RATP, SNCF, schools… What to expect for the January 19 strike against the pension reform?

ALAIN JOCARD / AFP Commuters get into a bus near the Gare Montparnasse railway station during a strike in Paris on November 10, 2022. – Seven lines of the Paris metro will be completely closed and seven others only open during rush hour due to a strike on November 10, 2022 , to demand wage increases and improved working conditions, the RATP said on November 8. European workers squeezed by the soaring cost of living went on strike in Belgium and Greece on November 9, with stoppages threatening to paralyze parts of Britain, France and Spain in coming days. (Photo by Alain JOCARD / AFP)


The promise of the trade unions “of a powerful mobilization over time” against the pension reform and the postponement of the retirement age from 62 to 64 will experience its first act this Thursday, January 19 in the streets and in companies ( illustration photo in November 2022 in Paris)

PENSIONS – Towards a “Black Thursday” against a controversial reform. The promise of trade unions “of a powerful mobilization over time” against pension reform and the postponement of the retirement age from 62 to 64 will know his first act this Thursday, January 19 on the streets and in businesses.

“It will be a very, very strong mobilization. It has to be 1995 level, even 2010”said Sunday January 15 on France 3 the number one of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, citing the “ number of buses ordered to go to the demonstrations”them “ strike notices filed a long time ago” in public services and transport, and the many employees “ who call us to ask us how we go on strike”. The union official has also taken over the symbolic objective of 1 million demonstrators in France. proposed by Fabien Roussel.

The secretary general of the CFDT Laurent Berger for his part noted “ for almost a week the rise of discontent in all professional sectors, particularly in the most impacted sectors” by the pension reform, as he confided on Monday January 16 at the microphone of franceinfo. Unions have identified at least “ 200 gathering points » in France this Thursday, according to Céline Verzeletti, CGT confederal secretary. “ There will be others, that’s a good number.”she added.

Fact, the massive call for a strike by all the trade union centers (CFDT, CGT, FO, CFE-CGC, CFTC, UNSA, Solidaires, FSU) should thus result in movements within the transport, energy, education or health sectors.

A major challenge for the government, which is already calling on certain sectors to avoid mobilization in order todo not penalize the French ». In the sights of the authorities, we find in particular the oil branch, where the unions have relayed the call for a strike and are already planning beyond the day of national mobilization.

We take stock of the disruptions expected this Thursday.

  • SNCF and RATP, same fight

On the side of the SNCF like the RATP, the unions have expressed their determination for the day of January 19. At the SNCF, the notices are unitary. The CGT-Unsa-Sud-CFDT inter-union filed a strike notice running from Wednesday at 7 p.m. to Friday morning at 8 a.m. The unions are also studying terms of action going beyond 24 hours after the day of January 19”. In short: the renewal of the strike.

At the RATP, where 40,000 employees are subject to the special pension scheme that the government intends to reform, the four representative unions (CGT, CGC, FO and Unsa) have called – separately – for a “mobilization day” for January 19. Traffic forecasts in Ile-de-France public transport are expected this Tuesday morning, underlines The Parisian. They should augur a dark day, the unions having posted their objective of a day “zero transportation”.

Other federations are also calling for mobilization. FO-Transports and logistics, which brings together truck drivers, ambulance drivers, coach drivers or cash carriers, also wants to go “at the end of the possible in this fight”. As such, the federation wishes to launch a movement “unlimited” from January 19 to prepare “the massive and harsh response”.

  • Air transport impacted

On the airport side, planes risk remaining grounded. If it is too early to predict the extent of the impact of the strike on air traffic, some unions in the aviation sector have responded to the call of the inter-union.

This is the case of one of the air traffic controllers’ unions, the USAC-CGT, which has already filed a strike notice. “The USAC-CGT is calling on DGAC (Directorate General for Civil Aviation) staff to strike from the first day of action announced on January 19 by all the trade unions. So all concerned, all mobilized “, reads one of their leaflets. However, the SCNTA, the majority among air traffic controllers, announced on Monday January 16 that it was not calling for a strike on Thursday.

Above all, the SNPL, the majority among airline pilots, called for a strike on Thursday, reports RTL.

For their part, the cabin crew unions (PNC), which bring together stewards and air hostesses, have also called on their members to join the strike, specifies The Parisian. A movement that will be particularly followed withinAir Franceas indicated at TF1 news Fabrice Michaud, representative of the “transport” branch of the CGT.

Finally, the mobilization could also affect French airports, as was the case last June in Paris-CDG and Marseille, with a quarter of flights canceled at the time, recalls the specialized title air journal.

  • Refineries on strike?

In the energy sector, the oil sector has already made it known that it plans to go beyond January 19. The CGT union of the oil branch plans strikes on January 19 and 26 for a duration of 24 then 48 hours, as well as on February 6 for 72 hours. “The shutdown of refining facilities” is envisaged, according to a press release issued by Éric Sellini, national coordinator of the union for TotalÉnergies.

What lead to “decreases in flow” and stoppages in the shipment of fuels, confirmed Éric Sellini to AFP. Something to bring back memories, after the vast mobilization for a wage increase that took place in the refineries and oil depots at the end of 2022. This had caused major supply difficulties for motorists, but not only.

Slightly more numerous shortages than usual were however observed on Monday morning, with 3.75% of points of sale running out of petrol or diesel and up to 18% in Yvelines, a sign of a possible fear of missed by some motorists.

“Drops in electricity production” are also to be expected, without “go to blackout”warned the leader of the FNME-CGT Sébastien Menesplier, referring to possible “cuts” aimed at elected officials “who support the reform”. “We are working on well-targeted regional actions”, confirms Franck Redondo, FO manager at the Gravelines nuclear power plant (North).

  • Education and health mobilized

As in 2019, during the previous reform, the education sector should also follow suit, especially on the side of teachers. “This reform will hit hard all workers, and in particular education staff”underlines in a press release an inter-union composed of the CGT, FO, FSU, CFDT, SNALC, South and Unsa.

The Snuipp-FSU, the leading union in primary education, mentions 70% of teachers on strike.

Difficult to know the exact extent of the movement – ​​some teachers began to warn their students of their absence on the 19th – but the vocational schools will set the tone. At the heart of another controversial government reform, the teachers of vocational high schools should respond in number to the call for general mobilization. What cause closures of classes, even complete closures of establishments.

With many demands, health could also join the demonstration, especially since the answers given by Emmanuel Macron do not seem to have convinced at this stage. The movement could however have less repercussion than in other sectors, since the hospital public service is subject to a minimum service.

  • Massive mobilization in the public service

As of January 11, all the public service trade unions – CFDT, CFE-CGC, CGT, FA, FO, FSU, Solidaires, Unsa – called on public officials to “register massively” on the day of the strike. Enough to fear disruptions in public services.

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