Los Angeles 10/14/2010 2:36:29 PM
News / Politics

Strikes In France Continue Into Third Day

Thursday will mark the third day of strikes in France, where unions are battling the government over planned reforms to pension policy.

Wednesday saw more than a million workers take to the streets to protest the new proposed laws, and they are expected to stay off the job today as well.

Around half of the Paris Metro employees were on strike, and will keep to the strike on Thursday, according to the Metro-transport union. Around a quarter of the workers from France’s SNCF train company were on strike Wednesday, which is down from Tuesday’s 40 percent.

The French Union of Petroleum Industries also told that 10 of the nations 12 oil refineries have been affected by the strikes, with at least eight of them have to stop work altogether, or partially stop work because of the strikers.

French commuters have been struggling to get to and from work as the strikes hit public transport systems hard.

Across France there were around 250 separate demonstrations against the planned changes to pension policies, which include raising the age of retirement from 60 to 62.

In Paris, police said that nearly 90,000 strikers took to the streets, while unionists put the figure somewhat higher at 330,000. Tuesday was the largest strike is a series of demonstrations which have been causing havoc with transportation systems, and raising fears about fuel shortages.

Aside from transport and oil industries, around a quarter of education staff were also on strike as well as around 14 percent of hospital workers.