T7 – 2 trains in 3

Buses

On average, two thirds of the normal bus services will run.

SNCF trains

If you’re planning a trip in or out of Paris on the SNCF national rail network, there will also be severe disruption.

Across the country train services will be severely disrupted, with virtually no Intercité trains running.

On the high-speed TGV services there will be 1 in 3 of normal services running in the south-east, 1 in 4 in the east and 1 in 5 on the Atlantique axis, which covers south west France. The budget Ouigo lines will be running 1 in 3 of their normal services.

The local TER services will be the worst affected, with an average of 1 in 10 of normal services.

Other services

Across the country, teachers will strike – around 70 percent are expected to walk out on Thursday – as well as public service workers such as local government employees and health workers.

In the culture sector, workers at many theatres and music venues will strike, and bank staff are also expected to walk out.

Trains, planes, theatres and schools: The services affected by Thursday’s French pension strike

Thursday is billed as the ‘first day’ of strikes and more are expected to follow – keep up to date with our strike calendar HERE.

You can also get the lowdown on the strikes in France and what might happen over the coming days and weeks in the latest episode of our free podcast Talking France.

You can download it on Apple, Spotify and Google here.

We will update this story as more detail is released

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STRIKES

French Prime Minister Macron doubles down on pension age as strikes loom

France's prime minister on Sunday ruled out backtracking on a plan to raise the retirement age as unions prepared for another day of mass protests against the contested reform.

French Prime Minister Macron doubles down on pension age as strikes loom

An increase in the minimum retirement age to 64 from the current 62 is part of a flagship reform package pushed by President Emmanuel Macron to ensure the future financing of France’s pensions system.

After union protests against the change brought out over a million people into the streets on January 19, the government signalled there was wiggle room on some measures, including the number of contributing years needed to qualify for a full pension, special deals for people who started working very young, and provisions for mothers who interrupted their careers to look after their children.

But the headline age limit of 64 was not up for discussion, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Sunday.

“This is now non-negotiable,” she told the FranceInfo broadcaster.

While unions have welcomed the government’s readiness for negotiation on parts of the plan, they say the proposed 64-year rule has to go.

Calling the reform “unfair” France’s eight major unions, in a rare show of unity, said they hoped to “mobilise even more massively” on Tuesday, their next scheduled protest day, than at the showing earlier this month.

“Even more people”

“It’s looking like there will be even more people”, said Celine Verzeletti, member of the hardleft union CGT’s confederation leadership.

Pointing to opinion polls, Laurent Berger, head of the moderate CFDT union, said that “the people disagree strongly with the project, and that view is gaining ground”.

It would be “a mistake” for the government to ignore the mobilisation, he warned.

Unions and the government both see Tuesday’s protests as a major test.

Some 200 protests are being organised countrywide, with a big march planned for Paris, culminating in a demonstration outside the National Assembly where parliamentary commissions are to start examining the draft law on Monday.

The leftwing opposition has submitted more than 7,000 amendments to the draft in a bid to slow its path through parliament.

Macron’s allies are short of an absolute majority in parliament and will need votes from conservatives to approve the pensions plan.

The government has the option of forcing the bill through without a vote under special constitutional powers, but at the risk of triggering a vote of no confidence, and possibly new parliamentary elections.

In addition to protest marches, unions have called for widespread strike action for Tuesday, with railway services and public transport expected to be heavily affected.

Stoppages are also expected in schools and administrations, with some local authorities having already announced closures of public spaces such as sports stadiums.

Some unions have called for further strike action in February, including at commercial ports, refineries and power stations.

Some observers said the unions are playing for high stakes, and any slackening of support Tuesday could be fatal for their momentum.

“They have placed the bar high,” said Dominique Andolfatto, a professor for political science. “They can’t afford any missteps.”

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