Open-ended strikes get under way

Unlimited strikes could bring chaos to public transport

Rolling strikes could affect public transport until October 30, CGT union warns. Our full rundown of today's impact.

FRANCE will today be hit by open-ended strikes in public transport - and a one-day strike in schools.

Unions are protesting against plans to push back the legal retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018.

The retirement reform law has been passed by MPs and is currently being debated in the Senate.

On Friday, senators voted in favour of the key element of the text: raising the retirement age to 62.

Today's strike will be followed by another day of street protests on Saturday, October 16.

According to a survey by Le Parisien, 69 per cent of people support the strike.

The last demos, on October 2, attracted three million people according to the unions, or 900,000 according to police.

Public transport - SNCF

The four main rail unions have all walked out indefinitely.

The SNCF will run one third of TGVs into and out of Paris and 20 per cent of province-province services (bypassing Paris).

About 40 per cent of regional TER services are operating as planned, and a third of Corail trains. There are no sleeper trains, except Paris-Rome.

In the Ile-de-France, 40 per cent of Transilien trains will run during peak hours.

Public transport - Paris metro/buses/trams

The RATP open-ended strike began at 22.30 on Monday night.

RER B will run only a fifth of services, and RER A about 50 per cent. There are no through trains on the RER B or RER D at the Gare du Nord.

Three-quarters of buses will run. Trams and metro lines 1, 11 and 14 should operate normally.

Between half and two-thirds of trains are operating on other metro lines.

Call the RATP for more info on 0800 15 11 11.

Public transport - elsewhere

Unlimited strikes are also planned on public transport networks in 85 towns and cities around France. The CGT says the walkout could last until October 30.

Flights

Five unions representing Air France staff have called a 24-hour strike for Tuesday.

Air traffic controllers are also on strike, affecting a large number of flights over French airspace.

Some 30 per cent of flights into and out of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Beauvais airports are cancelled and 50 per cent at Orly.

Ryanair has cancelled 250 flights.

Education

Teachers' unions are planning a one-day strike. According to the SNUipp-FSU union, about half of teachers will be on strike.

Power cuts?

The CGT union has called an open-ended strike in the power sector.

It is calling on workers at EDF to reduce production and carry out power cuts targeting official buildings, but not households.

Public services

Expect office closures at the Sécurité Sociale, Caisse d'Allocations Familiales and Pôle Emploi, potentially running until October 18.

Post offices will be closed or operating with a skeleton staff on Tuesday.

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