Pensions: transport, fuel, garbage… update on the disruptions this weekend

Even if the administration chose to draw 49.3 votes to pass the pension reform this weekend because it couldn’t guarantee an absolute majority, the movement isn’t waning. This weekend’s disruptions are still anticipated. Transport disruptions, refinery closures, and roadblocks are just a few of the weekend’s planned commotions. The unions are also planning “local local rallies” for this weekend to further the dispute.

Transport is still impeded.

According to the SNCF, there will still be disruptions on several routes even though train circulation is getting better for this weekend. 4 Inoui and 5 are what SNCF Voyageurs and Ouigo are banking on. The nationwide strike will continue to have an impact on the TER trains. On average, count 3 out of 5 trains. Similar to that, strike-related movements continue to impede Intercités traffic. The SNCF has 3 out of 5 trains scheduled for this weekend. Several overnight trains won’t operate.

Relief for Parisian transportation: The RATP anticipates regular traffic on Saturday for the metro, buses, and trams. The Régie des transports states that if traffic is “nearly normal” on the RER A, it is “disturbed” on the RER B.

Refineries remain obstructed.

According to a spokeswoman for the oil company, 37% of the operational workforce at TotalEnergies refineries and depots in France are on strike this Saturday morning. The goal is to dry out the gas stations. The strikes started closing down the facilities at Gonfreville-l’Orcher (Seine-Maritime) on Friday night, according to the CGT.

“The most visible mobilization”: in Paris, the protesters lined up directly in front of the garbage collectors

The Petroineos refinery outside Marseille (Bouches-du-Rhône), where operations had resumed on Thursday, faces a total shutdown “no later than Monday afternoon,” according to Sébastien Varagnol, a CGT delegate. We are preparing for the complete shutdown of the installations, which will occur no later than Monday afternoon, during the course of this weekend.


The refineries remained to operate while the strikers were content to restrict fuel supply up until this point. Refineries in Fos-sur-Mer (Bouches-du-Rhône), La Mède, and Donges (Loire-Atlantique) are still on strike.

Gas and electric employees are still on strike.

According to Fabrice Coudour, federal secretary of the CGT Energy, the CGT energy unions met on Friday and decided to “reinforce everywhere” the movement and call for “the renewal of the strike and the maximum disruption of work” the following week. There will always be production cuts, targeted cuts, and free actions.

In Storengy’s eleven underground gas storage facilities, where the largest, in Chémery (Loir-et-Cher), was put on hold for the strikers without affecting consumers, the movement has also become a little more militant. In contrast to Dunkirk, which is run by the Belgian Fluxys, Elengy’s three LNG terminals are still on strike, according to management.


On the electrical front, output reductions persisted on Friday (6.260 MW, per EDF, at 4:00 p.m.), which had no effect on customers but had an impact on EDF’s finances.

In Paris, garbage is still accumulating.

According to the municipal hall, 10,000 tonnes of trash are still accumulating on the sidewalks throughout Paris. The Paris police headquarters has approved a requisition order from the garbage collectors to allow collection, but according to the town hall, “no dumpster has come out” in the areas where collection is typically handled by municipal agents.

The CGT reported that on Friday, 100% of the drivers at the two garages and 95% of the staff at the Ivry treatment facility were on strike. No information regarding the number of garbage collectors on strike has been provided by a union source. Garbage collection in the city has started, according to the Paris Police Prefecture, following the issuance of a requisition order to guarantee a minimum level of waste collection service. The prefecture reports that operations have restarted at five truck garages. “Two treatment concession businesses as well as various agents (have) been required since” Friday. Yet when our reporters are contacted by some Parisian agents close to the Ivry site, they explain that they are moving slowly.

The strikers at the three waste incineration facilities that Paris produces are also erecting “filtering dams” to let rubbish trucks pass. According to Fatiha Lahrech, the CGT union representative for the Issy-les-Moulineaux site, a truck filtration will take place in Saint-Ouen (Seine-Saint-Denis) on Monday and Tuesday after taking place in Issy-les-Moulineaux (Hauts-de-Seine) on Saturday and Sunday. It is a “security choice to reduce the possibility of an outbreak,” she says, to let trucks pass.

Wild protests in the 12th arrondissement at Concorde and Forbidden Fields

With the help of strategically placed water cannons and hundreds of police personnel, the Place de la Concorde was placed under intense observation. According to AFP journalists, the police urged people who were parked to move around and conducted multiple searches of bystanders.

It was impossible to tell whether the hundreds of people who had been in the area an hour earlier were bystanders or potential protesters because they were moving about without signs or banners.


This location, just a few hundred meters from the National Assembly and the Elysée, served as a rallying point for reform opponents on Thursday and Friday evenings until the prefecture earlier declared that any meeting was illegal there. Violent fights took place on Friday, and 61 people were ultimately arrested.

In addition to organizing a protest in Place d’Italie (south of Paris), the CGT Ile-de-France also arranged a parade that climbed to the capital’s north. Early that evening, fights broke out: trash fires, bus shelters were looted, etc.

There will be several protests on Saturday.

In Marseille, a few hundred protesters marched. Romain Morizot, a 33-year-old communications engineer in aviation, said in court: “What do we have left besides to keep on protesting? Only mobilization remains, and it was tranquil only until 49.3. But, it could now cause social unrest everywhere. We must continue; there is no other option.

The events were held in a number of regional locations, including big cities and small towns like Lille, Amiens, Caen, Saint-Étienne, Roanne, Besançon, Dijon, Grenoble, Gap, Annecy, Lodève, etc.

Several thousand people participated in some processions, such as those in Brest (between 5 and 8,000) or Nantes (6,000 according to the police, 15,000 according to the unions), where there were some conflicts. According to the prefecture, an impromptu parade in Bordeaux drew 1,900 people, and on this busy Saturday afternoon, face-to-face encounters with the police took place on rue Sainte-Catherine, the longest pedestrian boulevard in Europe.


The inter-union had called for rallies this weekend shortly after Elisabeth Borne invoked article 49.3 of the Constitution on Thursday, which permits the adoption of a document without a vote, with the exception of a motion of censure. And to March 23’s ninth day of strikes and protests.

According to Emmanuel Macron’s staff, “The President of the Republic is obviously watching the progress of the situation” on the ground.

By Editor

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