France braces for massive strikes to protest President Macron's reforms
France made the headlines yet again as a wave of an industrial strike was set to hit the European country from Thursday, March 22, onwards. The strikes called across sectors formed the part of the protest against President Emmanuel Macron's reform measures.
As many as seven trade unions appealed to workers in schools, hospitals, public service, air traffic control to carry out the strike while over 140 protests were planned across the country. The protest is expected to culminate at the Bastille monument in Paris where 25,000 demonstrators could gather to make their voices heard.
Railways to take a hit
Besides, railway staff members would also join the Thursday demonstration before flagging off their strikes on two days out of every five between April 3 and June 28 till the time President Macron retreats with his reform plans. The railway strikes are expected to cause massive inconvenience to the commuters since a large number of trains would be cancelled.
Public services to get affected
Services in schools, hospitals and libraries would also be affected by the strikes while one-third of flights moving in and out of Paris's airports would remain cancelled because the air traffic controllers would remain off duty because of the strike.
A separate strike by the staff of Air France is also on the cards on Friday, March 23, seeking a six per cent salary rise. They have also planned another strike on March 30, AFP reported.
The strikers feel that the pay is not at par with the inflation while President Macron has been accused of ruining the public sector. The reforms would trigger the beginning of the end of the social model, they said.
Macron, who came to power last year with a decisive win over the right-wing Marine Le Pen, vowed to cut 1,20,000 public jobs by 2022 and his government's emphasis on pay on merit rather than experience was perceived by the unions as an attack on people's job security.