French transport strike to continue

Protest against pension reforms enters second day, causing transport chaos.

    Union workers on Thursday voted to extend the strike at least until Friday [AFP]

    Transport chaos

     

    The strike has caused widespread disruptions in the French capital.

     

    It is the biggest test yet for Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, who was elected on assurances to discard the special pension regime, which allow some state sector employees to retire after 37.5 years of work against 40 years for everyone else.

       

    He has indicated he is willing to make secondary concessions, but has vowed not to go back on his word, confident that public opinion is firmly behind him.

       

    CGT workers at the Paris transport authority (RATP) also voted to stay away from work.

     

    "So we imagine that Friday will go much the same way as today," Jacques Eliez, the union spokesman, said.

       

    Many workers struggled to reach their offices for a second day running and traffic jams clogged roads leading into Paris from well before dawn.  

      

    The government wrote to union leaders on Wednesday proposing a month for negotiations between the workers, the companies concerned and state representatives.

     

    "This strike must stop. It's a strike that penalises users and that will not result in social progress," Francois Fillon, France's prime minister, told the senate upper house of parliament.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.