Wed. Jan 29th, 2020

Day of circulatory chaos in Paris for a massive transport strike

Paris is experiencing a day of circulatory chaos on Friday with hundreds of thousands of people affected who have had to change their modes of displacement due to a massive urban transport strike against pension reform.

From the early hours of the morning, the consequences of the unemployment of the RATP, the metropolitan transport entity, were evident in the streets, crowded with cars and pedestrians, and on the access highways, where before 8.00 local time (6.00 GMT) already accumulated 285 kilometers of traffic jams, according to the official Biston Futé.

Ten subway lines are completely paralyzed, four operate very partially during peak hours and only the two automated ones circulate normally but with an influx much higher than usual.

In the suburban trains, the two main lines (RER A and RER B, the latter the main access to the two airports of the capital) have a very limited service.

The situation is similar with buses, since only a third of them leave their garages, and with trams.

Many people have opted for a plan B, such as traveling on foot, by bicycle or on a scooter, telecommuting or asking for a day off.

The strike, called by the representative unions of the RATP, is the first major protest after the return of the summer holidays against the pension reform promoted by the Government of the President, Emmanuel Macron, and whose main axis is to create a system for points and unify the quarantine of regimes that currently exist.

That directly concerns RATP employees, who have a very advantageous special regime that allows them to retire between 51 and 62, with a pension calculated only over the last six months of their career.

Solidaires, one of the plants, explained in a statement that they defend that special regime because they consider it the "basis of a social contract built to create a certain balance against the obligations linked to their public service missions."

This Friday opens a long series of mobilizations already scheduled against pension reform.

Next Monday they are called to a collective strike as doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, line pilots or aircraft cabin personnel.

On Thursday, another one is planned at state power company EDF; on Saturday 21, the Labor Force union organized a national demonstration in Paris; Three days later, the General Confederation of Labor, Solidaires and SUD-Rail will parade throughout the country.

The Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, made an effort this Thursday to underline that from this month of September and until the end of the year a round of citizen consultations is opened, in parallel to the conversations with the unions and the employers, to discuss issues such as the retirement age, duration of contributions and the transition between the current and the next pension system.

Philippe said that the future pension reform bill, which will not be fully in effect until 2040, will be voted in the National Assembly "by next summer."

. (tagsToTranslate) Circulatory day (t) (t) Paris (t) strike (t) transport

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