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Strike of February 16: what disturbances to expect?

SNCF, RATP, airports, refineries… The unions are calling for a new day of mobilization this Thursday, the last step before the renewable strike.




By Thibaut Deleaz

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Un new day of mobilization to maintain the pressure. The unions are calling for a strike and demonstration this Thursday, February 16 against the government’s pension reform project. No doubt all eyes will be on the National Assembly, where the debates on the text will end the next day, whether all the articles have been discussed or not, the government having chosen an accelerated legislative vehicle.

If the last strike on Saturday February 11, the first to be held over a weekend, was much less followed, the French still marched massively in the streets. The mobilization does not seem to weaken, and the unions are now brandishing the threat of a renewable strike and a “blocking” of the country. We take stock of the disruptions expected this Thursday.

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Transport

On Saturday, the unions had not called for a strike, so as not to disrupt vacation departures and avoid antagonizing public opinion, which is still very favorable to the movement. This Thursday, February 16, the CGT railway workers are calling for action, but traffic will be much less disrupted than during previous walkouts. The SNCF plans 4 TGV and Ouigo out of 5, 1 Intercités out of 2 (but none at night) and 1 TER out of 2. In Île-de-France, two thirds of the Transilien and RER lines will be disrupted, with between 1 train out of 2 and 2 out of 3 trains.

On the side of the RATP, whose special regime is threatened by the reform, the inter-union deplores the “contempt” of the government facing the street and also calls for mobilization this Thursday, February 16. Like Saturday, the management foresees only a limited impact of the strike on traffic, which will be “almost normal to normal on the metro”, and slightly disrupted on the RER B. Buses and trams will run normally. In other metropolises, traffic forecasts should begin to fall at the end of the day on Tuesday.

Airports

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is asking companies to cancel 30% of their flights at Paris-Orly this Thursday, February 16 and 20% of flights at the airports of Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Montpellier and Nantes. Saturday, a surprise strike led to the cancellation of half of Orly flights in the afternoon and led, in particular, Toulouse-Blagnac airport to close at 8 p.m.

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Fuel

In the refineries, the CGT is also calling for a strike this Thursday, February 16. If the movement is rather followed in the sector, the mobilizations have not yet caused blocking or shutdown of the sites, the employees not being yet ready to harden the movement as the union would like. No fuel shortage in sight.

Schools

A good part of France – zones A and B – being in school holidays, the strike of this Thursday, February 16 should have little impact on National Education.

And after ?

This Thursday, February 16 is only a stepping stone before what the unions hope will be a turning point in the conflict, on March 7. The inter-union calls for a “renewable strike” from this date, hoping to harden the movement against an inflexible executive. She hopes to make Tuesday March 7 a day “France at a standstill”.


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