Unions are ramping up the pressure in France’s pension protests, with calls for further massive strike action next week. A meeting tonight will decide whether fresh walkouts will be held.
Disruption is increasing. The entrance to Marseille airport, one of the country’s busiest, was blocked early this morning. Moved on by riot police, without any violence, demonstrators vowed to continue wildcat action when and where they can.
“We are not here to fight or get injured,” said one union official. “There are women and children with us. We are leaving quietly but we will go somewhere else. And when they go somewhere else, so will we.”
He added that the cat and mouse game would go on until President Sarkozy “respects the French people.”
Caught up in the chaos, passengers desperate not to miss flights were forced to abandon their cars and walk to the airport terminal.
“I imagine they have their reasons, but it does not suit me at all,” said one woman. “I have a plane to catch and, to travel one kilometre, we have been stuck for more than an hour.”
As anger mounts over plans to raise the retirement age, travellers are reconsidering their holidays. Pop diva Lady Gaga has postponed concerts in Paris.
Opposition Senators have been slowing the process of passing the bill. Originally scheduled for Wednesday, a vote is now expected on Friday at the earliest.