Spontaneous demonstrations, shutdown refineries, national day of action: the conflict hardens

Two days after the use of Article 49.3 of the Constitution by the Prime Minister to have the controversial pension reform adopted – without a vote – by the National Assembly, the anger of the many opponents of the projects is far from having subsided.

From then on, spontaneous gatherings of several thousand people multiplied in the major cities of France, such as in Paris at Place de la Concorde, where clashes between demonstrators and the police took place.

In this very tense context, new mobilizations have been announced in transport, refineries and even education. And the actions still in progress are set to continue.

Refinery shutdown announced

Thus according to the secretary general of the CGT of the TotalEnergies refinery in Normandy Alexis Antonioli, quoted by AFP, the shutdown of the installations began on March 17, although it should take several days to be fully effective.

Another refinery, that of Petroineos in the Bouches-du-Rhône could also be shut down no later than March 20, according to Eric Sellini, CGT union coordinator. And the Esso-ExxonMobil refinery in Seine-Maritime could also be shut down on March 20 or 21, due to a lack of crude oil to be refined, due to a strike at the oil depot in Le Havre. Until now, the strikers had contented themselves with blocking fuel shipments, but the refineries continued to produce.

“Black day” in rail transport on March 23

The four representative unions of the SNCF have called for “maintaining the renewable strike” started on March 7. If the forecasts for the week of March 20 have not yet been communicated, the unions have already called “to act massively on March 23” to oppose the reform.

CGT-Cheminots, Unsa-Ferroviaire, SUD-Rail and CFDT-Cheminots also invite rail employees to “multiply unit actions and initiatives from this weekend in all territories”. FO-RATP, the leading union among drivers, warned Ile-de-France residents that they should expect “a black day” in the metro on March 23.

Call for a strike for the baccalaureate specialty exams

Due to the air traffic controllers’ strike, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has asked airlines to cancel 30% of their flights at Paris-Orly and 20% at Marseille-Provence on March 20.

According to a union source quoted by France Info, several unions (Snes-FSU, the main secondary union, FO, SUD and the CGT) have called for a “strike by supervisors during the baccalaureate specialty tests”, which take place from March 20 to 22. The Minister of Education for his part replied that he would mobilize “additional supervisors”.

National Day of Action March 23

If the main unions have already called for “local local rallies” during the weekend of March 18 and 19, the intersyndicale has also announced a ninth day of strikes and demonstrations on March 23 throughout the country. She denounces a passage “in force” by Emmanuel Macron and Elisabeth Borne, castigating in particular “the responsibility borne by the executive in the social and political crisis which results” from the decision to initiate 49.3.


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