After a March 7 protest against pension cuts, strikes break out across the French economy.

Strikes are breaking out across the French economy as a result of millions of youth and workers protesting President Emmanuel Macron’s widely resented pension cuts on Tuesday for the sixth time. The possibility of a complete fuel shortage that would shut down the economy is looming due to strikes at refineries, energy facilities, and public transportation.

Last week, workers in the energy industry had already decided on a longer-term walkout. Three of the country’s four liquefied natural gas terminals have announced week-long strikes, two at Fos-sur-Mer and one at Saint-Nazaire. On Monday, refinery workers went on strike after their strikes were isolated by the union bureaucracy and then forcibly requisitioned by the state to force them to accept pay raises below inflation. There are currently no fuel deliveries to France due to strikes at all TotalEnergies locations.

The entire workforce mobilized in other areas of the energy industry as well. Electricity production was reduced by 5,000 megawatts, or the equivalent of five nuclear reactors, beginning last Friday at nuclear, hydroelectric, and thermal power plants affected by strikes. In protest of Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt’s support for the cuts, strikers cut off the electricity to his neighborhood in the city of Annonay.

A strike by air traffic controllers will continue to severely disrupt air traffic for the remainder of the week. For the remainder of the week, the General Directorate of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a warning that it will cancel between 20% and 30% of flights. On Tuesday, 20% of trips in Paris Charles de Gaulle Air terminal and 30 percent in Paris Orly, Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Pleasant and Toulouse air terminals were dropped.

Paris and other major cities are experiencing ongoing mass transit strikes. Staff at Paris-Le Bourget Airport, as well as employees at Paris-Gare du Nord station in Le Havre and Toulouse, are all on strike.

On Tuesday, transport workers went on strike, slowing down and sometimes completely shutting down France’s transportation networks. 55% of controllers and 76% of train drivers were on strike across the country. On the night of Monday and Tuesday, goods deliveries across the nation were also halted due to strikes by truck drivers and the blockade of multiple motorways.

The cancellation of eighty percent of TGVs—high-speed interregional trains—had an effect on France-to-Germany and Spain-travel. Over 80% of regional trains in the capital region of the Île-de-France failed, causing significant service disruptions for the Paris metro. The majority of buses were canceled in Lille. Two metro lines and one tram line were shut down in Marseille, and the strike affected 85% of the buses. The Nice tram lines were shut down.

After striking on Tuesday, significant numbers of manufacturing workers in the private sector continued their strike yesterday. Workers at Stellantis and Renault, as well as parts supplier Valeo, aerospace company Airbus, engine manufacturer Safran, and naval dockyards in Saint-Nazaire, were among these.

Additionally, other significant sections of employees are leaving. Meatpackers, who are also negotiating a contract, are going on strike for the entire week across the country. Since Monday, a strike has also been started by sewer cleaners and garbage collectors in Paris. Waste collections have already been affected in four of Paris’s 20 districts, and 70 employees at the incinerator in Ivry-sur-Seine, outside of Paris, have walked out to stop the burning of waste.

The mass demonstrations against Macron’s cuts on Tuesday, which were the largest since the protests began, were followed by the flurry of worker struggles. An alliance of all major unions called the one-day strike, which included Workers Force (FO), the social democratic French Democratic Labor Confederation (CDFT), and the Stalinist General Confederation of Labor (CGT). At last 3.5 million individuals went to the fights they had called. Students also occupied or were forced to leave more than 400 high schools and 40 universities spread across all of the country’s major cities.

700,000 people marched in Paris, according to CGT figures. In comparison to previous protest marches, attendance was significantly higher in other major cities. Marseille saw 245,000 walk, as per the associations, up from 150,000 on January 31. 100,000 people marched in Nantes, compared to 65,000 on January 31; 100,000 marched in Bordeaux, up from 75,000 on January 31, and 120,000 marched in Toulouse, up from 80,000 on January 31.

Police repression was brutal once more met by protesters. 43 people were detained in the capital, as stated by Plice Laurent Nuez, Chief of Police of Paris. Additionally, tear gas was hurled at protesters by the police in Rennes and Marseille. Students who were occupying schools in support of the strike against Macron’s reform were also the targets of violence. Three high school students arrested for occupying Thiers High School in Marseille. Later, fighting broke out in the old port, and one person was arrested and several police officers were hurt.

The wave of ongoing strikes and the demonstration on Tuesday demonstrate that the working class has the strength to implement a revolutionary policy: to bring down Macron, put an end to the attacks on living standards by the ruling class, and put an end to the rash escalation of the US-NATO war against Russia in Ukraine.

The strike has overwhelming public support, despite attempts by the Macron government and capitalist media to demonize all cuts opposition. According to the most recent Elabe poll, 74% oppose Macron’s cuts, 64% support strikes to stop them, and 60% support “blocking the country” to stop them.

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