France braces for 'paralysing' national strike

4th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, March 3 (AFP) - A national strike to protest government economic and labour reforms - in particular moves to undermine the 35-hour workweek - gathered momentum Thursday with electricity and transport unions declaring they will be taking part.

PARIS, March 3 (AFP) - A national strike to protest government economic and labour reforms - in particular moves to undermine the 35-hour workweek - gathered momentum Thursday with electricity and transport unions declaring they will be taking part.

The stoppage is expected to effectively paralyse the country Thursday next week and put President Jacques Chirac's conservative government under pressure to roll back measures aimed at cutting chronically high unemployment and a public deficit that violates eurozone rules.

The main unions covering the state electricity and gas companies EDF and GDF and the national rail company SNCF said in statements their members would be joining the strike.

The industrial unrest will come on the second day of a visit by a 13-member delegation from the International Olympic Committee which is evaluating Paris's bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games. Union leaders have promised not to disrupt the inspection.

Workers at Disneyland Paris would also join the strike action, unions said, to call for a pay-rise, double time on Pentecost Monday and the defence of the 35-hour week.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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