On the third day of the strike against the pension reform on Thursday, the situation remains tense on public transport. However, the situation has improved significantly in the Paris metro. Refineries are still blocked, and concern points to gas delivery.

Another day of trouble in transport

As on Wednesday, the SNCF ran a third of its TGV. The group also announced a slight improvement in regional trains with 40% of trains in circulation against a third the day before. Road travel remains very complicated in the Paris suburbs and the Sytadin site noted the presence of 500 km of traffic jam in Ile-de-France after 9:00 am, a clear increase compared to normal.

Many testimonies on social networks describe trains full and few. The most disrupted lines are the RER D and line R of the Transilien with 80% fewer trains than usual. However, the situation is improving considerably in the Paris metro with normal or almost normal traffic on half of the lines.

Since Tuesday and until Friday, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGAC) has asked airlines to cancel 20 to 30% of their flights to and from major airports on French territory. Transavia, the low-cost subsidiary of Air France-KLM that operates short- and medium-haul routes, cancelled nearly 60 flights on Thursday. The strike affects the en route centres de la navigation aérienne (CRNA) managing aircraft flying over the territory. This was to cause "moderate to raise delays", in the latter case greater than 45 minutes, according to the supervisory body Eurocontrol.

i️ On Thursday, March 9, 2023, traffic will remain severely disrupted on all our lines: TRANSILIEN, TER, TGV (INOUIGO, international), INTERCITES. If possible, we recommend that you cancel or postpone your trips. 1/3

— SNCF Voyageurs (@SNCFVoyageurs) March 8, 2023

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The gas network slowed down

The four French LNG terminals, which receive imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG), are stopped, according to AFP. Thirteen out of fourteen storage sites are blocked, the last remaining site is small, without employees. "Apart from the few imports and biogas, there are no more entrants on the gas network," Fabrice Coudour, federal secretary of the FNME-CGT union, told AFP. "Little by little, the gas network is weakening," he said, not ruling out "a possible shortage of gas" in a few days. "The determination is all the more intact as this passage of Article 7 in the Senate reinforces a little anger," says Coudour.

Fuel shipments blocked

As of Thursday morning, fuel shipments were still blocked at the exit of French refineries. The blockages affect TotalEnergies' facilities in La Mède, Donges, the Normandy refinery, Feyzin and Flanders, but not production (except in Donges, which is shut down for technical reasons). The "strike is also renewed at the Esso refinery in Fos-sur-Mer", with 70% of strikers, noted the national elected representative of the CGT-Chemistry, Eric Sellini.

A situation that is beginning to worry consumers who make stocks in forecast, accentuating shortages in some stations. "There is no supply problem and the situation is improving," despite the renewal of strikes, said Olivier Gantois, president of Ufip Energies et Mobilités, which represents companies in the oil sector.

According to figures from Ufip, Thursday morning, only 5% of service stations were out of at least one fuel, with regional disparities and peaks at 15% in the Paris Basin and the west of the France. In Feyzin (Rhône), the FO and CGT unions proposed to the strikers to harden the movement Wednesday evening by stopping the production of this TotalEnergies refinery. General meetings of striking employees must decide on this possibility.

  • Paris
  • Ile
  • Strike
  • Pension reform 2023
  • SNCF
  • Transport
  • Gas
  • Subway
  • Fuels