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Strikes hit post, schools and buses

Teachers, school canteen workers, bus drivers and postal staff have walked out in a social security cuts protest

PUBLIC transport services, schools, school canteens, the postal service and tax offices across the country are out of action today because of a national strike which will affect different sectors in different regions.

Tram drivers, postmen and teachers are amongst those expected to join the 142 groups of workers mobilised by country’s largest union, the CGT, to protest against proposed cuts to the social security budget for 2015.

In Haute-Normandie, disruption is expected on the metro, TEOR and FAST services and buses in Rouen. For Rouen services click here

In Brittany, protests have been organised in Brest, Saint-Malo, Saint-Brieuc and Rennes, where schools have asked parents to provide picnics as the canteens are on strike. The city’s metro and key bus routes will run normally although some bus routes will be affected. For Rennes services click here.

School meal services and canteens are expected to be out of action in Clermont-Ferrand in Auvergne where demonstrations start this afternoon, and there will be a reduced service on most bus and tram lines run by T2C. For Clermont services click here

In Loire-Atlantique and the Vendée, unions have been mobilising postal workers who are expected to join forces with dockers, sacked consultants from C3 and workers who are fighting against the closure of the Seita cigarette factory in Carquefou.

Further south, 22 out of 57 municipal nurseries in Marseille are closed and 196 canteens are expected to be shut for the day and in Montpellier several nurseries, after-school services and school canteens are shut. School meals, schools and nursery services in Tarbes and Toulouse, in the Midi-Pyrenees are also expected to be affected.

In Lyon 61 out of 124 school canteens will be shut and some of those open will only be partially working.

Bus and tram services will also be disrupted on the Côte d’Azur and in Champagne-Ardenne.

Both Air France and Paris public transport network RATP said the strike would not affect services

SNCF said there would be little impact on transport, predicting “normal traffic on 95% of territory” aside from “light” disruption in Centre where The Paris-Orléans Intercity line will be the worst hit with 40% trains cancelled and Burgundy where the Dijon-Laroche-Paris and Morvan-Auxerre-Laroche lines would suffer.

The strikes are being held in protest against the plans for the 2015 social security budget which are designed to reduce the deficit by €2bn by cutting family allowances, economising on medicines and reducing unnecessary rules.

CGT leader Thierry Lepaon said the moves would particularly hit “families and the sick” adding that the cost-cutting changes “truly call into question social protection”.

Members of the CGT are set to be joined by members of FSU (Fédération Syndicale Unitaire) and Solidaires unions in Montpellier, Marseille, Bordeaux, and by FO (Force Ouvrière) in Brittany.

He said the proposals in the pacte de responsabilité agreed between the government and business, represented a €40billion gift to employers through cuts to the benefits paid to children, families and the sick.

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