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The authorities foresee a massive support for the general strike called for this Tuesday in France

December 16, 2019
Tranvía abarrotado en París durante la huelga indefinida de transportes contra la reforma laboral del Gobierno del presidente Emmanuel Macron

Tram crowded in Paris during the indefinite transport strike against the labor reform of the Government of President Emmanuel Macron – REUTERS / CHARLES PLATIAU

The indefinite transport strike against the pension reform has been maintained since December 5


The French authorities have reported that they anticipate around one million people mobilized in the demonstrations on Tuesday, in a new day of general strike called against the pension reform, accompanied by one more day, the 13th, of indefinite strike in the transport sector.

The authorities foresee a massive support for the general strike called for this Tuesday in France
The authorities foresee a massive support for the general strike called for this Tuesday in France

In particular, high levels of follow-up are expected in the public transport sector, especially the railway sector, which is greatly affected by the pension reform proposal, as well as in the air and education sector. The central act of protest is a march between the Plaza de la República and the Plaza de la Nación.

Police sources cited by BMFTV television have targeted one million people in the streets and warned that there could be between 400 and 600 “vandals” in the Paris demonstration with “ultras” of both the “yellow vests” movement as from the extreme left.

As for transport, as usual, the official bodies themselves anticipate the closure of subway and subway lines and cancellation of journeys with hours in advance of the new strike day. Thus, in the Ile-de-France region, which includes Paris, 8 of the 16 metro lines will be closed.

In addition, one in four high-speed trains, one in five Transilien intercity trains and three in ten TER regional trains will circulate. “The traffic of the day of Tuesday, December 17 will be smaller than that of Monday 16”, warns the National Society of French Railways (SNCF).

Also on Monday it has transpired that the French Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, has called unions and employers for next Wednesday at 2.30 pm to hold bilateral work meetings on pension reform.

Already on Thursday the Prime Minister “will bring them all together during a multilateral meeting” at 4:00 p.m. and “at the end of the afternoon (he will receive) the directors of public transport companies to take stock of the results of the dialogue initiated in SNCF and RATP, “Philippe's office reported.

The RATP is the Autonomous Transport Company of Paris, a company that manages the Metro, buses and trams in the metropolitan region of Paris.

Regarding the education sector, the Ministry of Education and the unions believe that teacher mobilization is increasing compared to last Tuesday. According to the Ministry of Education, about 25 percent of primary school teachers will go on strike.

The main union of primary teachers, the National Unitary Union of Secondary, University and College Teachers (SNUIPP-FSU) estimates 50 percent follow-up.

In the general strike last Tuesday, the Ministry of Education estimated the rate of follow-up in teachers by 12.41 percent, while for unions it reached 30 percent.

In Paris it is expected that the mobilization will be greater than the average and 178 of the 650 schools in the city have announced that they will be closed on Tuesday. The SNUIPP-FSU estimates that 60 percent of teachers will support the strike in the capital.

Social mobilization is in response to the pension reform proposed by the president, Emmanuel Macron, which aims to unify the more than 40 schemes currently contemplated by a single framework that, according to the president, would favor equality among workers.

Among the concerns expressed by the unions is that it is necessary to contribute two more years to achieve the full pension or the suspension of early retirement plans for officials such as public transport workers and medical personnel.

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