On December 5th, workers from SNCF (France’s national rail company) and RATP (Paris’ regional transport authority) walked out in protest of the French government’s proposed pension reforms, which would introduce a new combined system of the current 42 regimes. Since then, many French citizens have taken to the streets in protest. For more on the reason behind the protests, visit this article from Forbes, which details the issue.
Now, over a week later, the strikes are continuing to reek havoc on nearly all modes of transport – rail, road & ocean & air. Difficulties in business commute and travel are the biggest issue for the people of some of France’s major cities. 25% of all flights in and out of France have been cancelled, but air travel (& air freight transport) is slowly returning to normal. Closures and delays in railways have made it challenging to get to & from work. Additionally, several ports along the coast of France are closed as well, due to dock workers also going on strike. These closures have lead to massive delays in both import & export cargo in France, causing a ripple effect on the world.
Though President Macron has stated that he will not back down from his stance on this reform, protesters have stated today that the upcoming Christmas holiday will not deter them from their protests and that they will continue until there are major changes made to the proposed reform. Yesterday, December 12th and Tuesday, December 17th have been announced as official protest days, designated by the Unions involved.
These protests have and will continue to have a significant impact on the supply chain industry in France until an agreement or compromise is decided upon.
For more on the protests, check out some of the below links –