Strikes are planned today (October 5) across France, in protest at issues such as rising energy prices, changing rules for unemployment and retirement benefits, and reduced spending power.
Multiple unions including the CGT, FO, Solidaires, FSU, Fidl, MNL, Unef and UNL will participate.
Secretary of CGT, Céline Verzeletti, told Sud Ouest that jobs and salaries were among the most important issues, “there is growing anger and awareness that there is money, but that it is not being redistributed to working people”.
Secretary general of CGT Philippe Martinez told LCI: “We need urgent responses now – when people take to the streets that adds pressure.”
He said that the strikes should make sure that “social questions” were pushed to the front of the agenda, five months before the 2022 presidential elections are set to take place.
Some strikers are also protesting the Covid health pass, which the CGT described as a form of “liberticide”.
200 street protests planned
Ms Verzeletti said: “We will have 200 meeting points [for protestors], which is an initial sign that today will be positive for us.”
She said that despite the health crisis, “there is a return to union meetings and general gatherings”.
The CGT has published a map of where protests are planned, on its site.
In Paris, they will begin at place de la République at 14:00, moving towards Opéra, in the 9th arrondissement. Police said “many thousands of people are expected”.
In Bordeaux, protests will begin at 11:30 at place de la République.
Some disruption expected
SNCF has said that despite the strikes, transport on TGV, Thalys, Eurostar and Lyria trains will be “normal” and Intercité, Transilien and TER trains will be “near-normal” but with some “local changes”.
In Normandy, disruptions are expected on TER lines
In Ile-de-France, disruption is expected on lines E, D and P between Meaux and La Ferté Milon, and line R between Melun and Montereay via Héricy.
In Paris traffic will run as normal on the metro, RER lines A and B and the tramway, except tram T3 A. There will be some disruption on buses.
In Occitanie, nine out of 10 trains are expected to run but in Toulouse “significant disruption” is expected on bus and tram networks by service provider Tisséo. The city’s two metro lines will run as normal.
Wider disruptions are expected on public transport networks in Bordeaux, Dijon, Douai, Le Mans, Marseille, Strasbourg and Rouen.
SNCF says some information about disruptions is already available via its app, and more comprehensive information is available on its website.
Postal workers called to strike
Postal deliveries could be disrupted today as workers from La Poste are called to strike.
Civil servants strike
Five unions have also called on civil servants to join today’s strikes.
Possible school strikes
Up to 25% of nursery school and primary school teachers are expected to join the strikes with possible disruption during school and extracurricular hours in some towns, including Nantes.
In such cases, a minimum staff service will be present, despite the relatively high numbers expected to join the protests, along with staff who manage school meals in primary schools and extracurricular clubs.
Extra services such as early morning and evening opening, and school meals, have been suspended in places including Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), Bezons (Val’d’Oise), and Cenon (Gironde).
In affected schools, parents must collect their children at lunchtime and straight after classes finish in the afternoon.
Parents in affected areas are advised to check with their school to see which measures are in place. Some teachers in collèges and lycées may also join strikes.