On Friday, a huge strike shut down the majority of Paris’ metro system and city train grid, interrupting millions of people’s daily commutes. Workers are demanding salary raises.
The news: The RATP public transportation provider in Paris reported that eight subway lines were closed, with the remaining six working just partially, and that two RER north-to-south and east-to-west lines were also severely impacted.
- The strikes had no effect on only two lines, the 1 and 14, which are both self-driving and do not have a human conductor on board, according to RATP’s website.
- “We call on businesses to make maximum use of home office working,” Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djeebbari said on Twitter.
What’s going on: Workers at RATP have claimed that the walkouts were caused by the state-owned company’s low pay increases, which came as unions and management prepare for annual wage negotiations.
- RATP had previously stated that it would be willing to increase pay by 2.7 per cent in 2022, a move that unions have labelled a “provocation” this month.
- Paris’s public transportation system, which is one of the busiest in the world, has been thrown into turmoil multiple times in recent years.
- Parisians will remember the month-long walkouts in the fall of 2019 when public transportation and railway workers protested President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for pension reform.
- Later, Macron cancelled the legislation, citing the altered situation as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.