The anger against the pension reform and the government’s use of 49.3 does not weaken. Le Figaro takes stock of the actions in progress.
Blocked roads, disrupted transport, busy airport hall… The anger against the pension reform and the government’s use of 49.3 did not weaken on Monday, pending the vote in the Assembly on two motions of censure.
Demonstrations on road interchanges or on the bypasses of several cities led to traffic slowdowns or blockages, such as in Rennes where pallet lights were lit on the southern bypass, severely disrupting traffic until the end of the morning. with miles of cars and trucks at a standstill in both directions.
South of the city, access to the Vern-sur-Seich oil depot is blocked, according to Eric Sellini, CGT coordinator for the oil branch. Towards Lorient, disturbances occur on the N165 which connects Brest to Nantes. In Caen, the ring road had to be partially closed due to a demonstration. In the North, traffic filtering operations on roundabouts have been reported in Salomé (Nord), near Lens, and Epinoy, near Cambrai, according to the prefecture.
Near Boulogne-sur-Mer (Pas-de-Calais), a hundred demonstrators, CGT flags in number, block the three accesses to the Inquétrie business park, according to an AFP correspondent. Pallets have been set on fire and no truck can enter or leave this area which includes, among other things, a school bus depot and a garbage collection truck storage yard. In Marck, near Calais (Pas-de-Calais), an interchange serving an industrial area is closed due to a demonstration. In Bordeaux, a snail operation has been set up in the city center by the CGT Énergie.
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Public transport disrupted
Bus traffic was disrupted in Rennes on certain lines, according to the Star network manager. In Metz, demonstrators have been blocking the agglomeration bus depot since the beginning of the morning, causing very strong disturbances, the local authority announced on its Facebook page.
Tarbes-Lourdes airport was occupied early Monday morning for more than two hours by around 300 demonstrators, without blocking passengers or bursting onto the tarmac, according to a union representative. The lights of the buildings were temporarily cut off, said Jean-Maurice Darboucabe, elected CGT Énergie Béarn-Bigorre.
Operation similar to the airport of Pau-Pyrénées, in New Aquitaine, where militants of the CGT Énergie cut the current of the infrastructures of the airport as well as the surrounding municipalities for about twenty minutes “to raise awareness among elected officials leaving for Paris“, before the vote of the motions of censure.
The General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGAC) asked airlines on Friday to cancel 30% of their flights on Monday at Paris-Orly and 20% at Marseille-Provence, due to the strike action by air traffic controllers against the pension reform. On the SNCF side, where the renewable strike has entered its 14th day, four out of five TGVs and two thirds of the TERs are in circulation, according to forecasts from the railway company. Traffic is still disrupted on the Ile-de-France network.
In the Paris region, dozens of CGT demonstrators invaded the railway tracks at the Versailles Chantiers station (Yvelines) this Monday morning, to protest against the pension reform. This action disrupted traffic on certain RER and Transilien lines.
Read alsoStrikes: SNCF, RATP … What disruptions should we expect in transport this Monday, March 20?
Always uncollected waste
In Paris, garbage collection is still disrupted despite the requisitions ordered by the prefect, the effect of which is limited, according to several district mayors contacted by AFP. The police headquarters indicates that it has allowed 115 dump trucks to circulate Monday morning in the capital, as well as the unblocking of three waste sorting centers in the inner suburbs. Having come to requisition personnel in the dumpster garage in Romainville (Seine-Saint-Denis), the police saw the strikers leave the site, but were able to allow around ten trucks out of 80, driven by non- strikers, to get out.
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Dry gas stations, especially in the Southeast
On the refinery side,there are no more products coming out at this time” of all the sites in France, whether it is the six conventional refineries or the biorefinery of La Mède (Bouches-du-Rhône), said Monday to AFP Eric Sellini, national elected representative of the CGT Chemistry. Fuel shipments to depots that supply service stations were already blocked this weekend at most refineries. Since Monday, the TotalEnergies refinery in Feyzin (Rhône) and that of Esso-ExxonMobil in Fos-sur-Mer have again ceased shipments, according to the CGT, which is confirmed by the management of the two groups.
Several fuel depots are also blocked, according to the CGT, such as that of TotalEnergies near Dunkirk, blocked since March 6, or that of Vern-sur-Seiche, near Rennes, according to the CGT.
In addition, a first refinery, the largest in France, that of TotalEnergies in Normandy, was shut down this weekend. The operation takes several days and the installation should completely stop “Monday evening or Tuesday morning“, according to Eric Sellini. At this point, some units of the platform “remain in normal operation and ensure their production“, according to the management. Other refineries could follow.
At the pump, the consequences of the renewable strike in the refineries are not felt for the moment at the national level. This Monday, 5.4% of the country’s service stations do not have, at this time, either gasoline (SP 98, SP95, E10) or diesel, according to Fig Data. On the other hand, many more stations are affected in the South-East of France. In the Bouches-du-Rhône, nearly 49% of distribution locations are totally or partially out of stock. The neighboring territories of Gard (26.2%) and Vaucluse (24.8%) are also affected. The prefecture of this last department has just announced the limitation of fuel sales until Thursday inclusive.
In Meurthe-et-Moselle, a filter dam has been installed at the entrance to the Cerville gas storage site, “currently at the lowest possible storage volume“, according to a union official. In Saint-Etienne, strikers from the CGT Énergie occupied one of the region’s three electricity transmission stations.
Read alsoFuel shortage: 5.4% of service stations in difficulty, nearly 45% in the Bouches-du-Rhône
The culture too
The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon announced on Twitter that it would be closed on Monday, “given the occupation of the museum by a delegation of artists opposed to the pension reform».