France - Civil Servant Strike

22 May 2018

Unions representing French air traffic controllers have called for strikes May 21-23, while civil servants' unions plan to strike and protest May 22. The actions have been called to denounce planned government employment reforms. Airport operations and municipal services will likely experience significant disruptions during the action. 

Aviation Sector 
Air traffic controllers are planning a nationwide walkout from 1800 May 21 until 0500 May 23. While the extent of the strike is unclear, it will likely lead to air traffic disruption at French airports, particularly on May 22. Airline officials typically publish revised flight schedules 24-48 hours in advance of claimed strike days. Residual disruption is possible after the walkout ends as airlines work to clear any passenger and cargo backlog. 

Public Service Sector 
All of the public service unions are backing the strike, and participation is likely to be high, including in the education, energy, justice, and municipal service sectors. Local government administration offices, public schools, public service centers, or state-owned companies could be short-staffed or closed. 

Civil servants are planning to march in central Paris at 1400 May 22. Participants will gather at Place de La Republique before marching to Place de La Nation. Security-related disruptions and heavy traffic are likely along the march route. While violence is unlikely, low-level clashes between police and protesters cannot be ruled out. Rallies by union members could prompt heightened security and traffic disruptions in other urban centers on the day. 

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