France to be paralysed by mass ‘Black Thursday’ strikes
France is braced for chaos today as part of a ‘Black Thursday’ strike against government plans to make people work longer before they can retire.
Most trains will be cancelled, with flights and the Paris metro also disrupted, after unions called on workers to walk out and take to the streets.
Around three-quarters of teachers are expected to join the general strike, and stoppages will disrupt health services.
Philippe Martinez, head of the CGT union, said he hoped ‘several million people’ would be striking and demonstrating. ‘This is just the start,’ he added.
Only a third of high-speed TGV lines will be operating. International traffic on the Eurostar and Thalys lines is set to be nearly normal but other international train connections will be cancelled.
Lorry drivers, couriers, oil refinery workers and bank and theatre staff are expected to join the action.
Polls show a vast majority of French oppose president Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms, which would see the retirement age raised from 62 to 64.
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