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10 Dec 2019 | 12:26 PM UTC

France: Unions to extend strike through at least December 11 /update 3

Transportation unions announce ongoing strike to last through at least December 11; significant transportation disruptions ongoing

security
transportation
FRA

Event

Unions representing staff of state-owned public transport operator RATP announced that an indefinite strike will continue through at least Wednesday, December 11, for a seventh consecutive day. As such, public transportation in Paris is expected to be significantly impacted on Wednesday, and RATP officials have advised travelers to seek alternatives modes of transport. The unions have signaled their willingness to continue the strike should the government go forward with its proposed pension reforms.

National railway company SNCF also announced that their staff would continue the industrial action on Wednesday. Company officials announced that 80 percent of TVG high-speed trains will be canceled, as well as 70 percent of regional TER trains. The suburban RER network and commuter trains will also be significantly disrupted. International rail operators Eurostar, Thalys, and Lyria have cancelled all or most of their services through Friday, December 13.

Widespread transportation disruptions - including transportation delays, cancelations, and crowded conditions - and increased demand for alternative means of transportation are to be expected during the strike period.   

Context

Over 500,000 people protested across France on Thursday, December 5, to vocalize their opposition to the panned pension scheme, and the government has yet to publicly respond to the mobilization. Police fired tear gas at protesters in Paris and Nantes on Thursday. In Paris, police reportedly arrested some 25 people following clashes between protesters and police.

Advice

Individuals in Paris and across France are advised to closely monitor developments to the situation, anticipate significant transportation disruptions, plan alternative routes and budget additional travel time in areas affected by the general strike, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.