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18 Feb 2020 | 10:13 PM UTC

France: Several unions to protest and strike nationwide February 19-21 /update 19

Unions plan inter-professional nationwide strike and protests to oppose pension reform between February 19-21; heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions expected



Several labor unions have called for an inter-professional nationwide strike and demonstrations to oppose pension reform from Wednesday, February 19, through Friday, February 21. A union representing air traffic controllers said that they will participate in the work stoppage from 19:00 (local time) on Wednesday through 06:30 on Friday; Easyjet representatives said that this may affect flights to and from airports nationwide. Other trade unions in the transport, health, public, and education sectors have said that they will strike and protest on Thursday, February 20. The national rail operator, SNCF, is expected to announce any related disruptions to its services on its website at 17:00 (local time) on Wednesday.

In Paris, protesters plan to gather at 13:30 at Montparnasse before heading towards Place d’Italie. The city’s public transport operator, RATP, is expected to announce on its website at 17:00 on Wednesday any disruptions to its services due to the strike. Related protests are possible in other major urban areas.

A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near any protest or demonstration. Business disruptions are anticipated throughout the country, and particularly in Paris, during the work stoppage. 


Thousands have participated in protests across France since December 2019 to voice their opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's planned pension reform scheme. Subsequent nationwide strikes have caused significant disruptions to all forms of transportation. Strikes may continue for an indefinite period if the government does not abandon its proposed pension reform plan.


Individuals in France, and particularly in Paris, are advised to monitor developments to the situation, anticipate significant transportation disruptions, confirm flight reservations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.