Strike of March 7: SNCF, RATP, schools, air, blockages… the point on a “Black Tuesday”
France, at a standstill on March 7? Unions rely on labor movements massive and even renewable strikes in all sectors, on this sixth day of protest against pension reform. On the eve of this fateful day for the social movement, Le Parisien takes stock of what the different sectors are already planning.
The intersyndicale had been the first to invite its employees “to a renewable strike from March 7 in order to weigh even more heavily. It will thus be very complicated to take the metro on Tuesday, the SNCF and the RATP having announced a “very disturbed” traffic.
On the metro side, the most lines will see their circulation restricted mainly during peak hours – between 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. and between 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. – except lines 1, 14 and 4. Some stations will also be closed. Similarly, on the RATP side, the RER will count between one in two and one in three trains and on the SNCF side, between one in three and one in five.
Île-de-France Mobilités (IDFM), the authority responsible for organizing transport in the Ile-de-France region, had anticipated, in a press release, “major disruptions” in public transport, calling “all Ile-de-France residents who can, to telecommute. Incidentally, IDFM has also put in place a carpooling subsidy system, which will be free for all passengers.
How many establishments will close on Tuesday? “The rates of strikers should be quite good,” says Sophie Vénétitay, spokesperson for Snes-FSU, the main secondary school union. In kindergarten and elementary school, teachers had until Saturday evening to declare themselves strikers. But estimates, usually made by trade unions, are difficult to achieve at the national level. In Paris, however, the SNUipp-Paris, the majority union in the first degree, advances the figure of 60% of strikers and 120 schools that will keep doors closed this Tuesday.
On the side of early childhood, the unions do not speak of “black Tuesday” but perceive a willingness of staff, often precarious, to make their voices heard. “We can’t say that it will be very strong, but the movement will be followed, that’s for sure,” explains Cirylle Godfroi, co-secretary general of the early childhood union (SNPPE). Parents should therefore expect disturbances in nurseries, especially if these take new forms such as the canteen strike. Sporadic blockages by high school and university students are also expected.
Blockages on the roads
Snail operations, filter dams… Some drivers have already started blocking operations in the night from Sunday to Monday, as in Lesquin, in the North, near the A1 motorway. “We are clearly going to toughen up the tone to make the government bend,” supports Patrice Clos, secretary general at FO Transports.
However, the trade unions are moving forward in a dispersed order. FO and Solidaires asked their troops to disengage from Sunday evening, 10 p.m., for an “unlimited duration”. While the CGT, the CFDT, the CFTC and CFE-CGC focus their efforts on a 48-hour movement, on March 7 and 8, in accordance with the line enacted by the eight confederations, in unison against the reform project retirements.
In the air, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has asked airlines to give up part of their flights on Tuesday March 7 and Wednesday March 8, in anticipation of the air traffic controllers’ strike. In detail, the flight programs will be reduced by 20% at Paris-Charles-de-Gaulle and by 30% at Paris-Orly, Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse.
The Civil Aviation Department calls on passengers to postpone their trip and get closer to their airlines. Another link, the refuellers responsible for supplying the planes, are also called to strike in airports throughout France.
The renewable strike began Friday afternoon in the nuclear power plants. Production cuts reached more than 5,000 megawatts late Sunday afternoon on nuclear, hydroelectric and thermal power plants, the equivalent of five nuclear reactors.
The movement “aims to expand”, “at least until 7 and at most until winning”, warned Sébastien Ménesplier, secretary general of the CGT Energy. The union representative promised “a dark week in energy”, with targeted cuts, blockages and occupations. On the refinery side, the CGT also called for a renewable strike, with the aim of “blocking the entire economy”, in terms of the production, distribution and importation of fuel. The strikers intend to block shipments from refineries to depots, but if the movement were to last three days or more, it could lead to the stoppage of refineries.
The aeronautics, automobile and steel industries are all affected by a strike that the branch union hopes to see renewed. The CGT unions of Thales, Valeo, Stellantis, ArcelorMittal, Forvia, Airbus, Safran and Renault called in particular to mobilize on March 7. The movement should continue on March 8 in most sectors, the inter-union having called for a renewable strike.
The CGT has called for the renewable strike of garbage collectors and “the entire waste industry” from March 7. For the time being, it is the only union to launch this call but the CGT remains in the majority, especially in Paris, whether among municipal and private garbage collectors. Its representatives have announced their intention to approach the other trade union federations in the sector to broaden the appeal.