Nationwide Strikes and Protests Shake France’s Road Transport Sector, March 5-10 | MyTravelThru

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Road transport sector unions join call for nationwide strikes and demonstrations in France March 5-10; disruptions likely.


Unions representing workers in the road transport sector have joined a coalition of major labor unions, opposition political parties, and activist groups in calls for nationwide strikes and protests taking place March 5-10; the major organizing unions are focusing actions around March 7-8. The industrial action is part of a campaign denouncing the government’s proposed pension reforms that would raise the retirement age.

Unions representing road transport workers have called on members to begin strike action from 22:00 March 5 for an indefinite period of time. The strike will result in disruption to road public transport and road freight delivery services nationwide; reduced availability of certain goods is possible as a result. Organizers have called for participants to engage in go-slow and roadblock demonstrations for the duration of the strike; specific locations for these protests have not been confirmed, but likely locations include industrial areas, highway toll, and border crossings, and main roads around major cities.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) states unionized air traffic controllers will strike from 18:00 March 6 to 07:00 March 10. The DGAC indicates disruptions will be most severe March 7-8 and asked airports to reduce their flight schedules on those days. Most notably, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) has been asked to reduce flight schedules by 20 percent, while a 30 percent reduction has been requested at Paris Orly Airport (ORY), Paris-Beauvais Airport (BVA), Bordeaux–Merignac Airport (BOD), Lille Airport (LIL), Lyon-Saint Exupery Airport (LYS), Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE), Marseille Provence Airport (MRS), Montpellier-Mediterranee Airport (MPL), Nice Cote d’Azur Airport (NCE) and Toulouse–Blagnac Airport (TLS).

Additionally, CGT Air France has called on Air France (AF) workers to observe strike action on March 7. Air France states they plan to operate nearly eight out of 10 flights, including all long-haul flights, during the strike period.

Unions representing French National Railway Company (SNCF) employees and the Parisien Public Transport Operator (RATP) have called on their members to strike on March 7. The strike may be extended until March 8. Significant disruptions are anticipated; SNCF will announce schedule amendments from 17:00 on March 6. On previous strike days, SNCF has maintained 30-40 percent of trains on TGV, national Ouigo, and regional TER lines. RATP will announce the expected impact on Metro, bus, tram, and suburban RER networks around 48 hours before the strike starts; disruptions to local public transport services in additional cities are likely. Eurostar has confirmed cancelations to some services March 7-8, but the full impact of the strike remains unclear.

Unions representing port and dock workers have called on their members to strike March 7-8; disruptions to maritime operations are likely as a result.

The National Federation of Chemical Industries (FNIC) states workers at oil refineries and depots will observe strike action on March 7; however, this action will not significantly impact fuel supplies.

Public Sector

Unions representing public sector workers are likely to call on members to take part in the action. Education sector unions have confirmed their participation on March 7 and 8; closures of educational facilities are likely as a result. Healthcare unions could participate in the strike action prompting disruption to healthcare services, though emergency medical treatment will likely remain available. Staff at private companies may also participate in the strikes, resulting in business disruptions and closures.


Activists will stage related demonstrations in town and city centers nationwide. The largest will likely be in Paris; activists will gather at Sevres-Babylone at 14:00 and march to Place d’Italie. Attendance could reach into the tens of thousands. Additionally, at least one union has called for a demonstration at Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport on March 7. The gathering will take place at Door 17, Terminal 2E from 10:00.

Demonstrations are also confirmed at the following times and locations on March 7:

  • Bordeaux: Place de la Bourse, 12:30

  • Lille: Porte de Paris, 14:30

  • Lyon: Metro Sans Souci, 14:30

  • Marseille: Port-Vieux, 10:30

  • Montpellier: Rives du Lez, 14:00

  • Nantes: Mirroir d’eau, 11:00

  • Nice: Jardin Albert 1er, 10:00

  • Rennes: Place de Bretagne, 11:00

  • Strasbourg: Place de la Republique, 14:00

  • Toulouse: Saint Cyprien, 15:00

Further demonstrations are planned in additional towns and cities nationwide; likely locations are central squares and major thoroughfares. Attendance will vary by location but will be in the thousands at larger gatherings.

Additional police will deploy to monitor and facilitate all demonstrations. Large crowds and associated security measures, including possible road closures and movement restrictions, will prompt localized business and transport disruptions. Most actions are likely to pass off peacefully, though isolated clashes between activists and police cannot be ruled out.


Confirm all transport reservations, as well as public and private sector appointments March 5-10 and particularly March 7-8, including at public health centers and other government facilities. Avoid all demonstrations as a routine security precaution and to mitigate associated disruptions. Allow extra time for travel in major cities. Heed instructions from local authorities and leave the area at the first sign of a confrontation.

More information here:


The Connexion France

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