Transport, schools, energy: a large number of professions will be on strike on Tuesday October 18, with most of their demands focused on wages. Initiated by refinery workers, the social protest is spreading across the country, leading the government to fear major blockades. What disruptions can we expect?
Cross-industry strike: wage demands
After several weeks of strike action at refineries, the protest movement is spreading to other sectors. In response to calls from trade unions, including the CGT, FSU, Solidaires, FO and various youth organizations such as UNEF and Vie lycéenne, many professionals will be on strike on Tuesday October 18.
Wage increases are at the heart of the demands, but the movement also intends to defend the right to strike, in reaction to the government's requisitioning of refinery workers.
4 years after the Gilets jaunes movement, the government fears a large-scale protest, fueled by price hikes and fuel shortages.
Disruptions to be expected, sector by sector
In the energy sector
Despite the requisitions, refinery workers, as well as those at EDF's nuclear power plants, are continuing their strike to join the day of inter-professional mobilization.
EDF has already had to cancel the restart of 5 reactors due to the strike at the Gravelines, Cattenom, Bugey, Tricastin and Cruas plants. In the refineries, the CGT is still demanding a 10% pay rise, after the majority unions (CFE-CGC and CFDT) signed an internal agreement providing for a 7% pay rise by 2023.
In the civil service
State, regional and hospital civil servants will also be joining the strike on October 18, called by the CGT-Fonction publique. Major disruptions are expected in the education sector: in vocational high schools, teachers are opposed to the reform of the vocational stream, while in nursery schools, Atsem workers are also expected to be mobilized.
More generally, civil servants are demanding an increase in the index point, which several unions would like to see indexed to inflation.
For both SNCF and RATP, major disruptions are expected. The SNCF will be releasing its traffic forecasts later this afternoon, but the French Minister for Transport, Clément Beaune, has already announced on France Inter that one train in two could be affected in certain regions, with less disruption on TGVs.
The CGT and Sud-Rail are leading the call for strike action at the SNCF. They are demanding wage increases, and intend to defend the right to strike in response to government requisitions.
In the Paris region, disruption is expected to be less severe, particularly on the metro. According to RATP estimates released on Sunday, metro and streetcar traffic should be " almost normal ", while on average, two-thirds of buses and three-quarters of trains on RER lines A and B should be running.
Finally, the CGT transport federation has also issued a statement calling on " road haulage employees ", and more specifically " those involved in transporting hazardous materials ", to join the strike on Tuesday October 18.