On Tuesday, thousands of French citizens marched to work in France. Commuters were also delayed by strikes by unions demanding higher salaries. They remain at odds with the government over strike action at oil depots which has caused fuel shortages.
Although the strike caused fewer disruptions to transport than expected, unions promised further action against President Emmanuel Macron over the next few weeks, mainly in relation to a controversial pensions reform.
It was a shame that it had to go to blockades to allow something to happen, said Nadine (a 45-year-old employee in the metalworking sector who was one of more than 1,000 demonstrators in Strasbourg in northeast France.
She said that today if we don’t block anything, nobody listens.
Magali Mallet, a medical secretary, was among the 1,800 people marching in Montpellier’s southern city. She said that many workers live on a knife’s edge.
According to the interior ministry, 1,07,000 people marched across the country including 13,000 in Paris. This is a far lower estimate than the CGT union’s 70,000.
Anti-capitalist black bloc protesters joined the demonstration in the capital. They sprayed graffiti and broke windows at a bank before being dispersed.
According to the ministry, 11 people were detained in Paris and nine officers were injured in clashes with protesters. There were also four other arrests.
After workers at TotalEnergies’ oil refineries and depots voted to prolong walkouts, the strike has now gotten a wider scope.
Their industrial actions have seriously disrupted fuel distribution throughout the country, especially in the Paris region and northern France.
As the fuel strike has been going on for almost three weeks, motorists are scrambling to fill their tanks. It has also had a knock-on effect in all other sectors of the economy.
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