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French doctors and teachers to strike on Friday

France‘s largest education, health and transport unions are going on strike on Friday to protest austerity measures, demanding higher wages and gender equality.

From January to May, the French had participated in a major inter-union strike to fight the government’s pension reform, but without success.

Primary school teachers and transport workers will not be at work on Friday. There may be significant disruption to flights at French airports, as some air traffic controllers will also take part in the strike. 40 per cent of flights are expected to be cancelled at Paris’ Orly airport, 20 per cent at Marseille and 15 per cent at the smaller Beve airport near Paris. Flight disruptions could last until Saturday morning.

At least three railway unions are calling for staff to walk off the job, so disruption to regional and intercity rail services is expected.

The work of the energy production sector will also be affected by industrial action. In the past, strikes by employees of the electricity company EDF led to several gigawatts of power outages at nuclear and hydroelectric power plants.

Ahead of new price negotiations and a bill on the issue being considered in the Senate, private sector workers have called a separate strike for Friday. Organisers of the action, dubbed Black Friday, intend to send a “strong message” to the authorities, adding that the strike would be renewed. Emergency care are transferred to public hospitals and medical consultations are cancelled.

Unions are expecting an increased turnout of private doctors on strike to demonstrate that without private doctors, who make up about 10% of the workforce, France’s healthcare system will not be able to cope with the workload.


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