The French unions claimed this Tuesday to have achieved the largest mobilization against the pension reform of the Government of Emmanuel Macron, which they demanded to listen to them and to back down with a project that, meanwhile, continues its parliamentary process.
The general secretary of the French Democratic Confederation of Labor (CFDT, the country’s first union), Laurent Berger, considered the day “historic” because it was “the biggest mobilization of the last 40 years”.
Berger, who was at the head of the tour in Paris along with the other union leaders, insisted to the media that Macron and his Executive “cannot remain deaf” in the face of “massive” protests.
In a parallel line, the secretary general of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT, the country’s second central), Philippe Martínez, considered this Tuesday “the largest mobilization since the beginning of the conflict” in January, even above that of the 31st of that month.
That January 31, 1.27 million people took to the streets, according 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, paralyze france“with strikes in different sectors such as transport, energy or education, but also in the private sector.
For the CGT leader, the “success” of this call means that it has gone “to another speed” in the protest against a government that, if he does not withdraw the reform, “he would only set fire to a powder keg”.
The Executive’s bill, which now in the senate a parliamentary procedure that must be completed before the end of the month, provides in particular for the delay of the minimum retirement age from the current 62 years to 64.
Martinez assumed that “Strikes are going to spread in many sectors” and, without wanting to make forecasts about where they will remain in the coming days, he assured that many general assemblies of workers have already decided.
This Tuesday, the strikes have been particularly visible on public transportbut also with truckers blocked access 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 more than 900 normally.
According to the CGT, since this morning not a drop of fuel came out of the country’s refineries, blocked, although that should not cause supply problems, at least in the next few days.
Strikes in education and transport
Three of the four terminals of regasification 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.
The Ministry of Education indicated at noon that 32.71% of the teachers were on strike35.89% of them in primary and 30.09% in secondary.
in transportation, only 20% of high-speed trains were in operation and several international connections were completely suspended, such as the Paris-Barcelona corridor.
In airspace, the controllers’ strike has forced the cancellation of 20% of the flights on the Charles de Gaulle and 30% on Orly, the other airport in Paris, as well as those in Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse.