Strikes Enter 40th Consecutive Day

Jan 14, 2020

Trade unions entered the 40th consecutive day of their nationwide strikes against a proposed pension reform of 13 January 2020. National rail operator Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Français (SNCF) announced that 80% of long-distance TGV trains are currently operating, while suburban Transilien trains and Transport express regional (TER) trains are both operating at 70% capacity. In Paris, all lines along the Paris Metro and the Réseau Express Régional (RER) are operating at reduced levels throughout the day; however, all lines are expected to operate during rush hour. Additionally, air traffic controllers have called for further strikes from 1900 local time (1800 UTC) on 13 January though 0630 local time on 17 January. While minimum services have been guaranteed during the strike, travelers should contact their airlines to check the status of their flights.

On 11 January protests took place in multiple cities — including in Lyon, Nantes and Paris — during which violence erupted between protesters and police officers. In Paris, clashes broke out near Place de la République after tens of thousands of people gathered for an anti-pension reform march. Police officers fired several rounds of tear gas and used baton charges to disperse protesters, who were vandalizing businesses and lighting garbage cans on fire. Authorities arrested at least 19 people. Elsewhere, police officers fired tear gas in the cities of Lyon and Nantes to disperse “yellow vest” protesters, who had gathered for rallies in the city centers. There were no reports of significant injuries or arrests occurring at any of the demonstrations in Lyon and Nantes. Union leaders have called for further large-scale demonstrations for 14-16 January.

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