Schools, airports and trains were also hit by strikes as the country’s largest union, the CGT, urged people to “bring France to a standstill”.
Paris is expected to bear the brunt of the protests, with most lines of the metro operating only during peak hours, according to the city’s transport agency RATP. The main education union, FSU, said 120 schools would be closed on Sunday And 60% of primary school teachers will go on strike in the French capital.
Meanwhile, France’s civil aviation authority has asked airlines to reduce scheduled flights at Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports in Paris by 20% and 30% respectively. Air France will cancel 20% of short-haul flights, but maintain long-haul services. However, the airline cautioned that “last minute delays and cancellations cannot be ruled out”.
National railway operator SNCF said very few regional trains would run and four out of five trains on France’s inter-city high-speed train service TGV would be cancelled.
The cancellation has already affected Eurostar trains connecting major European capitals, including London and Paris and London and Amsterdam.
Fuel supply to gas stations may also be affected. Eric Cellini of the main oil union CGT-Chimie told CNN that workers are being blocked from leaving oil refineries across the country. Cellini said the blockade at some refineries would continue through the weekend.
Total energies ( It confirmed on Tuesday that exports from its refineries had been suspended, but said stocks at gas stations were high. “Our teams are mobilized to meet stronger-than-usual demand, and we have additional logistics resources available if needed,” the company said in a statement. )
Strikes ‘move up a gear’
According to BFMTV, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators will gather in more than 260 locations across France on Tuesday.
CGT Secretary General Philippe Martinez told Le Journal du Dimanche Sunday that unions were “on the rise” and that he expected “mobilizations to continue and grow until the government listens to workers.”
France has seen a series of strikes this year as workers protest against President Emmanuel Macron’s planned pension reforms. The reforms will gradually increase the age at which most French citizens receive their state pension from 62 to 64.
1.3 million people took part in the demonstrations on January 19, which brought the country to a standstill and closed the Eiffel Tower to visitors.
The government has said that pension The law is necessary to tackle funding shortfalls, but the reforms have angered workers at a time when the cost of living is rising.
The law is currently with French lawmakers, with a vote on the final version of the text expected later this month.