French Strike Against Pension Reforms
The French are striking again, this time against pension reforms that threaten to raise the minimum retirement ages from 60 to 62 and the state pension age from 65 to 67.
The civil aviation authority says up to half of flights to and from France have been cancelled because of walkouts. Meanwhile, public transport and energy sector workers are set to vote on whether to begin open-ended strikes.
The rolling strikes would be organized by serving notice of 24-hour stoppages and renewed each day before they expired. Members of the union would need to be balloted at the end of the strike day on Tuesday.
Among those to have already declared in favour are union members from the state rail company, SNCF, and gas and electricity companies.
Already, a strike by workers at the oil and cargo terminals around Marseille is entering its third week, forcing up diesel prices in Europe.
Some 50 ships are stranded outside the port, and the French oil giant Total has continued to shut down its La Mede refinery because of a shortage of oil. Four other refineries may have to close this week.
A fleet of tankers has been employed to supply petrol stations.
The government's pension reform proposals have triggered waves of protests so far, and brought hundreds of thousands on to the streets. For Tuesday, half of all flights to and from Paris Orly airport, and one in three at Charles de Gaulle and Beauvais have been cancelled.