Factbox-Unions vs Macron: French pension strikes snarl trains, close schools

Factbox-Unions vs Macron: French pension strikes snarl trains, close schools
Factbox-Unions vs Macron: French pension strikes snarl trains, close schools Copyright Thomson Reuters 2023
By Reuters
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PARIS – French workers across the private and public sectors joined nationwide strikes on Thursday, snarling the rail network, closing schools and halting refinery deliveries.

Here’s where the impact is being felt:


National train services and bus and metro operations in Paris were severely disrupted.

State-run railway operator SNCF said as few as one in five high-speed TGV services and only one in 10 regional trains were scheduled to run. There were also heavy cancellations on Paris suburban train lines.

International traffic on the Eurostar and Thalys lines were scheduled to run at near-normal levels.


The aviation regulator has asked airlines to cancel one in five flights to and from Orly airport, the French capital’s second biggest. It has not sought cancellations elsewhere.

Nationally, Air France said it was able to operate all its long-haul flights and 90% of its short and medium-haul flights.


Electricity output was down by 7.8 GW early in the morning – roughly 12% of total supply capacity – prompting imports from neighbouring countries.

Deliveries were blocked from refineries operated by TotalEnergies refineries.

Esso France, the local unit of Exxon Mobil, said its Gravenchon refinery was operating and making shipments as usual. Its Fos refinery was operating at a nominal level and truck loading operations were suspended, though the company said trucks could access third-party loading facilities.

TotalEnergies said there should be no shortages in fuel pump stations if the strikers maintained their calendar schedule.

The hard-left CGT‘s refinery federation has announced a further 48-hour strike next week and a 72-hour strike the week after.


Some 65% of high school teachers went on strike, the SNESFSU union said. The Education Ministry said just 35% of high school teachers joined the industrial action, and 42% of primary school teachers.


The banking and financial industry branch of the FO union called on employees to join the strike.


Doctors and nurses joined the strike. French law compels medics and other critical public services to guarantee a minimum level of cover.


The FO union of truck drivers and other logistics workers has announced an “indefinite” strike from Thursday.

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