Guide to a summer of French strikes

With plenty heading for Euro 2016 next month, here's how you could be affected...

Guide to a summer of French strikes

Riot police officers detain a man during a demonstration against a labour law bill, Thursday, May 19, 2016 in Paris. Picture by: Laurent Cipriani / AP/Press Association Images

A strike in France is nothing new. Our Gallic cousins have a long and proud history of fervently embracing the grève whenever they're dissatisfied going right back, in a way, to the French Revolution.

Dublin's had its own taste of the disruption that prolonged action can cause of late, of course, but the denizens of Paris, Marseille and Bordeaux would probably scoff at what Luas commuters have endured.

Even by French standards, however, the early summer is looking chaotic as myriad industries get the placards out all at once to create a perfect storm.

Not ideal for those on these shores gearing up for some time in the sunshine, or the thousands of football fans bound for Euro 2016 (June 10th to July 10th).

We can't really do much about it, but at least you can know ahead of time what's planned and waht will be affected ahead of time so there are no nasty surprises when you get there.

With that in mind, and with thanks to thelocal.fr, here's a comprehensive guide to French strikes...

General nationwide strikes
May 26th and June 14th

Today and Tuesday June 14th could be the worst strike days of the summer as unions voice their opposition to labour reforms and organise street protests and walk-outs nationwide.

It will mainly affect tourists who are using trian services or airports.

Nationwide strikes of airports
June 2nd to June 5th

Unions for air traffic controllers and civil aviation workers are protesting the "intolerable" decreases in staff over the past decade. Up to 12,00 workers from the civil aviation authority have been called on to strike, but their is hope that last minute negotiations will save the day.

Orly Airport
Today and June 14th

The Parisian airport will be affected by a CGT-organised protest against the labour laws. Flight programmes will be reduced by 15% to cope. 

There is also the possibility that pilots for Air France could go on a week's strike from June 1st...

National rail services - SNCF
Every Wednesday and Thursday

Workers are demanding better pay and conditions from the SNCF. The CGT (General Confederation of Labour) have also been asking members to strike daily from June 1st. June 14th will undoubtedly see nationwide action.

About 25% of services haven't been running nationwide as a result, but reports yesterday put the figure at just 10%, suggesting disruptions won't last much longer.

Paris transport system - RATP
Indefinitely from June 2nd

It will be tougher to get around the City of Lights and its suburbs as RATP workers protest pay, working conditions and new labour reforms. Metro, bus and RER rail services will be hit. The SUD union has also reportedly called on RATP workers to join another indefinite strike from June 10th to coincide with Euro 2016 kicking off.

 

Petrol station problems
Ongoing

No signs of improvements as several unions protest labour reforms. If you're driving across France, you could be affected - at least six out of the country's eight refineries have either reduced output or completely stopped operating.

As a result, as many as 30% of French petrol stations are reportedly empty, while public panic has increased demand for petrol fivefold. On top of this, maritime transport strikes - in Marseille specifically - has disrupted ports connected to the refineries.

Electricity supplies
May 26th

If you're there right now and don't have much battery, it's possible you won't be reading this. The Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power plant in Paris is on strike and the domino effect from other stations joining in, and the resulting drop in production, could mean power cuts throughout the day.