French strike cost Paris region 150 mln euros -report

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PARIS, Oct 26 (Reuters) Last week's strike by transport and power workers cost businesses and workers in the Paris region 150 million euros, according to an internal report by the French economy ministry quoted in a newspaper today.

The October 18 strike, over President Nicolas Sarkozy's planned reform of generous pensions that are given to a minority of public sector workers, caused widespread disruption to the region's transport system. Companies whose employees struggled to get to work lost about 79 million euros as a result of the strike, the Figaro newspaper said, quoting the report.

A further 40 million euros was lost by workers who were stuck in traffic, while those who failed to make it to work at all lost 30 million euros.

The rest was made up of extra transport costs and the cost to public funds.

The report estimated total losses equivalent to 0.03 per cent of the region's gross domestic product, which makes up one-third of French GDP.

The transport and energy workers unions, whose leaders are due to meet on October 31, have threatened more strikes unless the government withdraws the proposed reform.

If they do decide to hold another day of action it may coincide with a November 20 strike by civil servants protesting at government plans to leave nearly 23,000 public sector jobs unfilled next year.


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