France’s national transportation network is set to be heavily disrupted tomorrow (February 7) as the country braces for a third day of protest against the government’s pension reform bill.
It comes as Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announces some changes to the bill, allowing those who start work earlier to retire earlier.
The proposed changes mean that those who start work between the ages of 20 and 21 can retire at 63 instead of 64 (the new minimum retirement age set by the bill).
Read also: Age, new minimum amount: What does France’s pension reform involve?
These concessions were made to gain the support of the right-wing Les Républicains party in voting in favour of the bill, which begins debate before MPs today.
Below is a round-up of what is known about tomorrow’s strike action so far:
TGVs and regional trains
Train travel will be heavily affected with roughly around only one in two TGV (national high-speed) trains running across France.
Some regions are more heavily affected, however, with only one in three TGV services running to the west of the country (primarily Nantes, Rennes, and Bordeaux), and only two in five to the south-east.
Regional train services (TERs) across the country will also be heavily affected with only around three in ten services running.
TER disruptions will vary heavily depending on the region and it is recommended to check travel plans today (February 6) at 17:00 when service schedules are finalised.
There national rail operator SNCF says travel conditions for February 7 should be slightly better than on the first two days of national protests (January 19 and 31).
Train services will also be disrupted on Wednesday February 8, with rail unions CGT Cheminots and SUD-Rail calling for two consecutive days of strike action. There is no official confirmation they will be joining a fourth day of national protest planned for Saturday February 11.
More information regarding the details of Wednesday’s movement will also be available on Monday evening.
Read also: Second pension strike in France: higher turnout, two new dates set
Paris Métro and regional services
In Ile-de-France, only 66% of Transilien trains (regional trains servicing Paris and nearby towns) will be running.
Métro lines will also see disruption, especially during rush-hour with all manually operated lines running a reduced service.
Regional RER lines A and B will have only one train in two running.
Only the automatic Métro lines (1 and 14) will see no disruption, alongside the tramway network, which will also be unaffected.
The RATP (Paris’ public transport operator) says that 8 out of 10 buses will be running.
At Orly airport in Paris, the Direction générale de l'Aviation civile (DGAC) has asked airline firms to cancel one in five flights due to air traffic controllers striking.
It adds, however, that even with this measure, delays and disruption are to be expected on remaining services.
There are no reports of disruption to flights from or to Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (Roissy).
Read also: Why more people are supporting the retirement strikes in France
Schools and education
Teaching unions will also be on strike on February 7, yet full details of the action has yet to be announced.
In Paris, strike action has been confirmed, with at least 60 out of 645 primary schools completely shut, and around 50% of union staff in this sector striking, according to teaching unions.
Ski-lift operators and other sectors
Other sectors also affected include energy, refinery and some ski-lift operators on strike tomorrow.
Energy and refinery workers will also be joining the strike action on February 8 alongside SNCF workers.
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