Mindanao Times

Strike to paralyze France

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FRANCE was set to be paralyzed Thursday by a nationwide strike by transport workers, teachers and other profession­als in a showdown between unions and President Emmanuel Macron over his planned pension reforms.

Some 90 percent of high-speed trains have been axed, most of the

Paris metro will be shut, hundreds of flights cancelled and the majority of schools closed in the strike.

With some air traffic controller­s also walking out, flag-carrier Air France said it was axing 30 percent of its internal flights and 15 percent of short-haul internatio­nal routes.

British low-cost carrier EasyJet has cancelled 223 domestic and short-haul internatio­nal flights and warned others risk being delayed.

The strike -- which is open-ended and could last several days -- has drawn comparison­s with the struggle between government and unions in NovemberDe­cember 1995 when the country was paralysed for around three weeks.

Workers across France will have to stay at home or find novel ways to access their offices using car-sharing services, rental bikes or e-scooters. - Outcome uncertain The strikes will be a major test of whether Macron, who came to power on the back of a promise to transform France and has also sought a prominent place on the internatio­nal stage, has the political strength to push through his vision.

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