Transport workers erect flaming barricades as France brought to standstill in massive strike (VIDEOS)
French transport infrastructure ground to a halt on Monday as drivers and conductors at state-run companies continued to strike against proposed pension reform, while truckers protested for better wages and working conditions.
As many as 200 people from a local transport trade union congregated outside a TCAR bus depot near the French city of Rouen in the early hours of Monday morning, erecting a burning barricade of shopping carts and setting dumpsters on fire.
#grevedu16decembreDes #Giletsjaunes et des syndicalistes bloquent les entrées du dépôt de la TCAR, le réseau de transport de #Rouen, depuis 4h30. "Aucun bus n'est sorti depuis", indique une syndicaliste. pic.twitter.com/4SkoY1QC1L— Mathieu Normand (@oMatnor) December 16, 2019
The depot gates were blocked off, trapping several staff members inside the facility. The move was ostensibly aimed at ‘encouraging’ public transport workers to join anti-government protests in a more visible manner.
#Greve16Decembre à #RouenLa présence syndicale s'amenuise un peu devant le dépôt de bus du fait des prochaines AG de la matinée. Les #Giletsjaunes réchauffent l'ambiance et restent motivés. pic.twitter.com/cYjaBzWK0M— Mathieu Normand (@oMatnor) December 16, 2019
The first bus reportedly left the depot at 9:55am local time.
The four major road transport unions (CFDT, FO, CFTC and CGC) called a professional strike on December 15 ahead of a national demonstration against the proposed pension reform on December 17.
French truckers also installed blockades at several locations nationwide, including Lyon and Vannes.
A cumulative total of 600km in traffic jams was reported around Paris as commuters were all forced to drive to work due to the transport strikes, according to road information site Sytadin.
Meanwhile, some 61 percent of drivers are on strike according to the SNCF, France’s national state-owned railway company, with Monday marking the 12th consecutive day of strikes against proposed pension reforms.
A third of France’s high-speed TGV routes will also face disruption and in Paris, just two of the capital’s metro lines will remain in operation.
Il est 7h50 et les agents de sécurité demandent déjà aux voyageurs d'arrêter de pousser pour monter dans le RER. "Attention il y a des personnes âgées", alerte un agent alors que, plus loin, on entend une femme crier, certainement emportée par la foule #Greve16Decembrepic.twitter.com/pSLzOcyygG— Morgane Rubetti (@MRubetti) December 16, 2019
In the face of such widespread public discontent over the pension reforms, and against a backdrop of ongoing Yellow Vest protests and other civil disobedience, the French government’s High Commissioner for Pensions Jean-Paul Delevoye resigned on Monday.Also on rt.com French pension reform chief Jean-Paul Delevoye resigns amid moonlighting scandal & mass strikes
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