Students stage wildcat blockades of roads, rails

6th April 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, April 6, 2006 (AFP) - French students blocked road and rail traffic in wildcat actions in a number of towns and cities Thursday as they stepped up protests against the government's youth jobs reform.

PARIS, April 6, 2006 (AFP) - French students blocked road and rail traffic in wildcat actions in a number of towns and cities Thursday as they stepped up protests against the government's youth jobs reform.

Hundreds of protestors tried to prevent passengers from reaching Orly airport south of Paris by blocking a key access road, although no flight disruptions were reported.

In the capital itself, protestors invaded the tracks at the Gare de l'Est and Gare du Nord railway stations, briefly disrupting rail traffic.

In the southwest city of Toulouse, student demonstrators and unionists blocked access to factories belonging to the aircraft manufacturer Airbus.

Up to 1,000 protestors poured onto the tracks at Lille-Flandres station in the north, blocking rail traffic for around an hour.

Student protestors at Boulogne-sur-mer also blocked the access roads to the the industrial port.

Roadblocks paralysed traffic in both directions on the highway linking Lyon with Marseille on the Mediterranean coast.

Elsewhere, students stopped traffic on roads near the western cities of Nantes, Rennes and Lorient, Limoges in the centre, Grenoble in the east and Nancy in the northeast.

Half of France's 84 universities were either disrupted or shut down by protestors on Thursday, as well as some 200 high-schools.

They want the government to abandon its First Employment Contract (CPE), which makes it easier to hire and fire under 26-year-olds.

Student leaders called Wednesday for the protest movement to continue, even as talks got underway between unions, student and the ruling UMP party, to pressure the government into withdrawing the measure for good rather than just amending it.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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