French and Riviera News Tuesday 18th October 2022

News

Nationwide strike - With a nationwide transport strike taking place today Tuesday 18th October, general disruption in the public sector is expected. Several of the biggest unions have called for action marking their biggest challenge towards French President Emmanuel Macron since he won a second presidential term back in May. The industrial action which is likely to involve public sector employees comes after workers at several refineries and depots operated by TotalEnergies voted to extend their strike action in defiance of the government which has started a process of requisition - ordering staff back to their posts. Union activists say they want to highlight the injustice of the government decision.

Disruptions to train network will depend on region - Today’s movement for higher wages will affect trains differently depending on the region. Customers are invited to find out more for their region on the SNCF app and the TER website. It was back in July, following strike action which had disrupted departures for the summer holidays, that the direction of the SNCF granted an average wage increase of 3.7% for low salaries and 2.2% for executives. Truck drivers are also expected to join the movement today.

49% of French people disapprove of today’s strike action - Meanwhile, according to a new “opinion en direct” poll carried out by the Elabe institute, 49% of French people disapprove of today’s strike action compared to 39% who are in favour of it. Concerning the situation with TotalEnergies, 60% of French people are in favour of the requisitions from the government and 48% say they are against the action taken by employees. 71% of respondents believe that "employees have already obtained a sufficient increase from the management of Total and that they should stop the strike". However, while 71% of people questioned are opposed to the continuation of strike action in the refineries, only 35% believe that the employees are to blame for the social conflict with more than one in four French people (43%) pointing the finger at the management of the oil group.

Fight breaks out at petrol station - Two people have been injured after a fight broke out at a petrol station in Marseille. The incident occurred at the weekend when delivery drivers on mopeds were seen queue jumping motorists to get petrol. With the current petrol shortages service stations are seeing long queues with motorists waiting hours for petrol. Police have opened an investigation into the incident.

Scam for Crit’Air stickers – The French government is warning of a scam by