Nationwide strikes in Britain and France

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Nationwide strikes in Britain and France

One of the biggest strikes in more than a decade threatens a standstill in Britain today, Wednesday. Employees in numerous industries are demonstrating for significantly higher wages. Across the country, around a thousand teachers want to stop working. Numerous schools remain closed. University and college workers are also on strike. In the public sector, the PCS union has called around 100,000 members in 124 government agencies to strike. The next strikes have already been announced for the coming days: the train drivers want to stop work on Friday, the nursing staff of the NHS health service on Monday and Tuesday and the rescue workers on Monday.

In France, too, the wave of protests against President Macron’s pension reforms has not abated and has paralyzed the country. Trains, buses and flights are canceled across the country, as are classes in numerous schools.

In protest, the employees of the energy company EDF shut down electricity production, but this did not lead to power outages. The workforce in refineries and fuel depots of the energy company Total Energies also stopped work to a large extent. Demonstrations are planned at around 200 locations. 11,000 security forces are to prevent riots, 4,000 of them in Paris alone.

As a result of the pension reform and the wave of protests, Macron’s poll ratings fell by five percent, so he currently only has 36 percent approval. In polls, almost two-thirds of the population blamed the government for the strikes and the paralysis of public life.

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