Saturday, February 24

Demonstrations and alterations in transport in a day of strike with limited scope in France

The strike to demand wage increases called this Tuesday in France by a part of the unions had a limited scope, but threatens to be prolonged, particularly in the oil and energy sector, where it has been entrenched for weeks, and in public transport .

This Tuesday, in addition to the strikes, “close to 200” mobilizations had been called throughout the country, according to the General Confederation of Labor (CGT). The demonstrations have traveled the streets of the cities of Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux, Lyon and Strasbourg, among others. In the capital there have been some incidents and clashes, according to the French media.

At the demonstration organized in Paris, the general secretary of the CGT and leader of the protest, Philippe Martínez, underlined his main claim: the question of wages, which is the “number one priority of the French”.

Martínez has reiterated his claim for an increase in the minimum wage (the goal is to reach 2,000 euros gross per month, compared to the current 1,678.95) and the “indexing” of the rest of the salaries with the cost of living so that they do not lose purchasing power, something “more than urgent”.

The union leader has recalled that this Tuesday’s day is a continuation of the one on September 29, which has lasted since then with sectoral strikes, particularly in the refineries.

Martínez has also assured that the strike will continue and even without going into details as long as the workers do not speak out, he has hinted that the mobilization could be maintained in the oil sector and on the railways.

“When the discussion is not enough, one more step must be taken,” said the union leader, who has complained about the ups and downs of the positions of the members of the Government, after this Tuesday the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, ask the bosses to “increase wages when possible” because “there is a wage problem” in France.

Disturbances in public transport

One of the most visible aspects of this strike day has been, as usual, public transport, where there were disturbances but in no case generalized.

On the railways, the greatest impact has been on regional trains, since only half circulated, and also on the outskirts of Paris (a quarter of the usual services were canceled on some lines) or on buses from the capital , since a third of the total have been deleted. In the subway the situation has been almost normal.

As has been the case for more than two weeks, stoppages at refineries and fuel depots kept about 30% of the country’s gas stations without supply of at least one type of fuel.

The French government has announced that one more day it was going to resort to the forced mobilization of striking personnel to unblock some fuel tanks.

The Ministry of Education has indicated at noon that just over 6% of teachers had declared themselves unemployed.

According to a survey by the Elabe demographic institute, 49% were against this mobilization led by the CGT and also supported by three other minority centrals, but to which the country’s main union, the French Democratic Confederation of Workers, has not joined. (CFDT).