The mobilization against the pension reform continues Thursday, especially in transport, ports, gas and electricity, while the government has chosen the passage in force, via the 49.3, of the contested project of Emmanuel Macron.

Air and rail traffic disrupted

Traffic should improve at the SNCF, but it will remain disrupted Friday with, as Thursday, two TGV out of three. The rate of strikers in the transport group stood Thursday morning at 6%: 36% among drivers, 16% among controllers, 11% among switchers, 5% among agents of material, equipment and commercial, according to a union source.

According to the SNCF there will still be no night train and one TER out of two on national average. In the Paris region, traffic will remain degraded on line R but it will improve on RER D. The RATP expects almost normal traffic on the RER A and two trains out of three on its part of the RER B, against half of the trains on the SNCF part.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has asked airlines to cancel 20% of their flights at Paris-Orly, due to a strike by air traffic controllers.

Refineries on strike, Feyzin falters

Most French refineries were still on strike Thursday, this one being "renewed at TotalEnergies at the refinery of La Mède, in Donges and on the depot of Flanders," said Eric Sellini, CGT coordinator for the group. But the strikers are reluctant to shut down the sites completely, as stocks are almost full, because the operation is technically delicate and the restart process long. So much so that some fuel shipments have partially resumed in recent days at the Normandy refinery.

If the strike is very followed in Donges and Flanders with respectively 80% and 100% of strikers on the morning shift, the mobilization faltered on the other hand at the Feyzin refinery where the strikers were "not enough to block shipments" Thursday, according to Hakim Bellouz, FO. On production (refining and petrochemicals), "flows are reduced," he added. In Donges, the state-owned SFDM fuel depot, located on part of the port, was blocked by barricades.

In Le Havre, the Compagnie industrielle maritime (CIM), which supplies fuel to the Normandy refinery (Total), that of Gravenchon (Exxon) as well as Paris airports, is blocked since Thursday until Sunday morning, against the pension reform and for purchasing power, according to the CGT.

Tensions in gas

The CGT Energie has issued an "ultimatum" to Storengy, a subsidiary of Engie, to implement a significant and rare pressure drop in the gas networks, otherwise the strikers will take care of it, which could deprive power plants and some industrial customers of gas. A request refused by management.

Some of the group's sites are experiencing "operational disruptions, with no impact at this stage on security of supply," Engie told AFP on Wednesday evening.

Production cuts and power cuts

The strikers of EDF proceeded again Thursday morning to sharp cuts in production. The CGT Energy has demanded 17,000 MW of load reduction, the equivalent of some 12 to 17 nuclear reactors. "At 08:00, the load reduction on all means of production was 8,760 MW," said the management of EDF, a large part of which in hydroelectric plants. French nuclear reactors produce between 900 and 1,450 MW of electricity.

Cuts have been claimed by the CGT: 32,000 homes impacted in the Ardennes in the cities of Sedan, Rethel and Vouziers, from 6:00, according to the distributor Enedis. Power was restored at 11:30 a.m.

Garbage cans in Paris: Unblocking of a deposit by the police

In Paris on Thursday morning, 9,400 tons of waste could not be collected, according to the town hall. A sharp increase compared to the previous day (7,600 tons). The town hall refused to requisition garbage collectors but, summoned to give the list of its agents who can be requisitioned, it sent Thursday morning the list of its 4,000 agents assigned to cleaning the public road and collecting waste. Paris police chief Laurent Nuñez said Thursday he should sign the requisitions.

In addition, the police unblocked Thursday in Vitry-sur-Seine (Val-de-Marne) a depot managed by Pizzorno Environment, which collects garbage from the 15th arrondissement of Paris in particular. An intervention following a decision Wednesday of the court of Créteil, seized by Pizzorno Environment.

"Dead ports"

The ports of Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, but also those of Brest, Le Havre and Calais, were at a standstill Thursday as part of the "dead ports" day launched by the CGT, according to the union and the prefectures.

In Brest, about fifty strikers, port workers and dockers, were on site, AFP found. Three containers blocked the access route to the port. In Le Havre, access to port terminals had been blocked since 6:00 am, by trucks, cranes, tire and pallet fires, according to the CGT federation of ports and docks (FNPD).

In Calais, strikers prevented trucks and private vehicles from accessing ferries to the United Kingdom, according to the CGT. Trucks were stranded for several kilometres in load shedding zones along the roads leading to the port.

Maritime and inland waterway transport

Since Monday the strike impacts the crossings of the ferry company Corsica Linea, forced to cancel several crossings from Marseille to Corsica and postpone a crossing to Algiers, scheduled for Tuesday and which could finally take place Friday.

In the East, river navigation on the Rhine is slowed down due to a movement of CGT employees at the lock of Ottmarsheim, near Mulhouse.

  • Society
  • Pension reform 2023
  • Strike
  • Transport
  • SNCF
  • Elisabeth Borne