Skip to Content

SNCF, Pixabay

French strike: ‘I’ve never seen anything like it’

French riot police, had to fire tear gas in response to angry transport protesters in Paris and in Nantes tear gas as well as water cannons were used against strikers.

Published: March 23, 2018, 10:23 am


    Public services were disrupted across the country on Thursday as teachers, train conductors and airline controllers called labour action against President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed reforms.

    “I’ve never seen anything like it, never seen a threat like it,” Guillaume Pepy, chairman of the SNCF state rail company, told RTL radio.

    Electricity generation in France dropped by over three gigawatts (GW) on Thursday – the equivalent of three nuclear reactors – as energy sector workers joined the protest consisting of some 150 marches countrywide.

    This is the first large protest against Macron, ahead of a rolling rail strike, The Express reported.

    Rail workers are planning a three-month rolling strike starting April 3 with two days of action each week, Reuters reported.

    They say they are fighting to keep their job-for-life guarantees, automatic annual pay rises and early retirement payments.

    Chaos reigned at Paris’ Gare du Nord station with the labour action expected to lead to the cancellation of 60 percent of fast trains, 75 percent of inter-city trains and about 30 percent of Paris airports’ flights.

    The action is shaping up to be the biggest challenge of Macron’s presidency since he took office last May. In 1995, the CGT, the biggest union among the roughly 150 000 SNCF rail staff, had forced the then-prime minister, Alain Juppe, to quit.

    Seven unions representing staff in the public sector, and a third of railway workers walked out on Thursday.

    The state’s privatisation drive is set to accelerate in 2018 as it prepares to sell off state assets. Aéroports de Paris, operator of Paris Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, has become the focus of attention, after Macron appointed Bank of America Merrill Lynch to “explore options” to sell off the 50.6 percent it holds.

    France has equity positions in 81 French companies, totalling €100bn and ranging from defence companies such as Safran to carmakers such as Renault and the nuclear group EDF, The Financial Times noted.

    Stakes in Engie, the energy utility, and Française des Jeux, the state gaming company, are expected to be sold off this year as well as in Orange, the telecoms group.

    Consider donating to support our work

    Help us to produce more articles like this. FreeWestMedia is depending on donations from our readers to keep going. With your help, we expose the mainstream fake news agenda.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    Russia’s loss at Kharkov highlights crippling shortage of men

    KharkovThe frontline in this case relied on heavily outnumbered 2nd rate Lugansk draftees plucked from the LPR.

    Retired Turkish admiral questions wisdom of Sweden and Finland joining NATO

    AnkaraRetired Turkish Rear Admiral Ali Deniz Kutluk said the constant expansion has turned NATO into a cumbersome and unmanageable organisation. The discussed inclusion in the North Atlantic Alliance of two more countries – Finland and Sweden – will make the structure even weaker, and ultimately more dangerous for current members.

    Latest Great Reset fantasy: Ban food photography!

    BerlinLast week, German Minister Volker Wissing (FDP) made a typical political mistake: Rules for thee but not for me. In order to reduce the "energy consumption" of advancing digitalisation, Wissing seriously recommended that Germans refrain from frequently posting photos of food on the internet. Then his Instagram posts surfaced.

    Spain: Toy advertisements may no longer be pink or blue

    MadridIn Catholic Spain, of all places, gender activists have won a new victory. Children's and babies' toys may now no longer be advertised in "gender-specific" colours such as pink and light blue. In Germany, woke parents are subjecting their children to the same grooming.

    Global demand for vaccines drops sharply

    Chinese biotech firm Kexing Holdings has made a fortune selling Sinovac's Chinese vaccine. A few days ago, however, it became known that the bonus payments were withheld and most of the workforce has been laid off. Exports of Chinese vaccines (Sinovac, Sinopharm, CanSino) were 97 percent lower in April than in September 2021.

    Finland will apply for NATO membership – Sweden will follow on Monday

    HelsinkiIt is now clear – Finland will apply for NATO membership on Sunday. Sweden will submit an application on Monday according to information.

    Great Reset: ‘Famine threatens to wipe out 300 million’

    BerlinThe mainstream media has repeated the simple logic regarding the supposed causal chain of the current disrupted trade and supply flows and global supply shortages: It is the aftermath of the Ukraine war, the inevitable consequences of morally justified sanctions against Russia, and repercussions of the "pandemic".

    Sweden: Large increase in individuals with intellectual disabilities

    StockholmAccording to a study published in the Swedish journal Psykologtidningen, a sharp increase in the diagnosis of mild intellectual disability is seen in Sweden. The worst affected is Örebro, where the increase is over 600 percent. At the same time, researchers warn that the IQ is falling in Sweden year by year.

    Hungary announces veto on oil embargo

    BudapestHungary has announced that it will veto the EU's planned embargo on Russian oil imports. The country will not vote for the sanctions package as it will destroy Hungary's secure and stable energy supply and make it impossible to source the oil needed for the economy, according to Foreign Minister Péter Szijjártó.

    Big Tech, the top lobbyists in the EU

    BrusselsWith 97 million euros per year, Big Tech is the largest lobbying sector in the EU. With the sector's increasing financial power, its political influence has increased.

    Go to archive