Home » World

French strikes over Macron reforms turn ugly

26 March, 2018, 01:06 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • Rail workers are gearing up to fight for their rights

Workers across France took to the streets on Thursday to protest President Emmanuel Macron's public sector reform plans.

Public opinion is largely behind his bid to remove some job privileges for new hires at debt-laden state railway operator SNCF and many analysts believe the reform effort is a crucial test of strength. They held banners and placards criticizing Macron's policies and expressing opposition to privatization.

"There will be a lot of people taking part", the leader of the hard-left CGT union, Philippe Martinez, promised on Wednesday.

"What we need to avoid is that all the grievances fuse together, as was the case in 1995", Reuters quoted a government official as saying.

Teachers, train conductors, and airline controllers marched all over France on Thursday, March 22.

While Thursday's strikes are likely to inconvenience many travelers, Macron was elected on a mandate of reforming the country's famously rigid labor laws.

FSU union official Bernadette Groison said the reforms would herald "the end of the social model we know today, with public services that have been broken apart".

But the first round of their battle against Macron in September and October a year ago - over changes to labour law - ended in disappointment and saw the ex-investment banker prevail.

"We're never happy when things change, yet we want things to change - that's the paradox of France", he tweeted last week.

Railway workers are anxious by government plans to scrap job-for-life guarantees, automatic annual pay rises and generous early retirement packages.




Only 40 percent of high-speed TGV trains and around a third of commuter trains were operating, CNN's Jim Bitterman reported from Paris' Gare Saint-Lazare railway station.

SNCF unions have already scheduled a series of strikes for next month, May and June.

The disruption is expected to cause a major headache for management even on non-strike days because trains and staff will not be where they are supposed to be.

Airport authorities said 30% of flights to and from Paris were cancelled.

They are being organised to dovetail with a day of demonstrations by civil servants and public service employees opposed to plans to change the retirement system.

He was also suspected, without any certainty, of having travelled to Syria, Le Parisien said, adding that the family flat, where he would have been living with his parents and three or four sisters, was raided by police on Friday afternoon.

This is not the first time workers have taken to the streets to demonstrate against Macron's labour plans.

Macron's approval rating is at 37%, according to a survey by the Ipsos polling group published on Wednesday, with 55% holding a negative view of his presidency, the highest level since the start of his term past year.

Macron also said there should be a target for European Union budget spending to help a transition to a green economy and no European Union spending should be "hostile" to the environment.

Recommended:

  • David Ignatius: Saudi crown prince is young leader in a hurry

    David Ignatius: Saudi crown prince is young leader in a hurry

    And he is behind a major anti-corruption drive targeting the Saudi elite, which critics say also removes domestic rivals. He said a 10-year window for implementing the deal was already under way. "Well, we're going to see what happens".
    Mamata welcomes Mayawati stand on SP-BSP understanding

    Mamata welcomes Mayawati stand on SP-BSP understanding

    Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma termed the alliance of the SP and the BSP as "lathabandhan" (a tie-up to intimidate people). She also suspended her party MLA Anil Singh, alleging he cross voted in favour of the BJP to serve his business interests.
    Israel admits striking Syrian 'nuclear facility' in 2007

    Israel admits striking Syrian 'nuclear facility' in 2007

    The Israeli military disclosed that 2 groups of jets flew at low altitude toward the target to avoid detection by Syria's radar. Concern is growing that the confrontation between Israel and Iran will escalate further.
  • Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for 8 months' jail

    Palestinian teen Ahed Tamimi reaches plea deal for 8 months' jail

    Tamimi's lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said the sentence would include four months already served and a fine of 5,000 shekels (£1,017). She was arrested in December after video surfaced of her accosting soldiers outside her West Bank home.
    Dodgers superstar has broken wrist

    Dodgers superstar has broken wrist

    The Dodgers third baseman said he would visit with doctors again on Tuesday to learn more about the wrist injury. Turner grunted and winced as he jogged away from the plate toward the dugout, his hand hanging limp at his side.
    Serena to meet Osaka in Miami Open

    Serena to meet Osaka in Miami Open

    Special seedings were sometimes applied to players returning from long lay-offs but that rule has been scrapped by the WTA. Williams is an eight-time Miami Open victor , but she can't be seeded due to the fact that she's unranked.
  • Became known, the poisoned Skripal in London

    Became known, the poisoned Skripal in London

    In the worst crisis between London and Moscow since the Cold War, Ms May expelled 23 Russian diplomats whom she said were spies . Russian Federation responded by expelling United Kingdom diplomats and shutting down the British Council cultural organisation.
    Egypt: Explosion hits near convoy of Alexandria security chief

    Egypt: Explosion hits near convoy of Alexandria security chief

    Egypt's interior ministry and army have tightened security ahead of the elections, which will be held Monday through Wednesday. State news agency MENA quoted al-Nemr as saying that two people, a policeman and a driver, were killed in the blast.
    Liverpool confident of securing Jorginho this summer

    Liverpool confident of securing Jorginho this summer

    Liverpool midfielder Emre Can has insisted that he intends to "play for a very big club next season". Jurgen Klopp has now urged the Liverpool board to get the transfer sealed as per the same report.
  • Merkel Strongly Condemns Turkish Military Offensive in Afrin

    Merkel Strongly Condemns Turkish Military Offensive in Afrin

    However, Manning indicated that the US would not leave Manbij or abandon support for the SDF. Tal Rifaat is held by the YPG, but there is also a presence for Syrian government troops.
    YouTube updates its policies on videos featuring guns

    YouTube updates its policies on videos featuring guns

    Some gun enthusiasts have already seen their pages suspended, although Youtube does not plan on fully enforcing the changes until April.
    'Anti-military' California teacher fired for video rant

    'Anti-military' California teacher fired for video rant

    A Pentagon spokeswoman, when asked about Salcido's comments later in January, called the teacher's remarks "very uninformed". Mr Salcido denies being anti-military but said he maintains the military is not the best option for his students.


Popular

'I know Thomas Tuchel is in contact with Arsenal' - Lothar Matthaus
Tuchel rejecting Bayern for Arsenal? "I think that Thomas Tuchel has the quality to coach Bayern", he said . The Sunday morning links to Tuchel have some Arsenal fans excited about what may be next season.

China urges USA away from "brink" as Trump picks trade weapons
Wine imported from the U.S.is displayed at a supermarket in Beijing in 2011. He said the industry could end up losing market share for years to come.

Trump signs spending bill, blasts Congress
It includes a 9% budget increase for the US National Park Service to address a fix backlog that advocates say are urgently needed. Trump repeatedly invoked the need to rebuild the USA armed forces to defend his signing of a bill that he was unhappy with.

Earth Hour Sees Decline In Participation In BC
Earth Hour is Saturday, March 24 from 8:30 to 9:30 PM and the province is asking all Manitoban's to participate. Join us in showing your support for a brighter, better, more sustainable world.

Egypt court orders Uber and Careem to cease operations
They also claimed that the two firms were registered as a call centre and an internet company, respectively. Last year, London deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service and stripped it of its licence to operate.

US Prepares To Leave Iran Deal
Araghchi warned European powers that agreeing to measures to appease Trump could erode the deal and lead to its unraveling. United States sanctions will resume unless Trump again waives them on May 12.

Deviljho DLC Release Date Revealed in Monster Hunter World Live Stream
This title update will also bring a number of tweaks and adjustments to most of the Monster Hunter: World's weapon types. Added the "Text Size" setting for changing subtitle text size, under Start Menu Options Game Settings .

West Ham chaos as pitch invaders and crowd trouble mars Burnley's win
West Ham owners David Gold and David Sullivan are understood to have left their seats for their own safety during the clashes. Noble's ascent from boyhood West Ham fan to key player for the club had made him a favourite of the Hammers support.

MS agriculture official expected to go to US Senate
As a graduate of USM, she maintains close ties to the university through various service organizations and campus involvement. Elected in 2011, Hyde-Smith, 58, made history as the first woman to hold the office of state agriculture commissioner.

Moscow slams Boris Johnson for comparing Russia's World Cup to Nazi Olympics
He believes they will be at risk of violence, and the embassy will not be able to help them. You can expect to be assassinated.