You can read 9 more articles this month
SCABS on scooters were seen whizzing across Paris today as transport workers on the city network walked out on strike over planned pension reforms.
Ten of the French capital’s 16 Metro lines were shut down in the biggest strike since 2007 as workers launched their first major action against President Emmanuel Macron’s reforms.
Officials reported more than 235km (145 miles) of traffic jams in the Paris region, more than double the normal levels as many workers stayed at home.
Transport operators, including ATP’s e-moped and Uber’s e-bike and scooter networks, offered limited free rides to try to beat the strike as workers were seen scooting across the city.
Uber’s taxi-hailing service saw a price surge, with a ride across the city reported to have shot up to €100 (£90), about three times the usual fare.
The dispute will be another major test for Mr Macron, whose popularity slid dramatically during the yellow vests protests, and which are still ongoing.
He plans to introduce a single points-based pension system, but transport unions warn that it would force them to work longer and would weaken their current terms and conditions of employment.
Workers retire earlier under an agreement negotiated by the unions because of the nature of their work, which involved long hours underground.
The average retirement age for public transit workers is 55.7, compared with 63 for other French workers.
CFE-CGC union spokesman Frederic Ruiz described the strike as “a shot across the boughs” for Mr Macron’s reforms.
Mr Macron’s pension reforms are being introduced at the behest of the European Union, which requires France to reduce its public debt and cut public spending.
Last year France announced plans to break up the SNCF state railway system and undermine workers’ terms and conditions in preparation for an EU requirement to offer the network to private companies.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.