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06 Dec 2019 | 03:41 AM UTC

France: Unions announce strike to last until at least December 9 /update 2

Transportation unions state ongoing strike expected until at least December 9; significant transportation disruptions ongoing

security
transportation
FRA

Event

Unions representing staff of the Parisian transport company RATP announced in the afternoon (local time) on Thursday, December 5, that the ongoing strike will be renewed under the same conditions until Monday, December 9. Therefore, Parisian public transportation is expected to be significantly impacted on Friday, December 6. Representatives stated, however, that strikes may continue even further if the government does not signal it will abandon its proposed pension reforms.

The national railway company SNCF also announced that their staff would continue the strike action on Friday. Thus, 90 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 throughout the network under conditions similar to Thursday. The Eurostar, Thalys, and Lyria railways will be strongly impacted as well, while no services will be provided on the SVI, Alleo, and Ellipsos companies linking France to Italy, Germany, and Spain.

The Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC) indicates that it has asked airlines to reduce their flights to and from the Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG), Paris-Orly (ORY), Beauvais (BVA), Lyon (LYS), Marseille (MRS), Toulouse (TLS), and Bordeaux (BOD) airports by 20 percent this Friday.

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, Nantes, 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.