France grinds to a halt as ‘Black Thursday’ strike arrives

France

A series of strikes will take place across France (Image: Charly Triballeau/AFP)

France is set for chaos today as part of a ‘Black Thursday’ strike against government plans to let people work longer hours before they can retire.

Most trains are cancelled, flights and the Paris Metro are also suspended after unions urged workers to get out of the house and onto the streets.

Around three quarters of teachers are expected to join the general strike and the work stoppages will disrupt health services.

Philippe Martinez, leader of the CGT union, said he hoped “several million people” would strike and demonstrate. “This is just the beginning,” he added.

Only a third of the high-speed TGV lines will be operational. International traffic on the Eurostar and Thalys lines is said to be close to normal, but other international train services will be cancelled.

Truck drivers, couriers, oil refinery workers, and bank and theater workers are expected to join the action.

Polls show that a large majority of French people oppose President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform, which would raise the retirement age from 62 to 64.

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https://metro.co.uk/2023/01/19/france-to-be-paralysed-by-mass-black-thursday-strikes-18125430/ France grinds to a halt as 'Black Thursday' strike arrives

Justin Scacco

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