Blockades at refineries and airports: France prepares for a day "historical" of mobilizations

The French unions claimed this Tuesday to have achieved the greatest mobilization against the pension reform of the Government of Emmanuel Macron, to which they demanded that I listen to them and to back down with a project that, meanwhile, continues its parliamentary process.

The complications in public transport and thes roadblocks in some areas have marked the start of the new day of strikes and mobilizations in which around a million people are expected to take to the streets all over the country.

Road block near the TotalEnergies refinery plant in Gonfreville-L’Orcher, near Le Havre, as. (REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol)

The Secretary General of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT, first power plant in the country), Laurent Berger, considered the “historic” day for being “the largest mobilization in the last 40 years”.

In a parallel line, the general secretary of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT, second central in the country), Philippe Martínez, considered today’s “the largest mobilization since the beginning of the conflict” in January, even above that of the 31st of that month. That day they went out 1.27 million peopleaccording to the police, and up to 2.8 million, according to the CGT. Martínez insisted that the unitary action of the unions has achieved “what we wanted, to paralyze France” with strikes in different sectors such as transport, energy or education, but also in the private sector.

Workers strike at the TotalEnergies plant in Donges, near Saint-Nazaire. (Reuters/Stephane Mahe)

Martinez assumed that “Strikes are going to spread in many sectors“and, without wanting to make forecasts about where will be maintained in the next few days, He assured that many general assemblies of workers have already decided.

This Tuesday, the strikes have been particularly visible on public transport, but also with truckers blockades in the accesses to cities such as Lille, Rennes, Perpignan, Saint Brieux or Cannes and with much less circulation than usual: 650 kilometers of accumulated traffic jams at 8 in the morning, instead of the more than 900 normally.

According to the CGT, since this morning not a drop of fuel left the country’s refineriesblocked, although that should not cause supply problems, at least in the coming days.

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three out of four regasification terminals that allow the importation of liquefied gas arriving by ship (two in Fos sur Mer, near Marseille, and another in Montoir de Bretagne, near the port of Saint Nazaire), were paralyzed.

He Ministry of Education iHe indicated at noon that 32.71% of the teachers were on strike, of them 35.89% in primary and 30.09% in secondary.

In the transportationonly 20% of high-speed trains were in operation and several international connections were completely suspended, such as the Paris-Barcelona corridor.

Demonstrators at Pont-Audemer. (REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes)

In airspace, the drivers strike has forced the 20% suspension of the flights in the charles de gaulle and 30% in Orly, the other airport in Paris, as well as those in Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse.

Asked about the extension of the strikes on Wednesday and the following days, Martínez specified that it is not he who decides, but the workers of each company. But at the same time he noted that this has already been voted on, for example, in the SNCF railway company, in energy or in the ports.

Above all, he stressed that the responsibility lies with the Government that “causes the social movement” by turning a deaf ear to “91% of workerswhich they say is not a good reform”.

The project of Emmanuel Macron’s executive lawwhich is undergoing parliamentary proceedings —currently in the Senate—, provides in particular for the minimum age delay of retirement from the current 62 years to 64 and an acceleration of the lengthening of the contribution period that gives the right to a full pension up to 43 years.

Pictured: French President Francois Hollande walks with ministers at the Elysee Palace in Paris.  (Reuters / Philippe Wojaze)r
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About 320 demonstrations are called today throughout France, where the police intelligence services expect between 1.1 and 1.4 million people. That is to say, that the 1.27 million of January 31 could be exceeded (always according to the Ministry of the Interior), which until now has been the most massive.

The stoppages they are becoming very noticeable in the public transport. The SNCF has had to cancel an average of 80% of high-speed trains (TGV) and practically all other conventional long-distance trains.

On international lines, there is no service in the Paris-Barcelona corridor nor in the lines between France and Germany; only one return train on the links with Italy, and 20% of the usual ones on the connections with Switzerland.

Two thirds of the Eurostars with London operate and also two thirds of the Thalys going from Paris to Brussels. In the vicinity of Paris, depending on the lines, between a third and a fifth of the usual convoys. In the capital’s metro there is only normal service on the two automatic lines, 1 and 14. The others are barely at half throttle and only at peak hours.

In air transport, the controllers’ strike has forced the cancellation of 20% of flights at Charles de Gaulle and 30% at the other Paris airport, as well as those at Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse.

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Deborah Acker

I write epic fantasy; self-published via KDP. Devoted dog mom to my 10 yr old GSD, Shadow! DM not a priority; slow response at best #amwriting #author.

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