unions hope to strike ‘higher and harder’ against pensions

A second round “higher, stronger” in France? From Arras to Nice, opponents of the pension reform began to parade in processions where this Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of French people are expected, the unions hoping for a mobilization at least equivalent to that of January 19 to bend the government. on its flagship project.

About 1.2 million demonstrators are expected at the high end, including 100,000 in Paris, according to the police. In total, more than 200 demonstrations against the pension reform are planned for Tuesday across the country. ” We hope to be at least as much or even more than January 19 “, declared Philippe Martinez, the general secretary of the CGT.

Throughout France, the first processions set off from 10:00 a.m. with this same refusal of Emmanuel Macron’s flagship reform and his postponement of the legal age of departure to 64, especially among women, with by example in Toulouse a feminist collective at the head of the procession.

In Reunion, more than 10,000 people according to the organizers, 7,300 according to the prefecture, demonstrated in the two main cities of the island.

Eleven thousand police and gendarmes are mobilized, including 4,000 in Paris, according to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin.

An inter-union must meet from 6:00 p.m. at the headquarters of FO to decide on the follow-up to the movement, and probably announce at least a new day of mobilization.

► To read also: Mobilization for pensions at the time of act 2

Many sectors on strike

Schools closed, trains, buses or metros that do not pass, a loss of power on the electricity network and shipments blocked in refineries: many sectors stopped work on Tuesday to show their rejection of the pension reform.

The rate of striking teachers is 25.92%, including 26.65% in primary and 25.22% in secondary (middle and high schools) according to the ministry, well below union figures. On January 19, during the first day of mobilization, the rate of striking teachers was 42.35% in primary education and 34.66% in secondary education, according to the ministry.

In the airports, it is mainly the strike of air traffic controllers which causes disruptions and delays. The cancellation of one in five flights was requested from Paris-Orly by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to match the available staff and the expected traffic.

In the trains, traffic is in line with SNCF forecasts, namely “very severely disrupted”, with around 2 TER out of 10 in the regions, only 25 to 30% of TGV depending on the axes, almost no Intercités trains, nor any night Train.

transport paralyzed

In Ile-de-France, the mobilization of railway workers hinders the service of many suburban lines. On the international side, Eurostar and Thalys are supposed to operate almost normally, unlike Lyria between France and Switzerland. In the Paris metro, traffic is in line with RATP forecasts, which expected less disruption than on January 19. Bus and tram drivers must provide 80% of the service. In large cities: disruptions were announced in the Bordeaux tramway, Rennes buses and Lyon metro.

In Marseille, the second largest city in France, one of the two metro lines (line 1) and one of the three tram lines are completely at a standstill, and the frequency is slowed down on the other lines. Similarly, around thirty bus lines are completely at a standstill out of a hundred.

Demonstration in the streets of Morlaix, in Finistère, on January 31, 2023.

The national interprofessional strike notice also concerns the entire public service where the previous day of action on January 19 had mobilized 28% of strikers among the 2.5 million state agents, according to a figure from the ministry. .

The mobilization is strong in the refineries and fuel depots of TotalEnergies which have 75 to 100% of strikers and the EDF agents have carried out load reductions. The action began on Monday evening, and the loss of power is approaching 3,000 MW, the equivalent of three nuclear reactors. At EDF, one in two agents went on strike on January 19.

In Vienne, “Robin Hood” actions to reconnect electricity to cut homes have been claimed by the CGT.

(With AFP)