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Updated: Dates and sectors of upcoming pension strikes in France

We look at the expected disruption to travel and other services in France 

More strikes are expected as the Conseil constitutionnel makes its decision this evening Pic: HJBC / Shutterstock

After more than a month since the May 1 protests, French unions are calling for a fresh national day of action to protest against the government's controversial pension reforms on Tuesday (June 6).

Read more: France's pension reforms largely approved as referendum rejected

Between January and May of this year - especially in March - France saw widespread strike action in a number of sectors as unions battled the reforms, which will see the pension age rise from 62 to 64.

The transport sector in particular suffered, with trains and flights cancelled. There were also fuel shortages after unions blocked access to refineries. Bin collectors in Paris also initiated a strike, which saw the streets of the capital overflowing with rubbish. 

So what will the impact be of the June 6 strike? 

Read more: Most strikes in France are on a Tuesday or a Thursday. Here’s why


The SNCF has indicated their services will only be "very lightly affected" by the strike, with 9 out of 10 national trains running, but are still recommending people to check their journey status after 17:00 on Monday evening.

In Paris, the RATP said services should run as normal tomorrow. 

The Eurostar have said services should not be affected. 

Trains to Italy and Switzerland are also scheduled to run as normal, however Trenitalia services between Paris and Lyon are cancelled. TGV Lyria services between Paris and Lausanne are facing disruptions throughout the month of June, unrelated to strike action on June 6.

Public transport services in major French cities may be affected. In Reims, for example, tram services will be severely disrupted or not run at all.


Flight delays and cancellations can be expected at several French airports, said France's civil aviation authority.

Up to 33% of flights from Paris-Orly and 20% from Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nantes airports are set to be cancelled.

If you are flying to or from these airports, it is recommended you check your journey prior to departure, to see if any delays have been announced.  


Disruption to ferry services seems minimal - Brittany ferries have announced one service is cancelled tomorrow between Le Havre - Portsmouth (and vice versa), although it is unknown whether this is due to strike action or otherwise.

Other services between the UK and France have not yet announced any cancellations.


Schools, particularly in Paris and other big cities, are expected to be disrupted, with various teaching unions calling for strike action, although no definitive announcements have been made over which schools will shut.

Civil servant unions have also warned of strike action, that could affect not only traditional services but also after-school care, crèches, and the provision of school meals.

In Rennes, 51 school canteens are set to be closed due to strikes. 

Other sectors

The CGT (confédération générale du travail) union have also given advance warning of a strike by their members in the healthcare sector between June 2 and June 8, although no final details have been announced. There is a wider interunion call for healthcare workers to strike on June 6.

Why are unions striking on June 6?

Unions have chosen June 6 as a national day of action for two reasons. 

The first and most straightforward is that when workers strike, they lose pay, and after months of action workers in the most prevalent sections will be feeling the effects of this. 

The unions think it is better for workers to join forces in unison for disruption to be as strong as possible, as opposed to more frequent but less organised and therefore less disruptive strikes taking place on a sector-by-sector level. 

They also believe a month of no strikes will invigorate as many workers as possible to turn out on June 6. 

Secondly, on June 8 the National Assembly (France's parliament) will debate a number of movements on the matter, in motions put forward by the LIOT, a group of independent MPs in the chamber.

One of these will include a motion which keeps the age of retirement fixed at 62 years of age - and after almost toppling the government with a motion of no-confidence in March, the group believe this time the motion can be passed with cross-party support from all opposition MPs. 

The unions are therefore marching two days before to show their support - and strength - to those in parliament, and to show they have not given up the most controversial aspects of the bill being cancelled.

What is next?

  • The National Assembly will discuss a number of motions on France's pension reforms, on Thursday, June 8.
  • The reforms validated by France's highest constitutional authority on Friday are set to become effective from September 1.
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