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法国大罢工 反对退休制度改革
France braced for strike disruption

[ 2010-10-14 08:40]     字号 [] [] []  
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法国大罢工 反对退休制度改革

法国大罢工 反对退休制度改革

Teachers, train drivers, oil refinery workers and other French employees downed tools on Tuesday as unions launched a last-ditch attempt to force the president, Nicolas Sarkozy, into a climbdown on his flagship pensions reform.

Teachers, train drivers, oil refinery workers and other French employees downed tools on Tuesday as unions launched a last-ditch attempt to force the president, Nicolas Sarkozy, into a climbdown on his flagship pensions reform.

As the controversial bill nears the end of its passage through parliament, opponents of the plans vowed to put on their biggest show of defiance yet - despite the day of industrial action being the fourth since last month.

"This is one of our last chances because the parliamentary calendar is drawing to a close," said François Chérèque of the CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labour), speaking on France 2 television.

Hundreds of tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower were ushered away this morning after workers there voted to join the strike, forcing early closure. It was expected to reopen the next day.

Refinery workers also walked off the job, leading one union to warn of looming gasoline shortages, while another labour leader warned that employees from across different sectors were determined to stay away from work indefinitely if the government doesn't back down.

"Today there will again be a very high mobilization," Chérèque said this morning. "It is incomprehensible that the government is not budging on unions' demands."

In a bid to ramp up the rebellion, which could climax this afternoon in a moving protest from Montparnasse to Bastille, some unions have declared rolling strikes that could last days if not weeks. They are determined to prove the president was wrong when, in 2008, he said that "no one notices" when there is a strike in contemporary France.

The area of action likely to be of most concern to the government, which has made only minor concessions in its reform so far and has repeatedly said it will not row back on the bill's main components, is that affecting French oil refineries. The workers at eight of the country's 12 plants have downed tools. Five of Total's six refineries were blocked. Employees at France's biggest refinery, at Gonfreville-l'Orcher in Normandy, voted this morning to go on a rolling strike. Production would be "minimal" and no fuel would enter or leave until further notice, said a spokesman.

Across the country transport links ground to a halt, with operators of the high-speed TGV trains slashing services and civil aviation authorities announcing cancellations of half of all flights at Paris-Orly airport and a third of the total at Roissy-Charles de Gaulle.

In the capital, hire bike stands stood empty as people took to the roads instead of braving the packed underground, despite assurances from the transport authorities that most Métro lines were running smoothly. The morning rush hour brought parts of the city's ring road, full of commuters in their cars, to a grinding halt.

Speaking on a French radio news program – whose question of the day was "Who holds the power in France: the parliament or the street?'" – the leader of the French Socialists in the national assembly, Jean-Marc Ayrault, said he believed the day would bring proof that the unions' had the upper hand over the government.

"This movement is getting more and more powerful and it has already brought home one victory: that of education," he said. Since June, he explained, many people had "realized this reform is completely unfair".

One demographic which the unions claimed to have won over today was that of France's youth, which was showing its opposition to the reforms today alongside their teachers, around 22% of whom did not show up to work, according to the education ministry. Unions put the figure at around 48%.

In Paris, about a third of lycées were shut, while hundreds of school children protested in the streets of towns and cities such as Bordeaux. A banner unfurled over the Lycée Jules Ferry in Paris's 9th arrondissement read: "We don't want to lose our lives by earning a living."



法国街头饮水机 气泡水可畅饮




法国大罢工 反对退休制度改革

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