“Operation Dead Port”: 72-Hour Strike To Repeat This Week at French Ports
January 22: In a repeat of last week’s port blockades, dock workers are set to down tools for what the CGT has termed l’opération port mort (operation dead port), a 72-hour port strike at French ports from January 22.
Pickets will be maintained at in Dunkirk, Le Havre, Rouen, Nantes-Saint-Nazaire, La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Marseille.
This is a crucial week for the pension reforms protests in France, leading up to the presentation of a draft bill to the Council of Ministers. Unions have promised to up their opposition to the plans in the final few days, with ports, public transport and court services among the services disrupted ahead of another planned day of mass protests on Friday.
Ferries that may be impacted include:
Brittany Ferries say they are cancelling 12 sailings departing from or arriving at Le Havre, due to the blockades. Here is the list:
Tuesday, January 21: Portsmouth to Le Havre at 23:30
Wednesday, January 22: Portsmouth to Le Havre at 14:30; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 17:00; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 23:00; Portsmouth to Le Havre at 23:30
Thursday, January 23: Portsmouth to Le Havre at 14:30; Portsmouth to Le Havre at 23:00; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 14:30; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 23:00
Friday, January 24: Portsmouth to Le Havre at 09:30; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 13:00; Le Havre to Portsmouth at 22:00
The company said all other routes will be running as normal. Customers affected by the cancellations can ask for a refund or choose an alternative sailing, the company said.
P&O ferries say they are not affected by the strike today but it remains unsure if all services will be running this week. They advise passengers to check on their website, which is regularly updated, if planning a trip with them.
DFDS say their services are not affected.
Eurotunnel / Eurostar(Connexion France)
Eurotunnel traffic is normal. Eurostar service is also back to normal since last week but connections in France can be disrupted because of the SNCF strike. It is advised to check on the SNCF website if you have any (TGV, TER, RER) connexion in France.
Meanwhile, it may be slightly more difficult to withdraw cash from banks in some parts of the country, as Banque de France deliveries will be disrupted due to protests. Security guards and operators responsible for sorting banknotes were also on strike on 15 January at the La Courneuve cash centre (Seine-Saint-Denis) and the Vic-Le-Comte paper mill (Puy-de-Dôme).
Rail services remain disrupted as they have since the first day of the protests on December 5, though SNCF has reported that TGV, TER and Thalys services were due to operate normally on Monday, while eight out of 10 Transilien and Intercité trains were running.
The pressure on public transport in the capital is also easing, RATP reported, after the Union nationale des syndicats autonomes (UNSA) voted to ‘redirect’ its protests away from the unlimited strikes ‘to engage in another form of action’. All metro lines, except line 13, were running improved services on Monday.
In the courts, however, the Conseil national des barreaux, which represents France’s 70,000 lawyers, has decided to renew its strike, which began in early January and has hit court operations nationwide.
Further protests are forecast from January 22 as unions across a number of professions plan action leading up to a seventh day of ‘mass protests’ on Friday, January 24, the day the Council of Ministers examines the draft pension reforms bill.
The last mass protest, on Thursday 16 January, brought together 187,000 demonstrators in France, including 23,000 in Paris, according to the Interior Ministry. The CGT reported that it had counted 250,000 demonstrators in the capital alone.
A count by the independent firm Occurrence for a pool of media outlets said that 28,000 people were on the streets of Paris.
Source: Connexion France